Affiliate marketing landing page: to build or not to build?

Imagine you’re Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and you’re happily following the yellow brick road. You’ve journeyed for miles, down this brick road. You’re feeling safe, everything is predictable. Yellow upon yellow. 

Suddenly, you come across a stretch that… isn’t.

Instead, it’s red. What do you do? 

Personally, I’d be suspicious about the not-yellow stretch. Wary. 

Might look for a way around this unexpected obstacle placed in front of me. 

Might even turn back. I don’t like unpredictability.  Maybe it’s just me? 

Let’s bring this analogy back to affiliate marketing. Dorothy, the user, is following the yellow brick user journey. And the red stretch of road? An affiliate marketing landing page that doesn’t flow.

What is a landing page in affiliate marketing?

In affiliate marketing, a landing page is a web page created to promote a product or service. Affiliate landing pages are designed to promote products, to increase conversions by inspiring action. Clicks, email or credit card submits, purchases… you get the idea.

The landing page is what a user sees after they click a link, and before they convert. Here’s an example of a landing page we use for one of AdCenter’s VOD offers:

example of an affiliate marketing landing page used for one of AdCenter CPA VOD offers

Here’s why, as an affiliate marketer, you need a landing page 

There are plenty of reasons why landing pages are an indispensable part of marketing. But let’s zero in on why you need them as an affiliate marketer

Going back to the example above, if the road had stayed the same, or changed gradually…maybe I would feel more confident stepping onto red bricks. The same can be said for the user journey. 

Landing pages offer visitors more transparency. And by prequalifying your leads with an affiliate landing page, you’re filtering out the low-quality ones. 

What does this lead to? 

More qualified prospects. 

Increased conversions, decreased cost per acquisition.

More money in the bank.

Win-win-win.

How to use landing pages for affiliate products

Plenty of ad networks provide their affiliates with landing pages. 

Especially ones that are beginner-friendly (sidenote: if you’re working with a network that doesn’t provide you with the resources you need to get started, drop them and find one that does).

AdCenter affs get tested and true landers for all of our CPA offers (peep the example above for one of our VOD offers).

Chances are, if the network is supplying them, they’re proven to convert and you can’t go wrong. That being said…with some creativity and a bit of time, you can design your own landing page. 

It’s not as simple as grabbing pre-made landers, but it’ll give you an advantage. 

You’ll stand out from the rest of the marketers running the same offer, using the same old affiliate landing page. Oh, and you’ll be in full control of the content.

If there’s something our AMs have learned in their years of working with AdCenter affs, it’s this: successful affiliates (the ones who go on to become super affiliates) are the ones who innovate and separate themselves from the pack.

Getting started

So you’re convinced you need to use well-designed landing pages for your affiliate campaigns. Great! 

How do you go about doing that? 

If you know how to code, you’re set.

If coding isn’t part of your skillset, join the club. 

Thankfully there’s a solution: landing page builders (LPBs).

LPBs  have basic functionality, but they can save you time and headache.

Most LPBs include features like a template library with responsive design, analytics, and A/B testing capabilities. Voluum has a great breakdown of different LPBs, with their pros and cons.

Use these as a starting point to elevate your lander-game to create something new and exciting.

Best practices when designing your own affiliate marketing landing page

  1. Keep your eye on the prize (aka the conversion goal)

    Your landing page, especially for affiliate products, is not a homepage. Don’t include information that isn’t relevant to the offer/product. It’s just noise. Every element of your landing page needs to work cohesively towards your conversion goal. Remove distractions that might lead visitors elsewhere.

  2. Keep design and copy flowing

    Everything from design to copy should match the intent of the ad/link/email the visitor clicked to get to your landing page. The buyer journey needs to flow cohesively. Expectations must match. Any discrepancy and you risk bounces (remember the opening yellow brick road example?). Design should be simple to avoid visual clutter, and copy should be direct and compelling. It should speak to the visitor.

  3. Use cues

    Use different types of cues to convert visitors to customers:

    Directional: pointers, arrows, animations, etc to keep visitors on your page reading

    Call to action (CTAs): bold, contrasting colours and placed above the fold to make your CTA stand out

    Social proof: reviews, ratings, case studies, social sharing buttons etc to add authenticity. Landing pages with social proof in the copy convert on average at 12.5%, compared to 11.41% for pages without social proof (Unbounce Marketing).

  4. Speed

    A one-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% drop in conversions (99 Firms). Avoid weighing your page down with elements that don’t contribute to your conversion goal.
    Use a tool like Page Speed Insights to analyze your page speed on a regular basis so you don’t lose out on those sweet conversions.

  5. Optimization

    Related to speed, make sure you’re aware of how visitors are browsing your page. Use that information to guide your design decisions. More than half of users browse on mobile devices, make sure your affiliate landing page is mobile optimized.

Bonus example of a not-so-great landing page

Example of a landing page from Zendesk that isn't optimized

 Oh Zendesk, what is you doin. 

This is their lander after clicking an AdWords ad. There’s just way too much going on! Too many links, buttons..distractions. And that’s only the header.

Building vs coding – which is right for you?

Whichever route you choose, the most important thing is to learn what works or doesn’t work for your audience and affiliate products. And the key to finding what works sustainably: testing and failing. 

In doing so, you learn and in learning you gain experience. This is what will separate the low-earning publishers from the super affiliates, taking you to the next level of earning.

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