Facebook is the advertising platform that marketers love to hate. We love it because we can target specific groups of people with a level of knowledge which boggles the minds of old-school direct marketers. We hate it because we know Facebook is tracking us and our children and knows way too much about us. To put it bluntly we want privacy for ourselves but not our target prospects. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. These European Union’s privacy regulations go into effect on May 25, 2018. European residents will get more privacy online and European businesses will face major fines for not protecting their clients and prospects privacy.
Mark Zuckerberg faced congressional committees in March over the Facebook user data getting out in the wild by their former partner Cambridge Analytics. At the time, Zuckerberg welcomed regulation. In Europe, however, he removed 1.5 billion users’ data from European to avoid the GDPR regulations for non-European users.
Some fancy footwork by Facebook saves the day for US advertisers.
Marketers may not know that they almost saw reduced ad options. If Facebook hadn’t been able to access all of its data on 1.5 billion international users outside of the U.S. and the E.U., advertisers may have seen major changes in their data availability and possibly on their marketing results beginning on May 25. As it is, they’ll likely see such changes with E.U. citizens.
You may find this strategy works for your company as well. Or you could just deliver GDPR-level privacy to all your customers and prospects. You can learn more about GDPR and how to get compliant in this timely article from Target Marketing.
GDPR regulators are going to want to know that the data brands have on private EU citizens came from those consumers opting in to become customers and selected their preferences regarding how they wanted their data to be used. Marketers will need to obtain this consent before using customer data. EU citizens also have a right to be erased from databases.
So lists are a huge caution.
“We marketers don’t own customer data — we borrow it,” Nance says. “Customers trust us with it and expect that we use it to provide them with personalized and relevant content that engages and delivers interesting products they may purchase. But one too many brands have exploited their customers’ data, selling email lists; opting customers in for dozens of email communications; and not providing safeguards for consumers to opt out. Simply put, companies should not be marketing to consumers who haven’t given them their consent.”
I encourage you to read the rest of this article even if all your customers and prospects are from the US. You may face similar regulation in the future.
The New York Times reported that these new regulations may actually strengthen Google and Facebook against future competitors. We’ll see.
Giovanni Buttarelli, the European data protection supervisor who was involved in the creation of privacy rules, said much of the impact would be determined by regulators who enact the law and who will be up against well-funded teams of lobbyists and lawyers. Google and Facebook will be overseen by the Irish data authority because their European headquarters are in Ireland. Mr. Buttarelli noted that Europe had staff of about 2,500 across all the countries working on the issue.
“That’s peanuts compared to the lobbyists in Brussels and Strasbourg,” he said, referring to the cities where the European Commission and Parliament operate.
He said large technology companies had advantages but would also be under a microscope. Enforcement of the law is skewed to companies that handle the most personal data.
“There are pros and cons to being a tech giant,” he said. “We want to treat small and medium-sized businesses differently.”
In this article by copywriting great John Forde, you’ll learn ten ways to minimize getting chargebacks from dissatisfied customers.
In early 1974, nobody wanted to use credit cards. And this, my friend, would have been a problem if it had never changed.
Mercifully, however, it did.
Today, we’ve got plastic galore. And lots of other ways to pay that are credit-card adjacent, like Apple Pay, Paypal, and so on.
It sure makes our jobs easier, yes? Anything, after all, that streamlines the sale can’t help but be good for selling.
What you might not know, though, is how you owe a lot of that good fortune – and today, a big problem – to a big change that arrived that very same year.
It’s called the “chargeback.”
This, in case you’re unaware, is the regulatory beast that lets customers contest charges by calling up their credit card company to say “I didn’t buy that.”
This was huge. Suddenly, all or most fear of deceptive merchants, surprise charges, and the rest evaporated… and the use of credit cards skyrocketed into the mainstream.
Here’s the thing…
Decades later, it’s gotten so easy to contest charges, it’s perhaps TOO easy. Even for merchants who try to run an honest business.
And yes, as a copywriter, it’s something you have to care about. Because in ways you’re about to see, you might be part of the problem. But you can also be part of the solution.
See, part of the reason chargebacks are a growing business problem is that they’re now so much easier to initiate.
Customers can go to their credit card website and click a button. It’s a kind of “lazy man’s refund” policy. No customer service to call. No question of when you’ll get charges reversed.
Just instant protection.
On the seller’s side, however, it’s no small thing. It’s not just the sale that gets canceled. There’s the risk of losing money on products you’ve already shipped. There’s also the risk of banking your business on sales you thought were completed.
And then this – you might actually lose your merchant account as punishment from the credit card company if your rate of chargebacks runs too high. And “high” is a pretty low percentage of overall sales, maybe 2% or so of orders.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Processing chargebacks involve fees. They might also involve lost shipping and handling costs. Plus, costs for restocking. On average, US merchants can get hit with about 206 chargebacks per month. And every $100 in chargebacks can eventually cost the merchant $240 total. Of course, it’s not so bad for some but worse for others.
So what’s that got to do with you, if you’re “only the copywriter?” It turns out, plenty. Check out this list below. It includes 10 possible ways to cut down chargebacks. And it could make you a hero with clients. Here we go…
1) MAKE YOURSELF “KNOWN” – According to the folks over at PayPal, one of the biggest reasons customers initiate a chargeback is because they just to recognize your company on the bill. Be very, very clear about who you are when you deliver your products or show up on the bill. Try creating a very descriptive URL that will show up on bills and in your welcome letter.
2) MAKE YOURSELF WELCOME – Speaking of welcome letters, have one. Have a series of them, in an auto-responder “here’s how to get started series. Try having a quick start-up report or CD or DVD or webpage full of welcome videos too. On high ticket items, try sending a snail mail welcome letter too. Plus, a gift that guilts them into sticking around. Or even a promise of a future gift, which they’ll get “when it’s ready.” That way, you also leverage anticipation.
3) FEATURES, NOT JUST BENEFITS – We all know that selling is about putting the benefits out front. But there’s one place you want to emphasize features — that is, what the customer will get, much more — and that’s in the close. Or at least, on the order form. Spell it explicitly, so nobody is confused or feels jilted by what they receive, both of which are also frequently the cause of credit card chargebacks.
4) BE VERY EASY TO REACH – How infuriating is it when you buy something, want to know about something you want to buy, or whatever… and the company you’re trying to reach makes has a “Contact Us” page that’s more impenetrable and unwelcoming than Fort Knox? Yes, exactly. So don’t be that client. And make sure your client isn’t that client either. Be easy to reach for questions, complaints, or comments. Contact forms, phone numbers, or — my favorite — live customer chat.
5) BE QUICK TO RESPOND – Speaking of customer service, there’s a story about how Jeff Bezos tested customer hold times on the phone. In a big meeting, he asked how fast those times were and an exec replied, with no proof, they were less than a minute. So Bezos dialed in to test the claim, using the conference room speakerphone. Four and a half agonizing minutes later, a customer service rep picked up. The exec resigned shortly after. Guess what customers do when they can’t get through. That’s right, they cancel orders.
6) CHECK THE WAY YOU TAKE CARDS – If your order form doesn’t ask for that little code on the back of the credit card, require it. And, per Forbes, review other ways to step up card authorization too. Adding the Visa Account Updater, for instance, will automatically update cardholder info and cut back on authorization declines. Asking for a delivery address can help, though that’s not going to make as much sense on a digitally delivered product.
7) NO HIDDEN CHARGES – It’s fine to charge a monthly fee. It’s fine to charge shipping and handling. It’s fine to charge service fees, restocking fees, and all the rest. Even if all of those might be slightly off-putting. Because you might find they just make for good business. However, it’s NOT fine if you’re not completely and actively upfront about those charges existing. As a copywriter, that goes for us too… hiding the charges will only come back to bite us in the end.
8) DON’T KEEP THEM WAITING – In the age of Amazon, FedEx, and even overnight postal packages, the days of “six to eight weeks” are pretty much over. If you or a client take someone’s money, make sure they get what they’ve ordered ASAP. Lots of chargebacks happen in that dead zone of “where the $@#%& is my order!”
9) MAKE PROMISES YOU INTEND TO KEEP – This is otherwise known as “sell good stuff” and sell it honestly. We all know, yes, that promise is the soul of persuasion. But here too, if you’re trying to promise the moon but only intend to deliver moon pies… you’ll eventually pay for that too. Unhappy customers cancel charges at a greater rate. They go tell friends to cancel them too.
What’s the number one way to avoid chargebacks? I personally know some folks who won’t like this last suggestion, because they balk at the idea of creating a nebulous future obligation, but…
10) OFFER REFUNDS AND GUARANTEES – Yep, this is highly controversial. Some say offer the biggest, most generous refund policy you can stomach. Others say that’s reckless, like creating a black cloud of future obligations and uncertainty. But in the end, guarantees do easy buyer anxiety. And well-written, they can protect the customer’s butt too.
This last one, of course, is worthy of in-depth coverage all its own. Maybe in a future issue. Maybe even in the next issue. We’ll see, until then, see you next week!
P.S. There are so many other anti-chargeback tips I could mention. But let’s just go with a link like this one:
52 Tips to Reduce Chargebacks from the Experts | Soarpay.com
For more copywriting and business advice (and get $78 in free gifts), sign up for John Forde’s Copywriters Roundtable. http://copywritersroundtable.com
Should you continue to advertise on Facebook? It depends. Who it your target market? If you target teenagers and young adults, Facebook is losing your market according to a recent survey.
Less-cool Facebook losing youth at fast pace: survey
With mom, dad and grandma signing up in increasing numbers, Facebook is losing younger users in the United States at a faster pace than previously estimated, researchers said Monday.
A report by eMarketer said Snapchat is drawing youths away from Facebook at a quicker clip than Facebook-owned Instagram.
Facebook is still growing in the US market, according to research firm, mainly due to increases in usage by older age groups.
The report is the latest to highlight Facebook’s problem with attracting and keeping young people, who have long been a core user base for the world’s biggest social network.
The research firm said it expected the first-ever decline in the 18-24 age group in the US, a drop of 5.8 percent this year.
It also said that for the first time since its research began, less than half of the 12-17 age group in the United States would be on Facebook, with a 5.6 percent drop in that segment.
The under-12 age group meanwhile will see a decline of 9.3 percent this year, eMarketer said.
The same trend is expected to continue into 2019 and 2020, with declines in all segments of US users under 25, the report added.
Fewer teens means Facebook may focus on making Facebook more relevant to adults. We’ll see about that. Facebook is also getting pushback from advertisers according to this article in The Wall Street Journal:
Unilever Threatens to Reduce Ad Spending on Tech Platforms That Don’t Combat Divisive Content
Unilever UL +1.66% PLC is threatening to pull back its advertising from popular tech platforms, including YouTube and Facebook Inc., if they don’t do more to combat the spread of fake news, hate speech and divisive content.
“Unilever will not invest in platforms or environments that do not protect our children or which create division in society, and promote anger or hate,” Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed is expected to say Monday during the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting in Palm Desert, Calif.
“We will prioritize investing only in responsible platforms that are committed to creating a positive impact in society,” he will say, according to prepared remarks.
Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, is leveraging its spending power to push the digital media industry to weed out content that funds terrorism, exploits children, spreads false news or supports racist and sexist views. The consumer-products giant spent more than $9 billion marketing its brands such as Lipton, Dove and Knorr last year, according to the company’s annual report.
Companies have to be very careful to protect their brands from being associated with divisive news and groups.
Mr. Weed said that advertisers need to be outspoken about issues on tech platforms, since they are almost entirely supported by billions of ad dollars.
“One can start by not putting ads on content we do not want to encourage,” he said.
At the same time companies need to monitor the return on investment for all all advertising media. If something is not working, advertising dollars should be spent elsewhere. Because Facebook is free to users, it must please advertisers such as Unilever.
“We fully support Unilever’s commitments and are working closely with them,” said a spokeswoman for Facebook.
Yet how can Facebook do this and remain “neutral” source of news? Facebook is finding out that it cannot according to this article from Wired.com.
Inside the Two Years that Shook Facebook—and the World
How a confused, defensive social media giant steered itself into a disaster, and how Mark Zuckerberg is trying to fix it all.
This is the story of those two years, as they played out inside and around the company. WIRED spoke with 51 current or former Facebook employees for this article, many of whom did not want their names used, for reasons anyone familiar with the story of Fearnow and Villarreal would surely understand. (One current employee asked that a WIRED reporter turn off his phone so the company would have a harder time tracking whether it had been near the phones of anyone from Facebook.)
The stories varied, but most people told the same basic tale: of a company, and a CEO, whose techno-optimism has been crushed as they’ve learned the myriad ways their platform can be used for ill. Of an election that shocked Facebook, even as its fallout put the company under siege. Of a series of external threats, defensive internal calculations, and false starts that delayed Facebook’s reckoning with its impact on global affairs and its users’ minds. And—in the tale’s final chapters—of the company’s earnest attempt to redeem itself.
In that saga, Fearnow plays one of those obscure but crucial roles that history occasionally hands out. He’s the Franz Ferdinand of Facebook—or maybe he’s more like the archduke’s hapless young assassin. Either way, in the rolling disaster that has enveloped Facebook since early 2016, Fearnow’s leaks probably ought to go down as the screenshots heard round the world.
You can read this long article if you’re interested. You’ll learn how huge, successful companies have to deal with major problems just like small businesses. Small businesses have the advantage of solving most problems out of the limelight. And without billions of dollars in the bank. I get that too.
The key takeaway here is that you need to own your main digital advertising platform. That is your website. You own it and control it. You also own your email list which you can email as often as you like at next to no cost. You “rent” your platform at Facebook and your “landlord” can raise the “rent” and change your “lease” at any time. Use it while it works for you but be ready to drop it when it doesn’t.
I’ve learned so much from Bob Bly over the years. When I was just starting out as a copywriter and marketing consultant, one of his most helpful products was “The Copywriter’s Toolkit.” I learned how to submit copy from studying this work and his class book, The Copywriter’s Handbook.
Every print ad has two main components. First, there is the layout and images of the ad which is created by the graphic designer. Second, there are the words used in the headline, body, and call to action of the ad.
Bob Bly describes how he submits his copy copy in his article below. In my case, I write the copy and submit it to my graphic designer who happens to be my wife Kathleen. In your case, you might write up an ad and then submit it to the graphic design department of your local paper, magazine, or even the Yellow Pages. By submitting your copy, i.e. words, this way, you’ll help the graphic designer and create a better ad with fewer changes.
Bob ends his letter with an offer for one of his ebooks. I get no affiliate commission for this. I help you learn more about marketing and hopefully Bob will get some sales of this great product.
Dear Direct Response Letter Subscriber:
Subscriber BM writes:
“Bob, can I ask a dumb logistical question? How exactly do you submit your copy? And in what form? In a word Doc? PDF?
“Do you format the copy exactly as you envision it, down to the headline font and size? And what about images and charts and
things like Johnson boxes?
“Do you dictate how things look graphically or just submit the raw text for everything? Just curious about that.”
So let me briefly provide the straightforward answers to these questions, which are anything BUT dumb:
1–I submit copy to clients as a word file, single-spaced, sent via an email attachment.
2–The body copy is in 12-point Times Roman. Headlines are 14-point Arial bold. Subheads are 12-point Arial.
3–If there are graphics, I cut and paste the image into my Word document directly from the source material (e.g., Powerpoints, white paper PDF documents, websites) whenever possible, with the source referenced in a footnote.
4–If the source material is copyrighted content owned by my client, I assume they can use the visuals as is.
5–If the source is copyrighted material belonging to someone else, I still cut and paste it with a footnote into my document, but alert the client that they must either obtain written permission to use it or redraw it so as not to violate copyright.
6–I often include in the Word document for my copy some “copywriter’s roughs” — crude layouts, drawn in Microsoft Word. Note: I have collected my layout templates in a kit you can buy; see my PS below for details.
7–I clearly indicate what is a headline, subhead, or body copy; provide images for guidance; and either give layout instructions in text [in square brackets] — or using my copywriter’s roughs (see #6 above).
But, I do NOT “dictate how things look graphically,” format the copy in final form, or do a finished graphic design or layout of any kind.
Instead, I provide sufficient “art direction” (layout suggestions) so that the graphic designer can produce a finished layout that will work in print or online.
I will also, at no charge, review the layout, often several times, as it is being developed by the graphic designer and made final by them and the client.
But I do not try to tell the graphic designers how to do a job for which they are better skilled and suited than I am.
P.S. For more information on how you can get a collection of ready-to-use graphics templates for promotional layouts — everything from sales letters and postcards, to ads and landing pages — or to use it risk-free for 90 days — click here now:
Copywriter / Consultant
31 Cheyenne Dr.
Montville, NJ 07045
Normally marketing is not rocket science. John E. Kennedy defined advertising as “salesmanship in print,” not rocketship in space.
However, Elon Musk used the test launch of SpaceX heavy launch rocket to promote one of his other companies, Tesla. The payload of this “half a billion dollar” experiment was his cherry red Tesla roadster. Elon Musk and Tesla gots tens of millions of dollars of free advertising yesterday. This was in addition to the free advertising received by SpaceX. Of course, the rocket could have blown up on the launch pad or in the sky. Yet it didn’t so we all witnessed a technological and marketing home run yesterday.
You can read about this heavy lift rocket here:
Did you notice the unique selling proposition (USP) for the rocket?
The World’s Most Powerful Rocket
Now click the SpaceX logo in the upper left to go to the home page. Watch the slider and you’ll SpaceX’ company USP:
Making Life Multiplanetary
The company describes itself this way:
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft
No one can accuse Elon Musk as lacking vision either:
“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great – and that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.”
— Elon Musk, CEO and Lead Designer, SpaceX
In case you missed it, here is the launch of this amazing rocketship. Enjoy.
Walmart changed its name from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. to Walmart Inc. I read about it on Walmart’s blog. Yes, Walmart has a blog. Does your business have a blog?
In the old days, you could divide companies between online and bricks and mortar businesses. E-commerce meant a company sold products and services online from their website or a platform like Ebay or Amazon. Bricks and mortar businesses sold from a physical location. Today, Amazon owns Whole Foods and rumors abound about Amazon buying Target Stores next.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
Notice that Walmart dropped the comma before Inc. Same as Apple when it changed its name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple Inc.
Most of us, and I’d guess all our customers, refer to our company as Walmart and still will. Changing our corporate name from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., to Walmart Inc. is just a symbol of how customers are shopping us today and how they’ll increasingly shop us in the future. Whether it’s in our stores, on our sites, with our apps, by using their voice or whatever comes next, there is just one Walmart as far as our customers are concerned. When they shop with us, they expect it to be an easy and seamless experience.
Good move to include Sam Walton in this announcement. I wonder who came up with the idea of adding the dash.
Changing our corporate name to Walmart is a way of better reflecting our company’s path to win the future of retail. It’s also a bit about returning to the company’s roots. You might be surprised to learn that, when Sam Walton opened the first store in 1962, the name on the front of the building was simply, “Walmart.” A few years later, we incorporated as Wal-Mart, Inc., and amended the name to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., when we went public in 1970.
Walmart is a huge organization. Imagine the amount of work required to change the name of the company.
We began with great stores and steadily expanded to include clubs and distribution centers. In 1991, we became a global retailer when we opened our first international location in Mexico City, and we launched Walmart.com in 2000. Today we operate under almost 60 different banners around the world, including eCommerce sites, and have more than 11,600 stores and clubs in 28 countries.
Like every blog which allows comments, you can leave positive and negative comments on Walmart’s blog. You can read them and the rest of the article here:
The online and offline worlds are coming together for Walmart for the benefit of its customers and shareholders. Their name change signifies a game change happening across the economy. All businesses will be affected over time including yours. This is the new normal for commerce. Get started now before your clients expect it.
On January 15, 2008, Steve Jobs announced the MacBook Air computer to an enthusiastic crowd. He described the MBA as “The world’s thinnest notebook. MacBook Air.” Along with taking away weight and thickness, the computer also did away with an optical drive and many ports. Apple looked ahead to a wireless world which people looked to the cloud for software, movies, music, and file storage.
Watch this advertisement from 2008 which introduced the world to the MacBook Air.
Later, Apple added an 11.6″ MacBook Air with faster processors, more RAM, and bigger SSD drives. I am typing on mine now. I rarely use the screen or keyboard because I use a 32″ external monitor and wireless keyboard and trackpad. Yet I can carry this mini-powerhouse computer between home office and work office and take everything with me.
I recently found some old briefcases in my garage which I’d used to carry my laptop computers over the past 25 years. They are HUGE and heavier than my MacBook Air today. I donated them to my local gospel rescue mission. Someone will find a use for them. And one more thing…
Happy Birthday MacBook Air!
You can learn a lot about how to turn negatives, i.e. no optical disk, into positives by watching Steve Job’s MacBook Air product announcement presentation. He always worked very hard on his presentations to make them appear effortless and be very conversational. In this one, he set the stage by saying nice things about Sony’s current notebook yet saying that Apple can do better. He told why it’s better and then he proved it.
You can read more about this revolutionary computer at MacRumors.com.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the late Steve Jobs unveiling the MacBook Air, the world’s thinnest notebook at the time.
After introducing the AirPort Time Capsule and sharing some iPhone and Apple TV news, Jobs walked over to his podium, grabbed a manilla envelope, and pulled out the sleek MacBook Air. The crowd at Macworld erupted with applause as Jobs held the ultra-light notebook in the palm of his hand.
The thinness came at a cost. The base model ran $1,799 for a 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM, and an 80GB hard drive. A maxed out version was also available for $3,098, around $300 more than the base Mac Pro at the time, with a faster 1.8GHz processor and a 64GB solid-state drive.
Go to MacRumors to read the rest of this article.
In the beginning, online newsites and bloggers could earn revenue with banner ads. Banner ads later became GIF images which could be annimated. Then users began using ad blocker plugins to make ads disappear. Advertisers began tracking users across the internet. Privacy was lost, bandwidth usage went up and broswer performance declined. Now browsers make it easy for users to “just say no” to digital advertising.
The latest data shows Apple’s Safari has begun to hurt digital advertisers in a big way. This would be a big problem if Safari only ran on Macs. Unfortunately for advertisers, Safari is the default browser for iPhones and iPads. Read this from MacRumor.com:
Internet ad firms are losing out on “hundreds of millions of dollars” following the implementation of anti-tracking features introduced to Safari with iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, reports The Guardian.
One of the largest advertising firms, Criteo, announced in December that Intelligent Tracking Prevention could have a 22 percent net negative impact on its 2018 revenue projections. Other advertising firms could see similar losses, according to Dennis Buchheim of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
“We expect a range of companies are facing similar negative impacts from Apple’s Safari tracking changes. Moreover, we anticipate that Apple will retain ITP and evolve it over time as they see fit,” Buchheim told the Guardian.Intelligent Tracking Prevention techniques were introduced in iOS 11 and in Safari 11 in macOS High Sierra 10.13, both of which were released back in September. Intelligent Tracking Prevention is designed to stop companies from invasively tracking customer web browsing habits across websites. Intelligent Tracking Prevention does not block ads — it simply prevents websites from being able to track users’ browsing habits without their permission.
Shortly after the launch of the two new operating systems, advertising groups asked Apple to “rethink” its position and its decision to block cross-site tracking, arguing that Apple would “sabotage the economic model for the internet.”
An open letter signed by the Data and Marketing Association and the Network Advertising Initiative said the collective digital advertising community was “deeply concerned” because Apple’s cross-site tracking prevention is “bad for consumer choice.” “Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful,” read the letter.
In response, Apple defended cross-site tracking and said its customers “have a right to privacy.” From Apple in September:
Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history. This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the Internet. The new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature detects and eliminates cookies and other data used for this cross-site tracking, which means it helps keep a person’s browsing private.There was initially an Intelligent Tracking Prevention workaround that companies like Criteo were using following the launch of iOS 11, but as mentioned in Criteo’s announcement, Apple closed that loophole with the introduction of iOS 11.2.
This war isn’t over yet but it doesn’t look good for digital advertisers. You can read the rest of this article here.
Do you have a contrarian mindset? Do you question the notion that if “everyone’s doing it” than it must be okay? Do you spend money on Google AdWords?
If you answered “Yes” to these three questions than maybe, just maybe, you’ll reduce or eliminate your AdWords advertising.
Many business owners keep advertising the way they always have. They have no idea whether the advertising is still working. Take Yellow Pages as an example. Please, take my yellow pages away now because the font is too small and interest searches are so fast.
Plumbers and lawyers may still get new clients from Yellow Pages. For most people it’s just autopilot and they don’t think about it until the yellow pages rep calls them up to renew for the following year. Then it’s a one year to commitment to renew or not to renew.
Google AdWords have been a goldmine since being introduced by Google in 2000. A goldmine for Google and for millions of businesses as well. Is this still true?
As Fred Gleeck says, “data ends discussion.” The following article questions the necessity of AdWords to bring traffic to their businesses and make online sales. To summarize, a few large companies cut online advertising and it didn’t affect sales growth.
Category 1 storm clouds are gathering over what has traditionally been one of the most lucrative, and perhaps only profitable, sectors to come out of Silicon Valley in decades: online advertising.
Two months ago, it was P&G which fired the first shot across the “adtech” bow when not long after it announced it was slashing its digital ad spending because it thought it was not getting the kind of return on investment it desired, it made a striking discovery: “We didn’t see a reduction in the growth rate.” CFO Jon Moeller said “What that tells me is that that spending that we cut was largely ineffective.”
Proctor & Gamble thinks that “bots” were clicking on their Facebook ads rather than human beings who actually buy products.
The advertising system has become so automated that companies pay for advertising on fake news websites with fake traffic.
A separate, if just as concerning problem emerged last month, when the WSJ reported that online ad giant, Google, would issue refunds to advertisers for ads bought through its platform that ran on sites with fake traffic, and generated no actionable advertising “clicks.” Just how much of Google’s ad revenue (and thus profits and market cap) had been inflated over the years by said “fake ads”?
The article quoted the CEO of Restoration Hardware who discovered where most of their clicks were coming from.
So fast forward to last week, when during Thursday’s Global Retailing Conference organized by Goldman Sachs, Restoration Hardware delightfully colorful CEO, Gary Friedman, divulged the following striking anecdote about the company’s online marketing strategy, and the state of online ad spending in general (courtesy of @parsimony16). What Friedman revealed – in brief – was the following: “we’ve found out that 98% of our business was coming from 22 words. So, wait, we’re buying 3,200 words and 98% of the business is coming from 22 words. What are the 22 words? And they said, well, it’s the word Restoration Hardware and the 21 ways to spell it wrong, okay?”
Stated simply, the vast, vast majority of online ad spending is wasted, chasing clicks that simply are not there.
Let me spell this out for you. Restoration Hardware was buying AdWords for 3,200 keywords. These are words which prospects might enter into search engines. Paying for 3,200 keywords on AdWords would cost a lot of money. Yet the top keyword was the name of the business, “Restoration Hardware.” The rest of the top 22 were misspellings of “Restoration Hardware.” Let me make up a few for you as….
I had to work hard to keep my spellchecker from correcting my typos. I copied the last one into the Google search box and “Restoration Hardware” appeared as the top entry. I doubt that Restoration Hardware paid for this placement. Google became the #1 search engine because it overcame spelling mistakes to deliver search results based on what you want to get. Regardless of your ability to spell.
One wonders how long before all retailers – most of whom are notoriously strapped for revenues and profits courtesy of Amazon – and other “power users” of online advertising, do a similar back of the envelope analysis, and find that they, like RH, are getting a bang for only 2% of their buck? What will happen to online ad spending then?
A drop in online advertising should be a big concern for Google and Facebook. It is not your concern. You should be concerned on spending money on advertising which will pay for itself by bringing in new and existing clients. You need to do what is in your best interest.
You should have no doubt that Google will do what’s in its best interest. Such as using direct mail to get new clients for Google AdWords. Yesterday, I received a direct mail offer from Google AdWords customized for my company:
Right now, people are looking for businesses just like yours.
Make sure Reality Marketing LLC shows up on Google the moment potential customers search for what you have to offer-whiter they’re at home or out on the go. Learn how Google can help.
If people are looking for me, they will search for “Richard Emmons” and they will find me one way or another. I don’t plan to spend money on AdWords on these keywords:
You can use AdWords wisely to help people who are looking for your products and services. This can make you money. Just be sure to send your clicks to special landing pages or special offers so you can calculate whether the ads are working or not.
In this article by author and master marketer Bob Bly, you’ll learn about how you can convert your specialized business knowledge into a side income. I have learned a lot from Bob Bly over the years and hope you make him one of your “virtual mentors.”
There’s a lot of money in teaching the business, tasks, and skills you have mastered … and the information you have researched, learned, and produced … to others who seek them.
Collectively this is the knowledge business, or as I like to call it, “the college of knowledge” — packaging your knowledge as products and services to sell for a price.
Including: ebooks … newsletters … special reports … books … online courses … webinars … seminars … college courses … conferences … boot camps … coaching … consulting … DVDs … audio CD albums … training … membership sites … Facebook groups … the list goes on and on.
So, how is it that a “knowledge business” even exists? What makes it possible?
The key to it all a simple principle George Clason wrote about in his book The Richest Man in Babylon:
“That which one man knows can be taught to others.”
That’s the premise — proven since the dawn of humankind — on which today’s knowledge business is based.
Now, some who want to get into the knowledge business protest, “But I am just ordinary; I don’t know anything others will pay for.”
This is almost never the case.
As my colleague Dr. Gary North warns: “The great mistake of most small business people is to imagine that their detailed knowledge of their niche market is widely dispersed.
“On the contrary, hardly anyone knows it. They are owners of a capital asset that others do not possess and have no easy way of possessing it.”
And will therefore pay handsomely to obtain.
Another objection I hear is: “Well, I know something about topic X. But I am not the world’s leading expert. So how can I presume to teach others?”
Info marketing guru Fred Gleeck astutely notes:
“You don’t have to know more about your topic than anyone else in the world. You just have to know more than 90% of the people in the world.”
And either you do now … or can get to that level with some work on your part.
Widely quoted research shows it only takes 1,000 hours to be competent at something. And it requires 10,000 hours of practice and study to become a master of it.
Also, if you know the subject and how to teach it to others, you are a better source of knowledge transfer than other experts who perhaps know more than you — but are lousy teachers, as so many are.
The next objection is: “There is so much information available for free on my topic already on the internet, why would anyone pay me for the same information they can already get on the web at no cost?”
Here’s the thing: What is widely available online is just data and information.
But in the knowledge business, we don’t merely sell data and information … although, both are usually part of our offerings.
What sets us apart is that our paid info products and services provide:
Data we have collected through long effort that others in fact do not have.Deep knowledge gleaned from our data and long experience.
Analysis of the data and knowledge to show what it means and how our customers can benefit from it.
Actionable ideas tested and proven to enable those using them to achieve the desired results.
Wisdom to understand what will work in a field, what won’t, and to consistently know the difference.
In other words, mere data and information are often free for the asking.
But actionable ideas on how people can use it for their gain are in short supply … and again, people will pay you handsomely to get this knowledge.
One more fact about the knowledge business:
If you gain a wide base and become a recognized authority in your field, people will pay a premium for your knowledge.
If you don’t, they are less likely to do so.
Also, it doesn’t take a huge audience to make a good living in the knowledge business.
If you build a list of just 10,000 fans and each spends only $100 a year with you, your gross annual income is a million dollars.
Not too shabby.
Copywriter / Consultant
31 Cheyenne Dr.
Montville, NJ 07045