THE DIGITAL MARKETER'S #1 DAILY BRIEFING. BE IN THE KNOW - IN JUST 5 MINUTES.

June 3, 2019

3x ROAS case study to jump-start the week. Facebook moderators ruin a glorious campaign yet again. SEOs beware: Algorithm update out today. Going from a $26M FTC fine to a $1B unicorn. Shopify back on track.

June 3, 2019

June 3, 2019 2160 1440 The digital marketer's #1 daily briefing!

GOOGLE

Google Cloud Outage: Shopify, YouTube, Snap and a host of other services down

A Google problem over the weekend resulted in panic stations around the web as one of the world’s largest and (up until now) most reliable Cloud Computing Networks went down.

By the time Google confirmed this outage, several sites and apps that rely on Google’s infrastructure had already gone down.

While most of the sites affected were in-house services like Gmail, G Suite, Analytics and YouTube, other major sites such as Snapchat, Shopify, Discord and a host of other apps suffered due to the outage.

The reason? High levels of network congestion in Eastern USA.

The outage hit everything from the ability to control the temperature in people’s homes through Google’s Nest to shopping on any service powered by Shopify. People’s online social lives were hit too, with Snapchat and Discord both affected.

As marketers and ecommerce owners, Shopify going down for several hours was the biggest source of anxiety, with some stores being rendered completely inaccessible as their checkouts and admin interfaces went down. 

Depesh Mandalia shared the updates coming from the Shopify team, although the issues seemed to be out of Shopify’s hands, as the issue lied at their cloud service partners end, which in this case was Google.

What’s the best way to manage your ad campaigns at times like these?

As suggested by Jamie, you don’t have to pause your ad campaigns. Rather, set a very low account spending limit on your Business Manager to stop your ads, but without affecting future optimization and delivery.

Google later confirmed that the issue was resolved as of 7PM EST. It didn’t go into details on what caused this, but it did promise to conduct a “post mortem” and to make “appropriate improvements” to prevent a repeat.


BUSINESS

From a $26M fine, to a $1B unicorn: Story of a scam rebills company

Nate Lind shared an interesting story with us in the WTAFF Insiders Group. It’s a long read, but well worth the time. Grab a coffee and settle in for the ride!

“Two men, a decade of conning consumers, to an ecommerce startup, now valued at $1B by investors – JustFab.”

Their business model? Tricking consumers into recurring subscriptions of health and beauty products under the guise of brand building.

Even if the consumers don’t choose to receive any items, they are still charged unless they remember to opt out within the first five days of the month. Rinse & Repeat!

Consumer accusations of unwanted recurring CC charges have been piling up since 2004. In spite of that, Adam Goldenberg, the founder of the company, managed to come out on top in one of the largest ever deceptive advertising settlements with the FTC.

Last year, the company agreed to pay more than $26M in penalties for peddling a magical slimming powder. This product had taken the startup to a $1B valuation!

The company has a very morally dubious looking business model, but it’s still expected to rake in $500M this year across sites including JustFab, Kate Hudson’s Fabletics, FabKids, ShoeDazzle, and FL2.

Despite the company’s long and shady history, it’s viewed as The Next Big Thing by many businesses in and around Silicon valley.

It’s also backed by people from the showbiz world, with Kimora Lee Simmons serving as JustFab’s creative director until May and both Kate Hudson and her brother Oliver involved in the company.

The ugly hallmarks of past enterprises live on in JustFab. It thrives on that same business model of deceiving shoppers into thinking they’re making a single purchase while they’re actually signing them up for a subscription that automatically charges them each month.

The sites use terms like “VIP Membership” instead of “subscription,” and JustFab and Fabletics in particular downplay the options for avoiding charges each month, including cancellations which require lengthy phone calls.

In response to the accusations, the JustFab spokesperson responded: “As a company that has gone from 0 to in excess of 3.5M customers in five years, we have had inevitable bumps along the way.”

Well, this story’s timeline spans more than a decade. Several ‘magical’ products were launched that ensured overnight gains, and a lot of Benjis were made thanks to the CC trials and recurring subscriptions.

A huge number of complaints + several multi-million dollar lawsuit settlements =One of the most lucrative businesses in Silicon Valley.

Well, as much as we would have loved to talk about this in detail, we are unfortunately bound by the laws of email service providers and their spam filters. The words that these stories inevitably involve would send us straight to your spam inbox!

If you are already a part of our FB Insiders group, you can join the conversation in the group post here. If not, and you would like to join us for the future threads, head here.


SPONSORED

Easily launch your own store to make money like Apple AppStore and Google Play with Digitap!

No doubt you thought about running traffic to your own offer, right? A place where users start loving your brand and come back to it day after day? Right? How about the same model Apple and Google use for their app stores? Especially if you are someone who promotes apps on a regular basis as an affiliate!

You’re probably thinking it’s impossible to develop, you need a lot of money, time, you can’t populate them. We get it…

But maybe it’s time to reconsider those thoughts and have a look at Digitap – instant games platform! With Digitap, in just a few steps, you can create your own cross-platform mobile games store with your own branding!

Here is why most companies fail to launch a proper store:

  • No content or industry contacts.
  • Zero knowledge in building a successful web app.
  • Little knowledge on how ads and paid access systems work on the publishing side.
  • Huge infrastructure costs.
  • Time: it takes a minimum of 6 months from 0 to launching the first version when building from scratch.
  • The need for an in house dedicated team.

…and the list can go on and on. All those problems are solved by Digitap!

If we were to come up with Digitap’s slogan it would be “We bring everything else so that you focus on marketing.” The games, the store, the reporting, security compliance… All this served on a silver platter for you to focus on marketing to acquire users for your own brand! That’s not all…

  • Detailed and transparent reports.
  • Weekly game updates and new content.
  • Games playable offline.
  • Notification engine to reach your users.
  • Localization engine to publish your marketplace to users around the world.
  • GDPR Compliant!
  • Ready to go, fast loading web app.
  • Custom web app design possible.

That’s just to name a few…

This is the quickest, simplest way to tap into the huge mobile gaming market while focusing on the skills you already have: MARKETING!

One last great thing: You pay per user, so you only pay $0.001 per monthly active user. It’s one of those things where if we weren’t having a blast doing this daily newsletter, we might consider pursuing ourselves.

What do you have to do now? Schedule a demo with Digitap to see how you can easily build your own gaming app store!


FACEBOOK

Going from $1k to $8k spend in 18 days

What about jumping into the new week with a case study?

This one has been shared by Ethan Bence, and discusses how he generated $540k revenues (3.08x ROAS) for an info product business using Facebook Ads.

Let’s start with some background: The product includes a high ticket course and coaching program.

Ethan broke the case study into 4 pieces: Structure, Audiences, Creatives, Advertising technique and scaling.

Structure

He mentions that different campaigns were launched for each funnel and creative.

So, the campaigns would be structured like this: Campaign 1 – Video 1 – Funnel 1: Ad set 1, Ad set 2, etc. Every ad had the same video but a different copy.

Campaign 2 can use the same audience, but a different video.

As the data started to roll in, Ethan combined the high performing creatives into scaling campaigns.

He started the testing and initial scaling with ad sets budget. Then turned to CBO for further scaling. The daily testing budget was 100$ per ad set.

The budget was split into 97% cold traffic and 3% retargeting. But the lesson Ethan learned is that it is definitely better to allocate more of the budget to retargeting.

Audiences

For Ethan, larger audiences performed better than the smaller ones. The best ones for him were:

  • 0%-5% LAL (Lookalikes) of 75% video viewers.
  • 7%-10% LAL of those who booked a call.
  • 2%-5% LAL of purchasers who were more active than 75% of users, created from Facebook analytics.
  • Single interest audiences.

Creative

They only used videos. Some were shot just by holding the phone and talking into the camera, while others were more professional. The key characteristic across all the videos was that each of them had a specific angle.

All of the videos aimed to catch the eye within the first few seconds too.

Advertising technique and scaling

  • The simple duplicate and increase technique worked really well as Ethan scaled.
  • CBO surfing: When a campaign was performing well in the morning, Ethan killed the ad sets that weren’t working for the day and raised the budget at the campaign level.
  • Conversion objectives: Optimization for webinar registrations at ad set level.
  • He tested manual bidding in high performing audiences.
  • Video View/PPE budget: according to Ethan, making a quick buck from impulsive purchases is becoming harder and harder on Facebook. In the future you’ll definitely need a strong brand to survive.

Therefore, they ran Video Views and PPE campaigns for all of the different creatives they used in order to build resonance with the brand.

These techniques allowed Ethan to bring the business from a spend of $1.1k with $100 revenue to $9.9k spend and $21.5k in revenue. All this in just 18 days.

Got questions or want to dive deeper in the case study? Head to the post here.


SEO

June 2019 Core Algo Update

SEOs, get ready for this: Google is rolling out another core algorithm update called “June 2019 Core Update”. Catchy name, right?

This update will be released today and will impact how search results are ranked and listed in the Google search results.

The last core update was released in March 2019.

Google’s search liaison, Danny Sullivan, says there is nothing specifically big about this update compared to the previous ones, but that Google is just being proactive in notifying site owners and SEOs so people aren’t left scratching their heads after-the-fact.

That’s the reason they have announced this update. Then, how is it a core update? Well, with Google, you can never be sure. Only time will tell…

PS: This update is not in any way related to the issues Google is having with its cloud services or the indexing issues from previous weeks.


POOLSIDE CHAT

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

FB moderators ruin a $6M campaign

Who said that a marketing funnel must include webinars, bots and follow up emails?

And who said that you need a big budget to send lots of people to your funnel?

If you had these old myths instilled in your marketing mind, we’re sorry to break it to you, but you’re doing it all wrong.

Yes, and here is an example you can follow:

  • A half-naked woman.
  • Champions League Final pitch invasion.
  • Instagram Profile with links that send to your business webpage.
  • CTA on the IG profile.
  • 2-day trial to your services.
  • $9.99/month membership program.

What?

We are talking about Kinsey Wolansky. The Russian IG influencer who ran onto the pitch half-naked during the Champions League final.

While most people might think this was just a crazy act, it does contain some marketing lessons…

In fact, Kinsey is the girlfriend of Vitaly, another IG star with an X-rated Youtube channel which contains a lot of dirty pranks. He also manages a membership program that shows uncensored pranks.

Maybe, before the Champions League final, only a few people knew about Vitaly and his business. Now, thanks to the half-naked pitch invasion, everybody knows him and his girlfriend.

In fact, the IG profile of the woman grew by 2M followers in a single day. Talk about free traffic, eh?

This results in huge exposure for their business, considering all the media chatter about them and the huge virality it created.

We don’t know how many subscribers Vitaly Uncensored gained, but those 5 seconds of craziness have been valued at $6M in advertising.

Yep.
S-I-X
M-I-L-L-I-O-N-S!

Considering they didn’t spend a dime on it (except for the bikini and a fine from the UEFA), the ROAS is probably to the moon, right?

Unfortunately, the story didn’t end well for the couple. In fact, Instagram removed Kinsey’s profile.

Well, just another story similar to the Facebook moderators killing a glorious dream!

We all have been through it, eh?

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