Every affiliate marketer must know what landing pages are and why it’s crucial to use them. So let’s start with a short definition, what exactly is a landing page? It is actually a pre-sale page that you send visitors to, in order to convert them into a subscriber, paying customer or a member of something. Please note, when talking about landing pages in the affiliate marketing context, we don’t mean the actual registration, product or checkout page. Landing pages serve as an intermediary step between the banner and the actual product page. Their goal is to grab the interest of the user, highlight the pros of whatever you are selling and persuade the user that the time to buy is HERE and NOW!
To give you a simple example of how it works : let’s say you want to promote a “Dogs Training Course” on your dog-related blog OR you want to buy traffic on some traffic network and promote the course there. So you get a pretty banner made by your designer, you put it on your site (or use the traffic network) and link it to the site that sells the course, right? WRONG!
In theory, you could sell something this way, but in reality… the actual sites that sell something are not always designed in the best way, they fail at emphasizing the pros of the product, they might not be catchy enough … there is a ton of way where you can do BETTER than them. Basically, what these products selling sites need, is a salesman! And that’s what the landing page can do for you, it can become your salesman.
LANDING PAGES ARE LIKE SALESMEN!
I like to use the example of a car dealership, when explaining people what landing pages can do. Let’s say you want to buy a car and you decided to by a Ford from whatever reason. You have a wife and 2 kids, so you have something like a family MPV in mind. You walk into the dealership, there is no salesman present, so you walk around and pick some VAN that can fit 7 people in easily and it still has plenty of space for luggage … perfect family car, right?
Now imagine that there is a GOOD salesman waiting in the showroom, who immediately starts “working” with you. One hour later, you are leaving with a 500HP Ford Mustang with 4 seats and a rather small trunk – needless to say you paid way more $ than you would for the VAN. WHY? Because the salesman made you believe you need it! You have 2 kids and a wife, but that doesn’t mean you’re an old fart and need to drive a VAN, right? Can you imagine your neighbor, who you hate anyways, when he sees you in this beast? His jaw will drop so hard it breaks! Your kids will love the car too, you will look like a bad-ass daddy now… On top of that, they have a special promotion that’s ending TODAY … you must be a lucky mofo, come tomorrow and the deal is gone!
ARE ALL LANDING PAGES THE SAME?
Landing pages are the sales people in the online space, use them to your advantage. Based on my experience with paid traffic, it’s pretty much mandatory to use some kind of a landing page in order to turn positive ROI. Keep in mind that a landing page doesn’t have to be just one short page. It can be one page that is part of a whole site, it can be an in-depth review of something, it can be something that looks like a blog or an article on a blog … the options are unlimited.
The type of landing page that you should use depends on what you are promoting and what type of traffic you are using. When working with your own organic traffic, it’s up to you to decide, use whatever you want for a landing page. Your site = Your rules.
With paid traffic, things are different. There are adwords and facebook on one end of the fence – these guys do not allow the traditional short landing pages all that much. So in order to buy from them, you need to make the landing pages part of a site, use long reviews or blog like schemes. The keyword here is “value” for the visitors, in case they decide there is no value to the user, they will reject these. On the other end, there are POP traffic sources for example – these pretty much don’t give a damn about what kinda landing page you use, unless of course it’s some mallware or virus. This means you can use short landers here, using every dirty trick known to affiliate marketers 🙂
BEST PRACTICE WHEN BUILDING LANDING PAGES.
Whatever type of a landing page you are building, make sure it fits certain criteria.
1. You must be very clear with your message, you need a strong headline and a clear explanation of why this particular product ROCKS ! Mention ALL benefits : 90 day cash-back guarantee, instant access, X% discount …
2. Use images! One image can be worth a 1000 words sometimes, make sure you use them. You need high quality images, zoomed on what matters.
3. You need clear and well visible CTA button or link. CTA means Call To Action, for example : Click to see more, Enter NOW, Start Free Trial … basically something that the visitors will click on to get to the actual product page.
4. The first CTA needs to be “above the fold”, which means it has to be visible without the need to scroll. In case of a long landing page, use several CTA’s.
5. Use scripts to boost the scarcity and exclusivity feeling, for example : countdown timers: offer expires in XX hours … Use Geo location to call out the region of the user : this offer is exclusive for people from California. Device detection : only for iPhone users …
6. Make sure your landing pages load FAST. This is absolutely crucial with mobile POP traffic. Desktop banner clicks are not so sensitive to speed, but slow loading POP landing pages equal to an instant loss.
IS IT ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL TO USE LANDING PAGES?
Based on my personal experience – NO it is not needed in all cases. But in about 90% of cases, a properly designed landing page will improve the results. I have seen better results without a landing page with 2 verticals so far – Android App Installs (linking directly to google play store) and Carrier Billing offers (video content, wallpapers, ringtones … billed by the mobile carrier). But also with these, in some cases, landing page helped to improve the conversion rate.
To make sure I’m not wasting money, I always test both approaches when starting with a new vertical or a new traffic source. I “split test” direct to offer link VS a landing page. Whatever gives me better results, I continue with. I also recommend testing multiple landing pages and compare them head to head, never settle with the first one you come up with. There is ALWAYS room for improvement.
Landing page is the best friend of any affiliate marketer, learn how to use them and you’re half way there.
Thanks for reading!