If your brand is new to managing a performance marketing program, it’s easy to overlook other important changes that your marketing team will need to implement to make the most of your new program. One of these key changes is creating well-designed landing pages for your affiliates that are optimized for conversion. At Affiliate Management Days in San Francisco, Brian Massey of Conversion Sciences LLC highlighted five things that brands need to do to create landing pages that benefit their affiliates.
#1 Give credit where credit is due.
One of the most frustrating aspects of being an affiliate/publisher is losing credit for a conversion. Sometimes this happens due to duplication, but often it’s the result of a call to action on the landing page inviting a customer to finish their transaction by phone. Unless the advertiser has a Pay Per Call program in place, the affiliate will not get credit for a phone conversion. Massey suggested a great way to resolve this problem is to add a CTA that includes a unique affiliate promo code for attributing the sale to the affiliate. (This method has been used for years with media which can’t track advertising any other way, such as radio advertising.)
#2 Don’t add distractions that don’t pay.
Massey pointed out that some websites are not only generically designed, but also include distractions that hamper the conversion process. As an example Massey cited the case of an advertiser site that included slide out widgets for scheduling a live consultation, sending an email, or chatting online. In Massey’s opinion, these type of widgets not only distract from the buying process, they also slow down lead generation.
#3 Why send traffic to Facebook?
There are many reasons brands should be using social media. That said, it’s critical that brands understand the ultimate goal of their web presence should be conversions; not likes or follows. When creating landing pages, it’s critical not to drive traffic elsewhere. Massey said that “the appropriate time to ask for social media love is on a thank you page.” As he explained, “if they go to Facebook, you have lost them.”
#4 Don’t get too fancy.
We’ve all been to web pages that are like this; the design is so complex that the scrolling and forms don’t work, making the sign up or conversion process literally impossible to complete. This is not only bad for your brand, it also backfires for your affiliates. Massey reiterated several times during his session how important it is to keep the promise to your affiliates that they will they get credit for conversions. If your landing page is so fancy it doesn’t actually work, you need to fix this problem immediately or risk souring your relationship with your affiliates.
#5 Don’t send traffic to the home page — send traffic to specific landing pages.
Finally, Massey pointed out that brands should not send traffic to their home page, but to specific landing pages. In addition to his previous advice for brands, Massey suggested that these landing pages provide a very clear offer, social proof of the offer, a reason to trust the offer, a form to collect the lead, and a product image.
Massey summarized that a good landing pages is single minded, helps the brand know where the traffic is coming from, is focused (i.e. does not showcase other products and/or include other navigation), keeps the promises of your value proposition to the affiliate, and is built for action. Massey explained that brands should treat affiliate traffic as just as valuable an asset as email lists. Massey said that the relationship brands make with affiliates are just as strong – if not stronger – than those they may have with other customers or business partners, and it’s critical to help affiliates succeed to maintain this relationship.
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