Your Weekly Pencil - March 30, 2022

March 30, 2022

In this newsletter you’ll find:

  • Shopify App Store Staff Pick: Pencil
  • Ad of the Week
  • Instagram is bringing back the OG feed style (with a catch)

If a friend forwarded this to you, subscribe, so you never miss out!

Shopify's App Store Staff Pick

As you know we've been working to deliver an exceptional experience on Shopify and after just one month live in the ecosystem this recognition is a great honor for us!

You'll find us in the "In The Spotlight" section

Screen Shot 2022-03-30 at 7.18.04 AM

Try Pencil For Free!

Ad of the week from Zenwise

Our friends at Zenwise create this ad that focuses on transparency. They input a few key levers. An eye-catching background, a  customer review, and a product image showcasing what their prospects will be buying.

Screen Shot 2022-03-29 at 10.36.19 AM

Content That Matters

Instagram Launches Algorithm-Free Feed Sorting Options to All Users

You will have two new Instagram feed display options to choose from to control your main content display:

  • Favorites – This displays the latest posts from accounts that you’ve added to your ‘Favorites’ list. You can add up to 50 accounts as Favorites, helping to prioritize updates from these users
  • Following – This shows you posts from all the accounts that you follow in the app, as per the regular Instagram feed.

Why this matters: IG is trying to be great again and head back to the good old days. The issue -> users have to toggle to the chronological feed.

This helps advertisers because there is no way to opt-out of the algorithmic feed that delivers more timely placements to IG users.  

We love this move by them because it is outwardly user-centric and will help users net-sentiment around Meta products, which are in need of some positive vibes.

How to Choose Facebook Ad Placements

Automatic placements with broad targeting? Am I right?

This write up from Jon Loomer breaks down:

  • Why automatic placements aren't always in your best interests.
  • 2 ways to measure the performance of individuals placements.
  • How to follow the data to  choose placements that drive positive business outcomes

Why this matters:  don't overthink this - all this is suggesting is to dive a little deeper and understand what is driving the most scaled efficiency within your placement mix. Maybe you'll find audience network is amazing for you

Your TikTok E-commerce Guide

TikTok is the fastest-growing platform in the world. An estimated 650,000 new users visit the domain every day. (More than Google) That doesn't mean monetizing it has been easy for brands.

This guide gives you some tactical tips to level up your ability to tap into the ever-increasing size of TikTok's audience to grow your business. Our favorite tip is the metrics to pay attention to:

  1. Average Time Watched
  2. Watched Full Video
  3. Reached Audience

Why this matters: you'll read a headline about how great a new platform is, without understanding the basics of that platform. What works on FB/IG doesn't always work on TikTok and vice versa. Understanding the algorithm, content that delivers results, what metrics to measure will give you a beachhead to start your journey on scaling this new channel or any other one that comes along in the future.

Thread of the week

You've heard us mention MER (Marketing Efficiency Ratio) this is a great thread from Sean Frank that breaks down a handful of strong brands and what best in class MER looks like.

Pencil's DTC Ad Library: Q1

Our goal in starting this series is to share what the best DTC brands are doing across paid social and how you can leverage it. The three standout brands were analyzed using the following criteria:

  • Top of Funnel Traffic, Copy, Their Creative
  • How they construct their messaging
  • What kinds of assets they use
  • How they execute layouts and composition
  • How they work with narrative, format and duration
  • Whether they do (or don't) lean into fancy effects

If you'd like to dive deeper Read more


Why Aren't My Ads Working?
Pillars for Growth
How We Sourced Assets For Our Brand

Join the Community

Are there any topics that you'd like to discuss? Sign up to learn and meet from great founders and operators across e-commerce and performance

Join the Community

Something different

How much do you know about the science of sleep we all say we'll catch up later, but can you? Check out this quick breakdown of why it's important and get those zzz's!


Co-founder & CEO, Pencil

Please share this newsletter with the people you like most.


Made By Machines,
Loved By Humans

Book a demo to see the platform in action.