8-figure dropshipper cheated by this Guru? $5k flushed down the drain. Alexandr Fedotov demystifies the FB algorithm. Tim Gracner: Conquering ecomm with alternative ad platforms.

E-COMMERCE

$5k down the drain. E-comm lessons to learn from others’ fails

Be aware of this story and don’t trust anybody, especially some coaches and gurus. Why marketing alone will only take you so far.

8-figure dropshipper cheated by a Guru?

Nothing is completely perfect and honorable in this world.

Cheats and scams happen every day, and our industry isn’t an exception. This is especially true when you look at all the fake gurus preaching and teaching about things they’ve never even done themselves.

However, you can learn from the mistakes of others and avoid falling into these traps.

Regarding this particular story, we’re not certain that the person being called out really cheated another. We have no proof and we’re not here to judge.

So, with that in mind, we’ll limit the report to what Youssef Bennani shared in the Ecom Empires group. Learn from this lesson, live a safer life, and avoid flushing your hard earned money down the drain.

Youssef Bennani shared a post talking about Travis Petelle and how he allegedly cheated him.

First of all, who is Travis Petelle? Well, we have never heard of him, but after some research we found that he has a pretty large community of 38k FB group members.

He actually provides a lot of content on his site, and this is probably the funnel that leads to his site offering courses.

What happened?

To cut a long story short, Youssef paid $5k for one-on-one coaching. However, Travis never answered his questions and he didn’t get any help with the problems he was facing.

Your question might be: “How can an 8 figures dropshipper fall into something like this?”

According to Youssef, Travis Petelle is (was) The Man as far as print on demand (POD) is concerned, and he was looking to diversify.

Unfortunately, Youssef is not the only one to fall for this scam. Sourav Sharma was also hit, and he shared some screenshots showing his conversation with Travis Petelle where he gets ghosted by the coach.

But the story gets even worse: Sourav made chargebacks to get a refund, but they forged the backend numbers to show that they have already refunded the sum… Sick!

We didn’t find any response from Travis, and we await the next update on this saga.

The moral of the story is this: Be careful! These issues are happening every day. It’s well known that teaching can be much more rewarding that actually doing, so fake gurus and coaches will never cease to exist.

Maybe The WTAFF Crew could turn to “guruing” as well. Our coaching? “How to avoid fake gurus that cheat you”.

Just joking! We might just write about it in some future emails.

The juice isn’t just in the sales and marketing

If you choose to run an e-commerce business, you have to understand that there are more things to worry about than just marketing.

Payment methods, fulfilment, manufacturing and customer services should be on the list of things you take care of every single day.

Hassan Bazzi had to learn the hard way. Failing to deal with these issues stopped him from scaling his business.

He shared the experience he had, and there are some lessons you can learn from his report. What’s that saying, “Learning from others’ mistakes is cheaper”, right?

Payment processing

Most people simply connect Shopify Payments (or a similar service) to their store and just sell and scale. However, many people forget that some payment processors like Elavon and FirstData have processing limits.

So, before discovering this via a blocked account, read all the terms and find out about the daily and monthly caps. Then, if you want to scale up, ask the service for a limit increase.

A blocked account means cash flow issues, and you know that this can stop you from scaling your biz.

Customer Service

This is very important for every business. A negative review isn’t the worst thing that can happen. People can sue you and ask for chargebacks, and this can turn into something more serious than revenue loss too. It can cause you to exceed the VISA/MASTERCARD max chargeback percentage, which is 2%.

Be careful!

Manufacturing and Fulfilment

Even though you’re dropshipping, you still have to manage inventory and fulfilment, especially if you’re scaling.

Here are some key questions you should ask your supplier:

  1. How much inventory do you have?
  2. What fulfilment time period can you manage at scale?
  3. If we need more inventory, are you able to get more?

So, get the answers to these questions and adapt your strategy accordingly.

Here we are!

We hope this post leads you to smooth scaling!

Cheers to skyrocketing ROAS and tyrannosaurus-like volumes!


FACEBOOK

How to leverage the new Relevance Score metrics. New update to the Stories

Alexandr Fedotov tells us how to use the new Relevant Score metrics to your benefit. New update in the Stories: Easy way to generate cheap leads?

Alexandr Fedotov takes on the new Relevance Score metrics

As you know, FB recently updated its Relevance Score metric, substituting it with three new metrics. If you aren’t aware of it, we talked about it here.

Anyway, many marketers are still confused. So, Alexandr Fedotov decided to explain how the FB algorithm treats these metrics and how you can leverage them to work in your favour.

The three new metrics help advertisers understand what they should do to be on the top. The aim is to deliver the best possible user experience, but also to increase FB’s revenue.

Let’s see how to leverage them, starting with the Quality Ranking score.

This identifies the public perception of your ads compared to similar creatives.

For measuring the Quality Ranking, FB uses parameters such as people viewing or hiding the ads, assessment of clickbaity, engagement bait, etc.

After reviewing your ads, FB assigns one of 5 different Quality Ranking values:

  • Above average: the top 35% of the ads.
  • Average: the middle 35-55% of the ads.
  • Below average (bottom 35%).
  • Below average (bottom 20%).
  • Below average (bottom 10%).

So, when FB compares your ads to similar ones (and the other parameters are equal), you’ll beat them in the auction is your Quality Score is higher.

How does the Engagement Rate Ranking work?

This ranks your ad based on how likely it is that the user will complete an action on it: click on it, comment on it, share it, etc.

However, be careful to not resort to “engagement baiting” to get these actions. So don’t ask the viewers to leave a comment or share your post.

The values that FB attributes to your ad are the same for the Quality Ranking score.

However, for some optimization goals, FB blocks this metric: ad recall lift, impressions, reach, custom conversions or value.

Let’s now move to the Conversion Rate ranking.

First of all, conversion doesn’t just mean a completed purchase, but rather all the optimization events you set up for the campaign.

It evaluates how likely your ad will get a conversion compared to other similar ads.

The different values are still the same and, just like the Engagement Ranking Score, this parameter doesn’t work for these optimizations: ad recall lift, impressions, reach, custom conversions or value.

Cool, but how to take action on these?

First of all, you need to evaluate them all together rather than separately. You can have a look at the FB post that better explains the different values.

According to Alexandr, when you get at least 2 parameters in the average or above average ranking, you are already high in the pool and ready to go.

For the rest, experience and tests will guide you.

Update to the Stories Ads

Sometimes, FB silently releases some updates and you don’t even notice it.

We found one such update recently which lets you add a Facebook Canvas in the Stories.

But wait, we’re not talking about Stories Ads. We’re talking about normal Stories that you add to your Page.

The update has been shared by Rutger Thole, and according to him this is a game changer.

Specifically, what Rutger Suggests is using this feature to generate leads.

How?

Before this update, it was weird for the user to be sent straight to a bot from a FB Story. The Facebook Canvas is the missing link to counteract this problem.

Basically, the sequence is: FB Stories → Canvas → Bot.

“A Canvas with a CTA to claim a discount in a bot, and push a dynamic product feed in the bot for product discovery”.

Maybe, something to test?

Anyway, some people have said that this feature has been available to them for two months already.

So, it’s something that is rolling out gradually. Maybe you have it and never noticed.

Well, whatever, give it a try!


SPONSORED

Conquering e-commerce using alternative ad platforms with Tim Gracner

Aw, yeah! Just in time to start the week, another episode is here for your enjoyment.

Today’s guest, Tim Gracner, has been through several phases in online marketing. From sales to affiliate media buying to his own e-commerce product and store in the hunting niche called Black Fire.

We sit down with Tim to uncover:

  • What made him go into e-commerce with his own product, completely skipping the dropshipping phase.
  • The pros and cons of what he does in comparison to dropshipping.
  • How his typical marketing funnels look.
  • Where he runs ads for Black Fire, his hunting niche product.
  • Why Pinterest is a very good ad platform for e-commerce, even if you do FB Ads and Google Ads.
  • What works on Pinterest.
  • Adnalytics – competitive intelligence tool for Pinterest. How it can help you uncover products that work.

Watch on YouTube here.

Listen on Apple Podcasts/iTunes.

Listen on Spotify.

Don’t forget to like and subscribe!


GOOGLE

Environment and position targeting changes announced

If you are running Display and Video 360 (DV360) campaigns on Google Marketing platform, we have a bunch of quick updates for you.

To provide marketers with more accurate and insightful targeting options, Google will be rolling out an improved experience for environment and position targeting settings.

Environment targeting: The device and position related options in DV360 will be moved from environment targeting to a different targeting control panel.

Position targeting setting: All controls related to an ad’s position on a screen or in the content will be grouped together in an all-new position targeting control. These settings include viewability, video and audio targeting.

Reporting changes: Values in the Environment dimension will reflect the new targeting setting. All existing values, including historical data, will be re-routed to the new values.

If you have scheduled any reports, their delivery will not be affected. In fact, they will reflect the new values for the Environment dimension. Though, these scheduled reports will not include the new Position in Content dimension.

Version 5 of Structured Data Files (SDF): A new version of SDFs will include fields to retrieve and set the new targeting options.

Once this new version is live, older versions will not work when updating fields for environment or position-related targeting options. Though, they will still function as normal for all other fields.

These updates will be in effect from August 26, 2019.

How does this change anything?

The existing controls were only helpful for advertisers running display ads on desktop and mobile. With these new controls, you will be able to target ads explicitly based on environment (app or web) and position (on screen or in content).

Google recommends going through this PDF to get yourself used to the new targeting settings and data structures in order to adjust to the new workflows before they come into effect in August.


POOLSIDE CHAT

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

Hey, wanna annoy a friend? Show them this…

We have to say from the get-go that whoever built this must be close to pure evil.

Seriously, it will make you want to pull out your hair, then your eyes… Then… Well, you get the point.

We’re talking about this little game, which serves as the perfect example of a terrible user experience design.

It’s intuitively called UserInYerFace (from “user interface”, get it?) and none of The WTAFF Crew were patient enough to finish it.

We almost missed sending out today’s email because of how much time we wasted on it. That’s why we recommend you share it with a friend.

Please don’t try this yourself! You have been warned.

Or, if you want to help a friend rather than annoy the hell out of them, share WHAT THE AFF with them. They will thank you!

And we will thank you too because if you refer at least 5 friends, you will get access to WHAT THE AFF Insiders on FB. That’s where the breaking news shows up first, where our interviews have their premier and where big topics of the day are discussed.

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

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