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12 Holiday PPC Optimization Tips



This year is coming to an end and we are almost through the holiday season. Here are some holiday PPC optimization tips you can make in your account right now. Some of these tips will help you reduce wasteful spending and improve ROAS.


It was not too long ago that Google expanded their keyword close variant matching. Microsoft Ads has also expanded its close variant matching. The search engines did this to help you show up in more searches. This also affects However, by that very design, it is a good idea to review your search query report (SQRs) weekly or bi-monthly at the minimum. You can also create a shared negative list to that can be applied to all accounts in all engines. Do not forget to check your Brand search queries too.

Tip: It is a good idea to look for keywords that frequently show up in phrases to identify the term that should be excluded.


If you are only targeting the United States in your campaigns, you could be missing out on some quick ways to optimize by locations. Sometimes we forget to drill down into the locations and identify areas of opportunity to reduce wasteful spending. In one campaign, we can see Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia have lower conversions rates and higher cost-per-lead (CPL). Bidding on all states will allow you to apply negative modifiers to these locations to reduce spend in these areas. You can also apply positive modifiers to the top locations Texas, New York, and Illinois.

You can also create and save a filter that will help you easily find locations with no conversions, higher CPLs, or low ROAS. In the future, these filters will help you quickly find areas with poor performance to apply negative modifiers.

Tip: Check your user location report to see if you are showing in other countries. If you are using the advanced location settings to target ‘People in or regularly in your targeted locations’, then you may want to add some location exclusions to reduce wasteful spending.

Ad Schedule

Depending on the account, there are sometimes specific days that do not convert as well as other days. In this account, we typically find that weekends do not typically have the best conversion performance. Since these days show decent conversion volume and conversions rates, I was a little more conservative with the negative bid modifiers at -15%.

If your campaign has enough volume, you could review the hours of the day performance. For example, in this account, we see that performance is not as good on Tuesday and Wednesday, but performance improves between Friday – Sunday. Reducing bids on hours of the day that are not performing well is a great way to reduce wasteful spending.

Tip: You can be more aggressive with negative bids, but it may be a good idea to be conservative with your positive modifiers.

Keywords Bids/Keyword Expansion

During the holidays, there can be fluctuations in the competitive landscape that may affect your Search Impression Share (Search IS). Check your top-performing keywords to ensure you are not losing out on Search IS due to rank. Additionally, are there keywords that have been converting well in your search query report that you could potentially add to your account? You can also review your top-performing keywords in your Shopping campaigns to find keyword expansion opportunities.

Bid Caps

If you are using any automated bid strategies in your account, it is a good idea to add bid caps to control spend. You can set-up max bid limits for Target CPA, Target ROAS, and Maximize Clicks bid strategies. You cannot set bid limits for Maximize Conversions, so keep an eye on these campaigns. In one account, they were using the Maximize Clicks bid strategy prior to onboarding with Hanapin and they did not have max bid limits set. The cost-per-click was as high as $45 per click for extremely long-tail keyword phrases. The campaign average CPC was $2.54, but there was no reason for them to have paid this much per click unless they are a lawyer.

Promotion Extensions

Do you have a promotion available on your website? If so, you can add a promotion extension to your account to let your searchers know about this offer. In one account, there was an 80% increase in revenue during the promotion compared to the previous time frame.

If you add promotion extensions, don’t forget to set the displayed promotion dates and the dates when the promotion should be eligible to run. It may not be a good idea to show your promotion until the promotion is active. Showing a future promotion may cause searchers to postpone ordering until the date of the sale. The promotion schedule can be found under advanced options.

Ad Copy

Is your current ad copy relevant? Have you made any changes to your website that need to be updated in your ad? You may have ad copy with outdated messaging that is no longer the same as your website. Did you update the prices on your website and this change is not reflected in your ad copy? Do you have more than one ad per ad group in the account? It also can be a good idea to add Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) to your top ad groups. It is a good idea to check on the performance of the RSAs, in some accounts, the CPL ended up being lower and in others, it was much higher.

Placement/App Exclusions

If you are running any campaigns in Display, it is a good idea to regularly perform a placement analysis. Create a filter to find underperforming placements and apps to exclude from the campaign. If you have placements with mobileapp::mobileapp::2 these are apps. You cannot exclude these at placement level, but you should be able to exclude the app category if these apps have poor performance.

Demographic Bids

Another quick way to save some money is to review your demographic performance. Are there any age groups that are not performing well in the account? Does one gender perform better than another? Are there clear differences in household income level performance? In one account, we can see that males have a much higher CPL than females and unknown. Adding negative modifiers to males can help reduce the campaign CPL.

Device Bids

You can also check out your device performance to determine if there are any opportunities. In one account, we recently added click-to-call tracking and our conversion volume improved by 30%. Now our mobile CPL is significantly lower than desktop for one campaign. Our previous +20% bids on desktop are no longer necessary and can be removed since it has the highest CPL at $85 compared to mobile at $58.

Audience Targeting

If you have not added audiences to your campaigns, this something worth testing in your account. Recently, we added the Homeowners In-Market audience to one account. This has quickly become one of the top audiences with the most conversions and a ROAS of 430%. The All Visitors and Similar to All Visitors have a higher ROAS. To improve performance, we have increased the Homeowners to 25% and left the other bid adjustments the same.

Ad Extensions

Another quick win is to make sure you have included all available ad extensions in your account. You should have at least 4 sitelink extensions at account-level or per campaign. Do you have structured snippets and call out extensions in your account? If you have a physical store location do you have location extensions in your account? If phone calls are important you will want to have Call Extensions in your account.

Hopefully all of these tips can help you make some optimizations that can improve your ROAS or reduce wasteful spending. If you are looking for some other tips you can check out this whitepaper about the newest ad features to try in your account.  You can also check out some PPC un-resolutions for next year.


Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions



Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

Through deals and coupons, Instacart has saved consumers more than $700 million in 2022. As we dive into 2023, the leading grocery technology company in North America has big plans to help consumers save even more while also helping CPGs generate sales. Instacart recently announced an advertising solution that helps both sellers and consumers called Instacart Promotions. This exciting feature is designed to help drive conversions, boost sales, and generate overall engagement on the app.

Interested in this feature and how it can help your business on Instacart? Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about this ad solution including benefits, how to get started, and more.


What are Instacart Promotions?


Instacart Promotions is an advertising feature that’s now available to all brand partners, including emerging brands, within their open beta program. Promotions give CPGs the opportunity to offer new deal structures, promotions, and incentives with Instacart Ad campaigns. With this feature in place, consumers will have access to more promotions, coupons, and deals that are tailored to them within the Instacart Marketplace.

“With the launch of our new Instacart Promotions, all of our brand partners now have the ability to set up coupons and promotions that can drive meaningful business results while also passing on more savings opportunities to consumers. We’re proud to continue expanding our portfolio with additional self-service capabilities, ad formats that drive results, and measurement that brands need to understand the true impact of their campaigns on Instacart.”


– Ali Miller, VP of Ads Product at Instacart


Source: Instacart


How Do Instacart Promotions Work?


Promotions, now available in Ads Manager, gives consumers the ability to discover more promotions and savings opportunities within the Instacart app. These promotions now show up directly on product item cards before checkout for easy accessibility. Promotions allow advertisers to customize their campaigns to sync with their goals and objectives whether that be driving sales, building baskets, or boosting trials.

Instacart shared a recent example of a brand successfully utilizing Promotions… 

Athletic Brewing, General Mills, Sola Company, and Wells Enterprises (maker of Halo Top) are strengthening campaign performance by pairing Instacart Promotions with ad formats such as Sponsored Product and Display. Instacart Promotions include two new flexible and customizable structures: Coupons (“buy X units, save $Y”) and Stock Up & Save (“Spend $X, Save $Y”). 

According to Instacart, in the coming months, the company “will work to further enhance the new offering with new deal structures such as Free Gifts and Buy One, Get One (“BOGO”). The new deal structures will help brand partners run “Free Sample” programs that can win new customers and serve personalized discounts for different customer segments, such as “new to brand” and “new to category.”  


Example of Instacart Promotions

Source: Instacart


Instacart Promotions Benefits


Deliver Value and Savings to Consumers


With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to deliver value and savings that will have consumers coming back for more. With this savings feature, your brand can stand out among the competition and offer a variety of deals to shoppers ie: “Buy X units, Save $Y”.


Hot tip: Ensure you are selecting products for your promotion that are well-stocked and widely available.  


Tailor Your Campaigns to Specific Objectives


With a variety of savings options available, your brand can structure deals to fit specific business goals and objectives. 


Hot tip: If you’re looking to drive visibility and awareness, try pairing promotions with Sponsored Product campaigns. 


Access Real-Time Performance Insights 


The Promotions beta program is live and can be accessed within Instacart Ads Manager. Within Ads Manager, advertisers can access real-time insights to maximize performance and adjust campaigns as needed.


Hot tip: Make sure your budget matches your discount and objectives.


“As an advertiser, Instacart’s unique offering to self-manage promotions is so exciting! Historically, making adjustments to offer values and other promotion parameters was a more manual process, but now we’ll be able to easily make optimizations in real-time based on redemption performance.”

Emily Choate

Emily Choate, Senior Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti


Interested in Instacart Promotions?


With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to reach new customers, build bigger baskets, and drive sales. Interested in testing out the beta program or looking to get started with advertising on the app? Drop us a line – we’d love to help elevate your CPG brand on Instacart.


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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!



(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!

It’s important to us that you, our valued customers and partners, can identify with the tools you use daily.  

In that pursuit, Optimizely set out to simplify the way we talk about our product suite. That starts, first and foremost, with the words we use to refer to the technology.  

So, we’ve taken a hard look at everything in our portfolio, and are thrilled to introduce new names we believe are more practical, more consistent, and better representative of the technology we all know and love.  

You may have seen some of these names initially at Opticon 2022 as well as on our website. In the spirit of transparency, the team here at Optimizely wanted to make sure you had full visibility into the complete list of new names, as well as understand the context (and rationale) behind the changes. 

So, without further ado… 

Which names changed?  

Some, but not all. For your ongoing reference, below is a complete list of Optimizely products, with previous terminology you may be familiar with in the first column, and (if applicable) the new name in the second column.  

Used to be… 

Is now (or is still)… 



Optimizely Digital Experience Platform 

A fully-composable solution designed to support the orchestration, monetization, and experimentation of any type of digital experience — all from a single, open and extensible platform. 

Content Cloud 

Optimizely Content Management System 

A best-in-class system for building dynamic websites and helping digital teams deliver rich, secure and personalized experiences. 


Optimizely Content Marketing Platform 

An industry-leading and user-friendly platform helping marketing teams plan campaigns, collaborate on tasks, and author content. 


Optimizely Digital Asset Management 

A modern storage tool helping teams of any size manage, track, and repurpose marketing and brand assets (with support for all file types). 

Content Recs 

Optimizely Content Recommendations 

AI-powered and real-time recommendations to serve the unique interests of each visitor and personalize every experience. 

B2B Commerce 

Optimizely Configured Commerce 

A templatized and easy-to-deploy platform designed to help manufacturers and distributors drive efficiency, increase revenue and create easy buying experiences that retain customers. 

Commerce Cloud 

Optimizely Customized Commerce 

A complete platform for digital commerce and content management to build dynamic experiences that accelerate revenue and keep customers coming back for more. 


Optimizely Product Information Management 

A dedicated tool to help you set up your product inventory and manage catalogs of any size or scale. 

Product Recs 

Optimizely Product Recommendations 

Machine-learning algorithms optimized for commerce to deliver personalized product recommendations in real-time. 


Optimizely Web Experimentation 

An industry-leading experimentation tool allowing you to run A/B and multi-variant tests on any channel or device with an internet connection. 

Full Stack 

Optimizely Feature Experimentation 

A comprehensive experimentation platform allowing you to manage features, deploy safer tests, and roll out new releases – all in one place. 


Optimizely Personalization 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to create/segment audiences based on past behavior and deliver more relevant experiences. 

Program Management 

Optimizely Program Management 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of an experiment. 


Optimizely Data Platform 

A centralized hub to harmonize data across your digital experience tools, providing one-click integrations, AI-assisted guidance for campaigns, and unified customer profiles. 


So, why the change?  

 It boils down to three guiding principles:  

  1. Uniformity: Create a naming convention that can be applied across the board, for all products, to drive consistency 
  2. Simplicity: Use terms that are both practical and concise, ensuring the names are something that everyone can understand and identify with  
  3. Completeness: Develop a framework that showcases the full and complimentary nature of all the products and solutions within the Optimizely suite 

 As the Optimizely portfolio comes together as a complete, unified platform, it’s important that our names reflect this, as well as support our 3 key solutions (i.e. orchestrate amazing content experiences, monetize every digital experience, and experiment across all touchpoints).  

Other questions? We’ve got you covered. 

Q: Why have you made these product name changes? 

    • We wanted to simplify how we talk about our portfolio. The renaming applies a naming convention that is both practical and concise.  


Q: Do the new product name changes affect the products I own? 

    • No, there is no impact to product functionality or capabilities.  


Q: Do the new product name changes affect who is my Customer Success Manager or Account Manager?  

    • No, there are no changes to your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager. 


Q: Do the new product name changes affect the ownership of the company?  

    • No, ownership of the company has not changed. We have only made changes to the Product Names. 


Q: Have any contact details changed that I need to be aware of?  

    • Only contact details for former Welcome customers has changed. These are the new contact details you should be aware of: Optimizely, Inc.| 119 5th Ave | 7th Floor | New York, NY 10003 USA. Phone: +1 603 594 0249 | 


Q: Where can I send any follow up questions I might have?  

    • If you have any questions about the Product Names, please contact your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager.  

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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts



Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts

Every year, we see new trends entering the world of email marketing.

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