By Lance Hemenway, Industry Insider, Internet Veteran, Adknowledge
Landing pages represent the tipping point for affiliate marketers. When a potential customer reaches a landing page, he is either going to go all the way or click away. After arriving on a page, it takes a customer about 5 seconds to make the decision. If your data shows more abandonments than conversions, you might be making these deadly landing page mistakes.
Too Many Options. You might see multiple options as helpful, but your customers see them as confusing, often overwhelming. If your landing page doesn’t offer one dominant path to a sale, you are one click away from losing revenue. People land on your pages with the expectation they will immediately find what they are looking for. They don’t have the time or the patience to search around. Make it easy for them by creating one clear, concise purchasing path. Promoting more than one offer means creating specific landing pages for each one.
Sketchy Street Cred. Once you get traffic to your landing page(s), you must keep them there. To do that, your site must be deemed trustworthy. Product reviews, testimonials, and visible cyber security features are the three best ways to build online credibility.
Your Focus is On Quantity. Instead, zero in on quality. Each target audience deserves a dedicated landing page. Attempts to attract everybody and their brother is a waste of time and money. You need leads that are truly interested in what you have to offer. Remember, your goal is an increased conversion rate, not a record number of impressions. You could drive 500 visitors to your site, but if not a single one is interested, then you’ve lost revenue. But drive 100 quality leads to your site, and you’ve got something cooking.
You Suffer From Snore Syndrome. In other words, your page is boring. You don’t have to jazz it up with blingy ads and dancing monkeys, but you do need to get – and keep – visitors’ attention. Headlines that incorporate fun facts, amazing statistics, or a call to action are a must. Crisp, quality images and relevant content are also part of the package.
It’s a Hot Mess. Consistency across all platforms is key. When people click on an ad or a link that leads them to a landing page, they expect to find the same products and quality that initially nudged them to check it out. Different pricing information, dramatically different product images, or content that isn’t relevant to what they are looking for send the subliminal message to shoppers something isn’t right. You lose credibility, and you lose a sale.
Clear the Clutter. Your landing pages shouldn’t be cluttered with links, blogs, and ads. Your goal is to keep visitors on the page long enough so that they will complete a sale. Remove any links that might encourage them to navigate away from your page – and the conversion. Once they make the sale, send them to a “thank you” page that contains links to other products they might be interested in.
By Blake Bidar, Account Manager, Archeologist,Adknowledge
Don’t buy into the mindset that affiliate marketing is a saturated industry or that turning a profit is darn near impossible. Though it may seem like that at times, the truth is that untapped traffic sources are being discovered every day by affiliates who know that industry innovation starts with them. With a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work, you too can unearth these untapped leads and convert them into your own personal profit portfolio. Here are three ideas to get you started.
Seek out the smaller sites. For newbies, I recommend sticking with the big guns. But if you are well established and have a comfortable revenue stream, start checking out budding web sites that are trying to build traffic. Typically, these small sites can’t afford to rollout an affiliate program, but they want to monetize the traffic they receive. Reach out to these sites and propose an affiliate-style exclusive advertising agreement that is mutually beneficial. Because traffic on these sites is varied and previously untapped, think about ways you can get visitors to tell you what they want. Consider rotating ads on multiple niches to reach as many visitors as possible. Offer free e-books, discounts, and informative reports, and then see what sticks. Over time, you will build a solid list of quality leads that you can refine.
Have Your Cake. Consider all new trends as opportunities. For example, the mobile food industry is going gangbusters. Restaurateurs and foodies are bringing food to the masses instead of twiddling their thumbs waiting for the masses to come to them. These folks rely heavily on social media to let people know where they are going to be and when. They are part of the SoLoMo trend (Social, Local and Mobile) trend, and you should be, too. Pitch an affiliate-style program to them: If you bring them new business through online advertising, you get paid. If not, then no money exchanges hands. These mobile businesses can garner quite a following. For example, 3GirlsCupcakes, a Kansas City-based mobile cupcakery, boasts 3,970 Facebook Likes. But more than that, their followers are engaged. They ask questions, share their favorite flavors, and socialize. Partnering with folks in the mobile food industry could push more traffic to your site.
Partner With a Good Cause. Again, think local. Open yourself up to consider pet shelters, food pantries and clothing centers to name just a few. Think about the niches in which you work. Which ones could lend themselves to charitable extensions? People want to support local charities, they just often don’t know how or don’t take the time. It might be possible to kill two birds with one stone. For instance, 3GirlsCupcakes donates a portion of their proceeds to local children’s charities. Make it easy for people to donate while they shop on your site. Chances are they will spend more if they know that a part of sale is going to help a good cause.
To quote SethGodin, if you want great things to happen, you have to “Poke The Box.” In the new year, monetary success in affiliate land will continue to require more innovation and more unique thinking than ever before. Are you ready?
By Andrew Bishop, Account Manager, Adknowledge
Generating quality leads is like tracking big game. You have to find the perfect hunting site, stalk your prey, and move in for the kill. But while most big game hunters enjoy the thrill of the hunt, affiliate marketers know tracking new leads is all about survival. Similar to hunting big game, tracking down quality leads isn’t for the meek, weak, or lazy. It requires an aggressive approach, a willingness to laugh in the face of rejection, and the ability to view every person as possible prey. It also requires some common sense. If you are off your game when it comes to finding quality leads, here are six possible reasons why.
1. You’re not part of the “In Crowd.” To stay up-to-date on the latest equipment, technology and hunting sites, wild game chasers follow their industry’s news, and so should you. Social and mobile are where it’s at. If your efforts in these areas are lacking, chances are your leads are, too.
2. You don’t move in for the kill. That first click only signals that you’ve attracted possible prey. You have to continue stalking that lead throughout the process. What you want is the kill, or in this case, the conversion. Develop an interest-to-conversion strategy ASAP.
3. You miss the target. In other words, you waste enormous amounts of time and effort chasing leads that aren’t a good fit for the products and services you are promoting. Big game hunters know what they are looking for before they head into the wild, and you should, too. Quality lead generation is all about targeting the right customers.
4. You don’t strategy test. Over time and with experience, game hunters develop strategies for hunting, tracking and killing specific animals. They test these strategies over and over to figure out which ones work best. Likewise, you must test your strategies for attracting quality leads. If you implement too many changes at once, you have no way to determine which changes actually generated good leads. Test one strategy at a time to see what works and what doesn’t. When you find something promising, stick with it.
5. You wear a cheap suit. I have no idea how this relates to big game hunters, but online shoppers want a convenient and clutter-free shopping experience on a site that’s nice to look at, but they also want quality. If your site has low-quality images, too many ads, spelling and grammar errors, or confusing navigation, you just spent time and money finding leads for your competition because that is where customers will click next. Anything less than perfect leaves the impression that you are not running a professional – or reputable – business.
6. You are outdated. Serious game hunters don’t hunt with outdated equipment, and you shouldn’t hunt with outdated content (or a cheap suit). Fresh and relevant content attracts visitors.
Lead generation may not be as adventurous, exciting, or dangerous as hunting wild animals. But if you want to prolong the life of your business, it’s time to take the hunt seriously.
By David Ito, Account Manager, Adknowledge
Affiliate marketing can be a lonely profession. For many independent Internet marketers, the day is spent in front of a computer, communicating with the outside world via text or e-mail. Perhaps there is an occasional phone call that serves as a reminder that humanity still exists. Very few affiliates can boast of a strong support system that gives them access to colleagues with whom they can strategize, commiserate, and brainstorm. But with so many industry events and conferences available, affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be synonymous with living a hermit’s life.
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, conferences are a fantastic way to learn what it’s all about. You can learn a lot in a short amount of time from the industry veterans and top producers who are tapped as keynote speakers and workshop presenters. If you’re already an industry insider, conferences can bring you new insight and ideas and a fresh perspective. Two events I recommend are Affiliate Summit, the industry’s top conference, and Niche Affiliates Marketing System (NAMS), a training workshop with four different experience-level tracks. Of course, many others can be found by conducting a quick Google search. And don’t be afraid to go wide and consider conferences designed for online marketers in general.
When you do decide to attend an industry event, my best advice is to approach it as a step toward building your social network versus your business. Conferences are all about networking and cultivating professional relationships. Even though our work is exclusively online, face-to-face interaction is still the best way to connect with others. In time, these relationships will likely build the financial aspect of your business. The cool thing is that everyone who attends these conferences is interested in affiliate marketing, and everyone brings different experience to the table.
My next piece of advice is to make the most of the opportunity. You took the time and spent the money to attend, so squeeze everything out of it you can. You can meet people you might not have met if you stayed home. Resist the urge to be a wallflower. Introduce yourself to people, talk with them, listen to them. Attend as many of the after-hours social events as you can stand. People are always more relaxed at these gatherings and usually share more information than they would on the trade show floor or during a workshop.
At the very least, attending conferences gets you out from behind that computer. It’s your chance to connect to a unique community of like-minded people, and it’s great way to take your business to the next level while building a support system that might make you feel a little less lonely. So, what are you waiting for? Pack those bags and get out of town!