Weekly Roundup #32 – Online Influencers, Email Outreach and Ad Fraud

It’s that time of the week again! Every Monday we share with you the latest news and digital marketing resources in a nice neat roundup so you don’t have to do the leg work. Last Monday we told you about AmazonFresh and how it’ll soon be taking over, the brand new social media platform GigRev, and we even discussed by SEO has such a bad reputation. If you missed it, fear not, you can read it here.  In the mean time, here’s your latest instalment. 

Online Influencers Given New Guidelines for Branded Content

Research revealed earlier this month that unsurprisingly marketers are more likely to use influencers such as beauty blogger Zoella rather than traditional celebrity endorsement. With this in mind, the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network has published three new sets of guidelines on endorsements and online reviews.

“Digital influencers” must be guided by three key principles:

  • – Disclose clearly and prominently whether content has been paid for;
  • – Give genuine views on markets, goods or services or businesses;
  • – Be open about other commercial relationships might be relevant to the content.

In separate guidelines, there’s focus on the clear instruction not to “write, commission or publish fake reviews”. This means employers must not instruct employees to write positive reviews on their business or negative reviews on rivals. The guidelines strive to make a more transparent environment for influencer reviews.

We decided to see what consumers thought about sponsored content and “freebies”. We found a reddit thread where users discuss the importance of bloggers “selling out” for free items:


“I wanna see a regular joe and what they spend their money on and how it goes with the rest of their stuff rather than see pics where they style a bunch of free items. It’s like well yeah if I got free clothes all the time I prob wouldn’t need to read a fashion blog…”


While another user sees both sides of the story:


“I do think it should be emphasised that the readers are somewhat of a “customer” in this case since they are the ones who generate the “marketability” of the blogger. So I do think their opinions shouldn’t be taken as gospel but should be heard and considered.”


If readers are starting to know their real place as “customers” and not “readers”, is blogging going in a bad direction? Looks like these guidelines have come just in time.



Twitter Hopes to Assure Marketers That Its Network Clicks Are Real

twitter ad fraud

Source: Ads.Twitter


Advertisers are estimated to lose over $7bn this year from being scammed by false impressions on ads. Now Twitter is one of the first online media owners to make efforts to tackle the issue. Twitter’s ad exchange MoPub has joined with anti-fraud company Forensiq in an effort to reassure advertisers that clicks on its mobile ad exchange are legit – generated by human beings and not robots.

The Drum reports that Twitter hopes to improve the “supply quality” across over 45,000 mobile apps and over 450 billion monthly ad requests across the marketplace. The partnership means advertisers can confidentially invest in Twitter’s ad tech. Hannah Beanland, Director of Technical Operations at Forensiq, explains some of the calling cards of ad fraud. For example, “if a bid on an ad impression takes place on a different IP address as the eventual conversion, then this would warrant additional inspection”.

She continues: “Ad fraud is becoming increasingly prevalent in the mobile app space.” A study by the Association of National Advertisers, titled “Sourced Traffic: Buyer Beware” revealed that only 61% of advertisers are either “slightly familiar” or “not familiar at all” with where their traffic is sourced. This is a key reason to advertisers losing over $7bn to fraudsters this year.

Monitor where your traffic comes from.

UK Consumers Prefer Email Brand Outreach

email marketing

Source: J Crew


With ad-blocking taking over the internet, digital advertising is under the microscope. Research from Adobe from July 2015 states that brands looking to connect with customers in the UK should consider using email. Sixty-three percent of office workers who own a smartphone in the UK prefer to be contacted by brands in this way, and only 6% by social media and 5% by mobile apps.

Email is a very common among UK consumers according to Ipsos Mori research from April 2015, in fact it was the most common activity with 79% of respondents saying they’d used email in the last three months. This should come as no surprise considering email is becoming an increasingly mobile activity. 71% of total email opens in the UK during Q1 of last year took place on mobile devices. Consumers are happiest to be reached in this way as in becomes a bigger part of their lives daily – so make sure those emails are on point.



How Much Time Do Shoppers Spend on Retail Sites?

Shoppers appear to have spent slightly more time visiting retail sites via their desktop or laptop device in Q1 of this year compared to last, but have been proven to spend less time on them when using their mobile devices. Research from Demandware, representing activity on its network from over 400 million shoppers, states that the average retail eCommerce site visit worldwide has increased from 8.8 minutes to 9.4 when shoppers accessed it via laptop or desktop devices.

In select countries across the board, this number increased. For example, the average visit in Canada was 10 minutes this year compared to 8.2 minutes last year. Similarly, In France, customers who accessed a retail eCommerce site from their laptop spent an average of 7.9 minutes last Q1 of 2015 and 8.7 minutes this year.

Shoppers jumping onto eCommerce using their tablet are also spending more time online. Last year shoppers were spending an average of 9.5 minutes on websites and this has increased to 9.9 minutes in 2016. As you’d predict, people who’re accessing via mobile are spending less time online than last year. Worldwide in Q1 of 2015, shoppers were spending on average 8.2 minutes browsing on their mobile device which has decreased to 7.5 minutes this year.



Mobile Remains Top for Email Opens UK

According to research by Movable Ink, which monitored activity on its platform, 71% of the total email opens in the UK during Q1 of 2015 took place on mobile. Smartphones are the largest share of the pie, sitting at 42%. Apple devices dominate both mobile categories, with iPhones being responsible for more than a third of all email opens, and iPads nearly 30%. Android’s overall share was below 9%.

Smartphones might be in the lead with email opens but they don’t dominate when it comes to conversion. According to the research, desktops maintain in the lead, with 40% of all UK email marketing conversions taking place on such devices in Q1 of 2015. Tablets got pretty close at 37%, but smartphones trailed behind by 12%.

A poll by Aimia back in November 2014 revealed that 56% of UK internet users cited email as the marketing channel they were most likely to notice. But if marketers want readers to get beyond opening the email, they need to put their message at the front and centre. Movable Ink states that with the exception of Kindle Fire, the majority of marketing emails are only read for 15 seconds or less on each device. Android users are said to be more patient than users on Windows Phone, IOS devices and even desktop.



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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.