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November 29, 2018

Hey, guess what! We don't have news about Facebook today. But don't worry, we have other interesting stuff. It's Google's turn in the hot seat, according to US Congress. One of the biggest recent ad-fraud schemes has been caught. We add some e-commerce advice we found, including something better than ePacket. Last but not least, Microsoft partners with the US Military!

November 29, 2018

November 29, 2018 2160 1440 WHAT THE AFF...

GENERAL

Google CEO called to the witness stand

Following Facebook and Twitter, this 2018 will see Google on the witness stand too.

In fact, Pichai, Google CEO, has been called by the US Congress to respond on some issues the company has been involved in the last period.

First, Pichai will have to answer questions related to the accusation that their search algorithm penalizes conservative posts. And that they secretly bury good news stories about Trump and other conservatives. 

Is Google supporting the Democratic Party?

Well, we don’t know… But it’s sure that in the future, politicians will fight unregulated online giants. Maybe, they are late already…

Then, the CEO will have to face questions about the 2015 Google+ glitch, that probably exposed users data.

Eventually, they will talk about some business between Google and the Pentagon too.

After seeing Congress Members asking Mark how Facebook survives given that users don’t pay a fee, it might be even funnier to watch those same people talk about Google’s search algorithm. We’ll keep you posted!

The $36M Ad-fraud

Bringing whole new levels of innovation to ad fraud, a major yet fake ad network was brought down after 4 years of running a $36M fraud

Department of Justice, in a joint effort with FBI and major tech platforms, recently shut down this global ad fraud costing its advertisers around $36M.

8 people, allegedly from Russia and Kazakhstan, have been charged for 2 of these major “3ve” and “Methbot” ad frauds, which started in September 2014 and ran until October 2018.

Computer security specialists from White Ops, Proofpoint were the first to alert the respective ad networks about it. Supported by 20 major tech industry players, including Google & Symantec, they joined forces to sinkhole the KovKoreG gang. 

The fraudulent activity thrived on using Pornhub with malicious adverts and later used more malware infections, Border Gateway Patrol hijacking, creating fake websites and traffic to generate between 3 to 12 billion of daily ad impressions.

Fake browsers were then programmed so as to appear to be under the control of real users, using fake mouses to scroll pages, start and stop videos playing and clicking on the ads. 

They also employed a botnet of infected computers to control hidden browsers that downloaded ads on to those fake websites running, without the knowledge of the actual users.

In its heyday, 3ve controlled more than a million IP’s, with unique addresses reaching 1.7M per day.

They have now been arrested after a collaborative effort by FBI and DHS under the wire fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, among other offences.

The Crew’s thoughts:

We can’t help but wonder how much money we also burned on this…Anyway.

As a web user, a precaution one can take is to avoid visiting suspicious websites, downloading from sources which you don’t trust and get a good VPN while browsing the Internet.


E-COMMERCE

Building stores on previous data – no money down

Sharing his insights in the Ecom Empires group, Justin Cener, talks about generating sales from your existing source of free traffic.

And it’s about “Print on Demand”!

A lot of marketers have built stores in various niches and drop-shipped products from AliExpress, Etsy, eBay etc, found some good ones and made sales. And using this data, Justin suggests a strategy to build new niche stores, leveraging on the data that you already paid for. It’s all about data… 

He calls it “A strategy so simple even fake gurus can make sales”. Great description, we’re all eyes and ears!

It’s a 7 step strategy that has apparently worked well for him:

1 – Categorize your existing products/audience into relevant niches. If you sold cat laces, it’s cat niche. Wolf mug means wolf niche.

2 – Sort the niches by most sales. The number of products sold doesn’t matter, unique audience size does. The bigger, the better.

3 – Export your niche-segmented customer list. Most email platforms already allow you to segment the audience as per the niche.

4 – Install your prefered POD platform on your existing Shopify store based on the above niche segmentation. If you were using ClickFunnels previously, you would need a Shopify store here.

5 – For each niche, add 3-8 POD products like t-shirts, hoodies, wall canvas etc. For high-quality designs, platforms like Ecomlibrary, Designercash, 99designs, Upwork, etc are available.

6 – Now that your POD clothing line is ready, it’s time to email this existing audience. A compelling email automation, an intriguing subject line featuring POD products you know your audience already likes, based on the niche they are in.

7 – To up the ante, you could also create a custom audience from it and run ads to these already warm audiences, as they have previously purchased from you and engaged with your website/FB page.

Well, it definitely is a lil’ easier to sell to an existing audience. But what’s your take on this strategy? Will it work for you? Why or why not?

If you do happen to give it a shot, do let us know of your experience with this!

Turning $7k into $51k

What’s the best thing about Black Friday? Other than making a ton of dough?

Well, the best thing is people sharing their success stories, and taking inspiration from them.

Thus, here is another great case study from Tomasz Babiec and how he turned $7K into $51K on the most exciting days of the year. Talking about 7x ROAS…

First, he makes some recommendations.

Your offers should be something that isn’t available during the rest of the year. If you offer a 30% discount all the year around and do the same on Black Friday… guess what? It won’t work.

Prior to big events like this, you have to upload and publish campaigns in advance. And this is something we already talked about in our previous newsletters.

You need to warm your audience up, several weeks before the big day, so you can later retarget them. This will probably decrease your short-term ROAS. But will pay off in the long period.

Never go somewhere without your laptop and good WiFi. This makes so much sense…

But how did he set up the campaign? 

Cold audiences: 3-10% LLAs of audiences that were historically performing very well, that is: 30 days FB engagement, customer LTV lists, Facebook’s new “value-based audience using pixel data”, 4% top pageviews.

– Budget: $1k per adset on auto-bid, 6 adsets total.

Retargeting: Tomasz suggests to retarget basically everything: FB engagement, Instagram engagement, VCs, ATCs, past customers, newsletters, all kinds of website events, 75% VVs.

– Budget: $400/ad set.

DPAs: Targeting VC/ATC audiences. Past 3 days, past 7 days, past 14 days, past 30 days, and cross-selling to people who bought in the past 60 days.

– Budget: $200 per ad set.

This is just the set-up. Then he goes deep, explaining the campaign execution and how he applied the surfer/shotgun method to scale heavily. Check the post for the details.

But he didn’t stop there. He even talks about the mistake he did and what he would do differently: Higher budgets, manual bid, more budget on retargeting DPA, using the Black Friday/Cyber Monday angle from the beginning.

Well, we love these practical case studies. Better than infinite words of theory. Yet, if you want to know more numbers about your competitors, you have to read the following post.

Over $1.5B in Sales on Shopify

We’ve already told you about Black Friday and Cyber Monday numbers this week. So, we will keep this one short.

A total of $1.5B in sales on Shopify, two-thirds happening on mobile.

The highest conversion rates by source?
Email: 4.38% – Little surprising, you have a direct connection to existing customers
Direct: 4.35%
Search: 3.60%
Social: 2%
If you are interested in more details, e.g. peak shopping hours to know when there will be more need for live support, you can check out the full article here.


SPONSORED

Forget ePacket – Trump hates it anyway. Here’s a better way!

In case you haven’t heard, the ePacket at the current pricing might not have a long life left… Didn’t know? Just check this news.

In short, the trade war with China means the US doesn’t want to subsidize ePacket pricing and give Chinese goods an unfair advantage for international delivery to the States.

Fret not – there are better ways to do it. There are companies that have set up or partnered with companies who can deliver faster and cheaper than ePacket does!

One of those companies is uDroppy!

Not only does uDroppy handle fulfilment and delivery. They provide you with on-demand products, a personal e-com manager and a white label solution!

An e-commerce platform where marketing is on you, the rest on them.

They’re the perfect solution whether you are a media buyer/affiliate who wants to start their own e-commerce venture, need help to scale your existing dropshipping store… or even if you are new and want to start with e-commerce!

Go sign up with them for free, explore what they have to offer.

PS: Heading to Affiliate World Asia?

uDroppy is sponsoring the Day 1 Networking Fest! That means you should stop by their booth to get tokens for free drinks for the evening event!
They are easy to find, they have a skyscraper booth – it’s B37. Join the uDroppy team in their e-com lounge to discuss e-commerce strategies and get a BONUS you can use to buy products on their platform!


POOLSIDE CHAT

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

Microsoft + US Military = AR love

Powered by Microsoft’s HoloLens, AR tech will now be a part of the armoury of US soldiers.

US Govt has given a $480M contract to Microsoft to build more than 100K headsets.

To put it simply, these headsets would be capable of enabling “25 bloodless battles before the first battle”. This means they would be built keeping the real combat training into the mind.

This AR tech would help the soldiers in making better and quicker decisions.

Have a look at this military document. It’s evident that the US military has already deeply researched on how AR can add more fuel to their weapon repertoires.

This is not just optimizing the regular HoloLens, but a next level combat focused HoloLens, capable of tracking weapons, simulating the shots fired, weapons training like Javelin missile systems but in a completely simulated environment.

Again, these are just basic frameworks. Microsoft will work closely with US military to develop more futuristic AR tech, enabling Microsoft to benefit from something other than enterprise-focused products.

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