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Uber Losing 100M Marketing Budget in Ad-Fraud

Uber Marketing Budget Gets $100M Ad-fraud – 2/3 of their Ad-spend (Twitter)


While ad fraud is not an uncommon occurrence, but someone as big as Uber getting hit is surely something new. And an even bigger surprise is that it did not boom up as big news.

 Kevin Frisch, the former head of performance marketing at Uber, reached out to Nandini Jammi, and told her how their Breitbart ads were still getting through even they have blocked them.  It’s ~10% of their total budget, $150M.

After this happening, Kevin started pulling log files & auditing vendors. He begins seeing weird things like users clicking on ads and then being logged into Uber 2 seconds later…physically impossible. Something bad is happening behind scenes. 

For example, one ad network launched “battery saver” style apps in Google Play, giving them root access to your phone. When you type the word “Uber” into your Google Play, it auto-fires a click to make it look like you clicked on an Uber ad and attribute the install to themselves. At this point, Kevin turns off 2/3 of their ad spend…and once again, no change in performance!!! 

Over $100M worth of ads was doing jack shit. Uber’s customers were coming in organically, on the strength of their brand, WOM, referrals, etc.

To learn more about this epic fraud, check out Kevin’s podcast interview.



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Increase retention by segmenting users and onboarding them accordingly


If your product has lots of features, new users can easily get overwhelmed and churn. Improve your retention by segmenting users and onboarding them differently according to their needs.

Different users will have different goals with your product, and your onboarding should reflect that. 

Instead of starting every new user in the same place, your retention may benefit from putting them right where they need to be

When a person is signing up, ask them what they plan to do with your product. Hubspot does this by asking each user about their role (sales, marketing, etc.). 

But asking a question adds friction, so you can also segment them according to the landing page or email campaign that they came from. 

Then, set up an onboarding experience tailored to each segment. For example, navigate them to the most relevant page. And present the most relevant information from tutorials, FAQs, and other resources.


  • Find leads on Twitter by searching requests for recommendations. All you have to do is search for “recommend [product type]”, or something similar. To cut out the noise, use the advanced search, and apply filters. And voila, you’ll see a list of people who are actively searching for a product like yours. From there, all you’ve got to do is reach out.
  • Making good decisions comes from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions. (Click to Tweet)
  • Creating a SaaS for the first time. Create account verification email, welcome email, milestone/review email, trial ending reminder, retention/reactivation email, product updates/announcement of new features, discount email, and survey email.
  • If you chase too many rabbits, you will lose all of them. (Click to Tweet)
  • Sell the problem you solve, not the product you make. (Click to Tweet)
  • Yesterday, Facebook announced major updates to Facebook Pages, including the elimination of likes, and text-based Q&As.
  • Keep up with all SEO changes by checking this SEO – year in review  put together by George Nguyen, editor for Search Engine Land.

Worth Reading

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