May 16th, 2013/Landing Pages/By /

Landing Pages: A Quick Guide on Direct Linking vs Landing Pages

 an example from Visual Website Optimizer

I’ve been getting a lot of requests to write about landing pages. Creating landing pages / optimizing landing pages are one of my favorite parts of the business, and I am beastly with them.

Even though every business has a “landing page”, their needs are a little more different than ours. As an affiliate marketer, I’m spending my own money to promote someone else’s product. I am like Ric Flair, I will use every trick I can in the book to increase conversion rates (Whhhhhhoooooooo!!!!).

Anyone that’s been in this industry long enough knows a good landing page can make or a break a campaign. I’ve seen stale niches become hot overnight because someone came out with a new angle on their landing page.

The first step is to know whether or not using one is appropriate. Lets get some terms out the way. I’m going to keep things as simple as possible since I have a lot of beginners that read.

Imagine a scenario where you’re advertising on a traffic source such as Facebook hoping to profit. Your offer is dating.

facebook datingexample of Facebook Dating ads

Offer Page: This is the advertiser’s page. If the visitor takes the right actions, you get paid. In this example the offer’s eHarmony. If you send someone to this page and they fill out all the information, you get $5 or whatever.

dating offer page
example of an offer page

Direct Linking: Directing the visitor straight from your ad to the advertiser’s offer page. You’ll do this through an affiliate link so you can get credit for any sales you generate. The path looks like this: Visitor clicks your ad –> Offer Page. Using our scenario, someone clicks your ad on Facebook and then they immediately go to the eHarmony page.

Landing Page: A page that you create and host. The point of a landing page is they help increase the visitor’s desire to complete the actions you want. The path looks like this: Vistor clicks your ad –> Your Landing Page -> Offer Page. Using our scenario, someone clicks your ad on Facebook, goes to your landing page, and has the option of going to the eHarmony (offer page). 


datingpageexamplea rough template of a landing page. 

What confused me early in my career is that I didn’t see the point of landing pages. If someone clicks my ad then it’s possible a landing page is “in the way”.

Someone simplified it to me once with a real world example. Imagine a couple is walking down the street and they see a car dealership and walk in. They are interested in the car, but a car is a huge purchase. No one helps them so they leave without buying anything.

However the same couple have a much higher chance of buying that vehicle if they get talked to by a good car salesmen. The salesmen will use techniques like calculating fuel savings, throwing in free extras, and “this price ends tonight special” to entice you into making that purchase.

That’s what landing pages do. A good landing page can turn a curiosity click into a sale. I know from tons of experience that I could create a landing page for that eHarmony offer and it would do better than direct linking. If you don’t know, then you have to test direct linking vs a landing page and see for yourself.

Made up statistics to prove a point

I direct link to eHarmony. I send $100 worth of clicks at a $.20 cost per click direct linking (That’s 500 clicks) . My Conversion rate is 3% with a $5 payout. That’s $75 revenue. I lose $25. 

I use a landing page with eHarmony. I send $100 worth of clicks at a $.20 cost per click (500 clicks) that goes to my landing page. The landing page click-through rate is 40%. Only 200 people make it to the offer page. However because my landing page was so baller, the conversion rate is much higher 10%. 200 clicks *.10 Conversion rate * $5 payout = $100. I break even.

Breaking even is a good thing because I know I can split test ads, make my landing page better, test more offers, get a higher payout on the offer, etc. All this leads to profit and the ability to do a birdman hand rub with conviction.

When to Use a Landing Page

I don’t need to spend too much time on this. 95% of the time I’ll use a landing page.

The key to knowing when to and when not to is to think about how much action to they have to take, and how much information do they have to give up. Someone that has to pull out their credit card to complete the action will need a landing page. Someone that just has to type in their email only probably doesn’t.

I see a lot of competitors out there that direct link some campaigns and probably would benefit more if they had a landing page. Why don’t they then? Lack of time, resources, or they just don’t know how to make them.

When to Direct Link

Remember that these are just general guidelines to help you learn. There are always exceptions so do your own testing.

1 Click Installs – Facebook app installs, toolbars, mobile apps

Submits – Email submits, zip submits

Short Lead Gens. This is very dependent on the niche. Gaming for instance doesn’t really need a landing page. Other niches such as dating or insurance would benefit from one.  

worldoftanks

Quick Campaign Testing / Minimum Viable Campaigns – This is strategy I like to use sometimes for new campaigns. Imagine you have a new niche with several countries and you don’t know which country to start. I use a strategy I call Minimum Viable Campaigns where I test the ideas with direct linking before I really invest my time.

Example: Say there’s an offer that works for 10 different countries. Which one should I launch on? If I had a $500 budget I would set a $50 budget for each campaign and direct link them all. After 1-2 days of testing I can see most of the campaigns lost money, but Germany / Brazil actually profited.

This lets me know these markets are worth the effort. Now I get some translations done and translate landing pages. After figuring out the best angles / ads for these countries, now I can scale to other countries.

How’s this different from your typical affiliate? They’ll pick a country randomly, say France. Spend a few days developing translations and a landing page. They launch the campaign and it completely tanks so they assume the niche sucks. Now they’re on to the next hot offer. Repeat.

So you understand the basics of a landing page and probably have a million questions

  • how do I create one
  • what program do I use? Should I outsource this?
  • what kind of landing pages are there?
  • what are the most important elements to split test
  • how do I increase conversion rates
  • DAMN YOU NGO GIVE ME MORE INFO

Visit my blog again in the future!

– Ngo out