General Affiliate Marketing – Categories – Finch Sells

Category - General Affiliate Marketing

1
My Landing Page Tips For Small Payout Offers
2
Thoughts on Bangkok and Staying Productive Abroad
3
STM London & My Plans For March

My Landing Page Tips For Small Payout Offers

“Do I need a landing page?”

Visit a marketing forum, and you will see this question treated with scorn.

Affiliates are adamant that, 90% of the time, a landing page is required to make money.

You cannot simply direct link paid traffic to affiliate offers and expect to make a profit.

It would be too easy.

Makes sense, right?

90% of the time.

So, assuming that we will probably need a landing page to make money, how do we go about producing a good one?

The Art of the Pre-Sell

When we talk about sending users to a landing page, what exactly do we mean?

We are referring to a page that ‘pre-sells’ the offer.

There are several methods of pre-selling, and some are more controversial than others.

A landing page can be as simple as a form preceded by some bullet points incentives.

Like this template provided by Traffic Plus Conversion:

Squeeze Landing Page example

Or it can be as complex (and widely derided) as a fake news article:

Banned landing page

What is a landing page?

It is a bridge in the sales funnel.

An opportunity to create tension so that when the user lands on the affiliate offer, he is ready to convert.

The only offers where you might not need a landing page are those where spontaneity is inherent in the niche.

App installs, for example.

How many of us read sales letters before deciding whether to install an app?

If your banner is self-explanatory, you can *occasionally* make money by direct linking.

But even then, a landing page that does a good job of displaying the utility of the app, will nearly always perform better.

This stumps many affiliates.

Why?

It’s easy to see why an offer that costs $69.95 would require pre-selling.

The user has to justify a purchase.

When we put our minds to this, we can be quite persuasive.

With a low payout offer, the psychology is different.

The offer may be completely free.

And we overestimate the power of ‘free’.

We expect ‘free’ to do the heavy lifting.

We also overestimate the appeal of immediacy.

What good is the ability to have X now, for free, if X is judged to be worthless?

The silence of non-conversions — particularly when an offer is free — should tell you everything about the importance of creating value through a landing page.

Here are some tips for combining landing pages with small payout offers.

Illustrate the function of the product

Users don’t want to be told what a product offers.

They want to be shown.

Your landing page must illustrate the one relevant problem that your product solves.

Focus on the tension associated to that problem.

Condense it and provide the solution.

Do affiliates promote speed booster apps with sales letters and meandering prose?

No, they use visual storytelling melded to one good incentive, like this:

Mobile landing page example

Regardless of your moral stance on this type of install-bait, the app’s utility is plain to see.

The lesson?

Keep it simple!

  • Here’s your problem.
  • Here’s how our product solves it.
  • Here’s how to get started.

The faster you combine these three elements, the sooner you’ll create a funnel capable of monster profits.

Learn to focus attention fast

The worst banners can sometimes produce the best profits.

Affiliates know this.

That’s why the web is littered with ‘creatives’ (I use the term loosely) that look like this:

Download Play Now

Play button

What is the strategy here?

It’s certainly not CPC.

The strategy is simply to get as many users as possible to click through to a landing page.

It’s a method of converting CPM display traffic in to cheaper (and more malleable) pop-style traffic, with a much higher engagement rate than you’d see on pop sources.

A process that goes like this:

  • The banner captures a stray click.
  • The landing page engages the user, very quickly, and plants a desire.
  • The offer sells on that desire.

Offers with mainstream appeal are selected, very carefully, to ensure that the funnel is relevant to a large audience.

You won’t find dating offers for men over 30, but you will find battery saving apps, speed boosters, antivirus scanners, chances to win an iPhone, and Whatsapp bundles.

The idea is that the campaign is pre-targeted to an extent that the affiliate already has a decent idea of who is viewing the ads.

(e.g. Samsung users, Android device, WIFI, USA.)

He focuses on finding a mainstream offer to serve this market.

Then aims to get maximum eyeballs on his landing page.

The landing page is where the battle is won.

Some of the crudest sales funnels in our industry succeed by pairing ‘accidental click’ banners with landing pages that assault the user’s fleeting attention span.

Bold, brash headlines with visual storytelling work well.

So does replicating the look of other popular websites to provide a comfort blanket.

Here are two popular techniques that follow the ‘bait and switch’ banner:

  • Scare tactics — Your phone may be unprotected! Scan now.
  • ‘Too good to pass up’ — I have a chance to win an iPhone? Huh?

In either case, you are likely to induce a reaction along the lines of…

*grunt*
“The fuck are you talking about?”

And it is your landing page’s task to get talking; fast.

Ramp up the tension to act today — this very second.

We are not brand advertisers.

A Shutterstocked banner that makes an inoffensive contribution to a brand’s ‘arcing story’ might secure its designer a promotion, but it won’t put dinner on an affiliate’s table.

We need strong creatives.

It is our number one priority to get a response now; today; in the next 4 minutes and 58 seconds.

One of the most common uses of an affiliate landing page is thus to artificially manufacture a sense of urgency.

We strive for that ‘Shit your pants’ moment.

Some of the greatest hits to our reputation come from affiliates acting too aggressively in this respect.

We do, indeed, succeed in creating a maelstrom of shat pants.

And the stench starts to drift.

Most advertisers treat their offer pages as a shop window.

“Great, you noticed us! Here’s what we offer. Here’s a link in case you want to get started today.”

We affiliates are the expendable sops tasked with standing outside that shop window, dressed as werewolves, and yelling loud enough that passers-by might actually listen.

The landing page is our megaphone.

Your job when designing your next landing page is to think:

“How can I take this product, match it to a burning desire (or fear), ramp up the tension, and then force a resulting action today?”

If your landing page fails to add tension or desire, then it fails.

That’s the acid test for your pre-sell.

Is it so pants-shittingly good that it works today?

Tomorrow is somebody else’s commission.

The Low Payout Dilemma

There are perfectly capable affiliates who overlook entire markets because they believe the offer payouts are too small.

What can you do if the lead is only worth $0.20, or $0.10, or $0.07?

Never mind that the offer accepts traffic in Jordan.

Never mind that click prices are exponentially cheaper.

Never mind that hundreds of thousands of users in a new market are completely bamboozled by their first sighting of the ‘affiliate ad’.

Who needs context, eh?

The story we prefer is “I’m used to paying $0.15 for a click in the US, therefore these offers are a complete washout. The economics are fucking alien. Why bother with them?”

Some affiliates will harbour this contempt whilst throwing $100, direct linked, at a couple of app installs on Decisive.

They assume that because their banner depicts the correct brand, the conversions should swiftly follow.

How simple is that?!

What part of the process instills you with a sense of job security?

Because if you can find it, I’ll buy it.

In a bottle.

And drink it every night.

You have to do better than the average affiliate.

That’s how our industry works in 2015.

  • What can’t you change? The offer.
  • What can’t you beat? The CTR of a ‘Play / Download’ banner.

What does that leave?

It leaves the landing page: your ability to get from A to C.

Your ability to create angles; to illustrate a product effectively; to deliver a blunt call-to-action that is difficult to avoid.

It doesn’t matter how small the payout is.

The result of not selling the offer is always the same: $0.00.

RECOMMENDED THIS WEEK:

  • In case you missed it, my brand new 2015 edition of Premium Posts is available now. Need a recipe for affiliate success in 2015? You won’t find a single resource that covers as much ground as this. 375 pages of my very best tips and strategies.
  • The Premium Posts 2015 Edition is sponsored by Adsimilis. You know all about Adsims, right? They are one of the best CPA networks in the business. If you run any kind of mobile, dating or sweepstakes… then sign up an affiliate account, ca-ching.

P.S. You can read 40 pages of Premium Posts 2015 for FREE by opting in to my monthly newsletter below:

Thoughts on Bangkok and Staying Productive Abroad

Thailand is one of the Internet Marketing capitals of the world.

Every day I hear of another affiliate moving here.

It’s an exciting place to come, but there are obvious challenges.

Most notably… The P word.

Productivity.

This post outlines some of the impact living in Thailand has on your productivity.

Needless to say, if you are a 60-year-old sexpat who spends his days propping up the bar in Nana — productivity is the least of your concerns.

Please exit this blog and return to ThaiVisa Forum.

Advantages

Let’s start with the advantages.

These are my net gains compared to London.

It’s Easy to Be Healthy

salmon-royal-oak

If you can’t live a healthy life in Thailand, you should probably stop trying.

As people who know me can confirm, my middle name has never been Mr. Vitality.

It used to be simply: Village Pizza.

The guy who would order a Meatfeast, whilst still at the pub, then sprint off in to the darkness after spotting the delivery bike, caught perilously at a red light, enroute to his empty home.

I’m over that shit.

In Thailand, my diet is much improved.

I eat well. I swim and exercise daily. I sweat out enough toxins to drown a small kitten in a bath of poison.

Because it’s so easy.

This country provides the perfect building blocks for a healthy lifestyle: bar a shit load of traffic fumes, and the constant threat of decapitation via motorcycle.

It’s easy to feel great when the tools to defeat inertia are sitting on your doorstep.

That inertia bossed my suburban life in London.

I barely made it to lunch without a trip to the local petrol station for a muffin and a Costa Express.

Think Alan Partridge’s life choices infected by the apathy of Keith from The Office.

Vitality is important for any job, but especially one with such high demands on your decision-making.

When you move here, your general health will improve.

It will have a positive effect on your work performance.

Thailand is Buzzing with Young Go-Getters

One of the more demoralising aspects of Suburban London, for me, is the infectious dawdle of life as it meanders from one season to the next: from childhood, to graduation, to getting a job, to marriage, to kids, to retirement, to a care home, and eternal buggery.

On an eventful day, I’d look out my window and what would I see?

A granny capsizing in a pothole as she battles to collect her pension. A few mums returning from their school run. Then little else for miles.

By contrast, Bangkok feels alive.

The young crowd is here by choice.

It’s like New York City.

Aspiration wafts through the street stalls and creates an environment where you can taste the hunger of other expats, all driven by the same core values: to escape the predictability of their childhood homes; to live for now.

If you are an affiliate, you’ll be shocked by the number of us that are already here.

Thailand is a melting pot of affiliate scumbaggery.

It’s fitting that the biggest conference in our industry’s history will be held in Bangkok this December:

Affiliate World Asia

Plenty of Co-Working Opportunities

I know many affiliates are put off by the idea of living alone in a foreign city, and especially working alone.

It’s not that bad.

The large Internet Marketing community provides opportunities to network and meet people with the same daily struggles.

There are a ton of co-working spaces, like The Hive, where you can leave your apartment and leverage the buzz of an office environment to get more work done.

You’ll also find plenty of Skype groups with a constant stream of spare desks offered.

The good thing about this community?

It shares the same work genes.

The networking opportunities are there — both social and professional — if you want them.

But there’s no pressure to conform to the nomadic playboy bullshit so often spouted by know-it-all degenerates on their first journey out-of-state.

“Bro do you even travel?”

If you want to stay in your man cave and focus on work, that’s fine.

The Perfect Base in East Asia

Bangkok on map

There are many countries in East Asia that are great to visit, but the trade-offs of living in them are higher — or complicated by visa accessibility.

China, Japan, Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam etc.

Thailand is a perfect storm of Asian culture meets Western comforts.

You can settle quickly.

The infrastructure is designed for tourism, meaning you can live as you would in any other major city.

English is widely understood.

Communities of expats have been embedded over decades.

My girlfriend tells me that Jakarta is the ‘next breakout city’ in the mould of Bangkok.

That will be interesting to see.

Until then, Thailand is the perfect base to explore the rest of Asia whilst having somewhere that resembles a home.

Some people can travel from country to country with a laptop in tow.

Try it if you fancy.

My dogs would disown me.

Disadvantages

Thailand isn’t quite paradise yet.

Once the honeymoon period is over, you will have to contend with some cultural differences that can be hard to reconcile.

Foreign Investment is Smothered in Red Tape.

Thailand treats foreign investment like a plane carrying Ebola.

Want to buy a condo freehold?

You can, but only if 51% of the units in the building are Thai-owned.

Want to get a job?

You can, but only after submitting an essay titled “Why This Job Could Not Be Performed by a Thai”.

Any business must then abide by ‘homegrown workforce’ rules:

For every foreigner hired, the company must employ four Thais.

It can be baffling to witness a situation where a) the company wants to hire a foreigner, and b) the foreigner wants to work for that company, but in order for a work permit to be issued… an arbitrary four new jobs must be created.

My girlfriend had a media visa refused after the embassy decided it would no longer apply for both newspapers and magazines — only newspapers.

The rule was changed 2 days prior.

The advice given?

“Apply again next month, we change the rules back.”

If you are not Thai, you are treated with suspicion, or forced to jump through any number of hoops.

This passive aggressive obstruction of un-Thai development is understandable for anybody who has stepped foot in a soulless metropolis, like, say, Dubai.

But as Bangkok rolls out its umpteenth luxury shopping plex — built-to-order, the chrome guise of an Arab’s wettest dream — I find myself asking:

What part of Thailand is the endless red tape designed to preserve?

The more time you spend here, the more likely that bureaucracy will get in your way.

Inevitably, visa issues will affect your productivity.

Decision Making is “Thailand Only”

There’s a saying in this country used by the natives to express their bemusement over shit that passes as normal:

“Thailand Only”

Thais are known for their great hospitality.

They are fiercely proud of their country.

Whilst they will welcome you with open arms, any suggestions on what might be improved are likely to go down about as well as a busker sipping Chang at Emquartier.

Thais will acknowledge problems, but they will often shrug at the solution.

Chains of command are rarely broken.

To question too loudly, or to criticise and cause one to lose face, is the ultimate sacrilege.

This can leave the average westerner scratching his head at some of the remarkable inefficiencies on display.

You have to accept:

There are plenty of ways to improve Thailand, but Eastern collectivism is a different beast to the individualism we celebrate in the West.

You won’t change a culture that has such contrasting values at its core.

Don’t take it personally.

“Thailand Only.”

The Heat is Sapping

When I post on Facebook that it’s too hot, I’m met by ridicule from Brits back home.

“You’ve got a problem with 40 degrees, have you? Felt the need to post about it, did you? Fuck off, you twat. Don’t come back.”

I love a scorching day by the pool, yes, but sweating buckets is not the optimal state for productivity.

At best, it’s a recipe for a gigantic electricity bill.

I spent 13,000 baht (about £250) on my AC last month.

If you take a trip out for lunch, the ferocious heat can wipe you out for the rest of the day.

I make a conscious effort to get the bulk of my work done in the morning before I expose myself to the elements.

The Thai summer is b-r-u-t-a-l.

The Traffic and General Lateness

Bangkok Traffic

Oh my god, the traffic.

As a general rule of thumb, if you have made plans for the evening, and those plans involve catching a taxi near Sukhumvit Road at 7pm… cancel your plans.

Go home.

Read a book, have a wank, or paint your nails.

The night is over for you.

Likewise, if you are one of those guys who arranges his schedule in to 15 minute chunks, Jenga’d together, and endangered by one wet fart… don’t set foot in Bangkok.

This city will eat your best laid plans for breakfast.

Sometimes I emerge from my apartment in awe that Bangkok is actually beneath me — and not 15 minutes away, running late, with a gob full of street food.

Want to measure the priorities of a city?

Look at how fast people walk from A to B.

A tortoise could migrate up Everest with greater zest than a Bangkokian between meals.

There is simply no rush.

If you value punctuality, be prepared.

This country will leave you sweaty, angry, and ten degrees hotter than the laughing locals.

Conclusion

You know what?

Fuck it.

Move to Thailand.

Any criticism I have is not borne out of dislike.

I believe if Thailand fixed its flaws, it would be the best damn place to live in the world.

I’d probably never leave.

The good far outweighs the bad.

There is so much that is right about this country.

The shit that is wrong stands out like a Japanese tourist lost at Nana Plaza.

Would I recommend this place for everybody?

No.

You have to be at a certain point in your life for moving abroad to hold appeal.

For many people, that moment never comes.

For others, Thailand is an assault on the senses. It’s too crazy.

Personally, I love it here.

But I know I won’t be in Thailand forever.

I try to use that as the lens for how I view my productivity.

Even if I get 10% or 20% less work done, it’s a period of my life that I’ll never forget.

Isn’t that supposed to be the point?

RECOMMENDED THIS WEEK:

  • In case you missed it, my brand new 2015 edition of Premium Posts is available now. Need a recipe for affiliate success in 2015? You won’t find a single resource that covers as much ground as this. 375 pages of my very best tips and strategies.
  • The Premium Posts 2015 Edition is sponsored by Adsimilis. You know all about Adsims, right? They are one of the best CPA networks in the business. If you run any kind of mobile, dating or sweepstakes… then sign up an affiliate account, ca-ching.

P.S. You can read 40 pages of Premium Posts 2015 for FREE by opting in to my monthly newsletter below:

STM London & My Plans For March

In case you haven’t heard, STM Forum is holding a massive affiliate meetup in London next month.

Somebody better call 8 Northumberland Avenue ahead of time — because to the unsuspecting waiter, bar man, or miscellaneous lost Japanese tourist, it’s going to be raining vast quantities of sausage from March 9th.

That’s the opening night of a three day networking marathon that brings together some of the biggest names in our industry.

STM has slapped together a fantastic lineup of speakers, many of which you will recognise from the forum, including:

  • Lorenzo Green (Mr Green)
  • Jordan (stackman)
  • Besmir (bbrock32)
  • Caurmen
  • Dr David Savory (Zeno)
  • Josh Mayne (Maynzie)
  • CMdeal
  • Alexander Tsatkin (The Angry Russian)
  • Tim Tetra (Timtetra)
  • Benjamin Yong (Kokofai)
  • Jim Stark (Jim)
  • Charles Ngo (Dr_Ngo)
  • John Alanis (Johna5150)
  • Alex Willemsen (Scitox)
  • Lars Kroijer (Kroijer)
  • Christian Weselak (Ratalliance)
  • Robert Gryn (Zeropark)
  • Christina Szekeres (FBQueen)
  • Rohail Rizvi (Rohail)
  • Chris Hanage (Papaya Mobile sponsor speaker)
  • An Advidi sponsor speaker TBA

That is a lot of authority in the affiliate space.

Most of these speakers are closely intertwined with the daily struggles of affiliate marketers.

(Unlike some of the speaking lists you see at other conferences, where most of the ‘authorities’ wouldn’t know the language of affiliate marketers if it slapped them square in the jubblies.)

The Schedule

You can see the full schedule of events here, but I’ll summarise the best bits and some important notes:

Monday, March 9th

Monday’s shenanigans are open to everybody, both STM members and the general public. You need to register online before attending.

Registration is free.

After registering, collect your pass between 12pm-4pm on Monday from 8 Northumberland Avenue, WC2N 5BY. You’ll need it for all events.

The highlights of Monday include 3 hours of speeches from industry veterans, and an opening party hosted by AppFlood at Forge Bar near Cannon Street.

I’ll definitely be attending on Monday, so if you want to meet up for a drink (but don’t have STM membership), drop me an email or track me down at the event.

Tuesday, March 10th

Tuesday is for STM members only.

Not a member? Sign up now.

Voluum will be kicking off a networking brunch between 10am and 1pm at the Prince Albert Suite near Regent’s Park.

This sounds pretty interesting.

Attendees will be divided in to smaller groups depending on the type of traffic sources and verticals they run.

Personally, I can’t wait to see what the ‘First Free Find & Fuck’ table looks like…

In the evening, there will be more speeches at 8 Northumberland Avenue, as well as the inaugural STM Awards.

This blog has somehow wrangled a nomination in the Blog of the Year category, despite about five new posts.

There are some excellent nominees in the ‘Success Story of the Year’ category, which will go to the affiliate who has made the most emphatic progress, as seen on the STM Forum. If you need a rocket lit under your arse, I suggest you sign up and read the stories of the nominees.

They are the true stars of the STM brand.

You will find guys who have gone from zero to $XX,XXX/month in profit. And their progress can be followed, in full, on STM.

Of course, you can meet these affiliates in person.

By coming to the event.

Adsimilis will cap the Tuesday by hosting a Games Night at All Star Lanes in Bayswater.

If you are a dab hand at foosball, bowling or Xbox, you can come along and shame your fellow peers.

Wednesday, March 11th

Wednesday is also for STM members only.

The morning starts with paintball hosted by Avazu.

Just reading the description — “We have the ultimate STM twist for this paintball experience but we can’t tell you anything else” — I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds pretty bloody ominous.

  • Guns loaded with acai berries?
  • Capture the laptop (full of campaigns)?
  • Team Affiliate vs. The FTC?

The last time I indulged in paintball, I got — what’s that quaint British term? — oh yeah, absolutely fucking smashed.

I almost ended up on the motorway after attempting my best Rambo impression with less than 20/20 vision and a fundamental ignorance of the ‘Out of Bounds’ signs.

From 8pm onwards, a legion of bruised, battered and hungover affiliates will be tapping up the Core Bar on Queen Street.

Wednesday’s grand closing party is sponsored by Advidi and has an equally ominous 1990s theme.

Come on, suckers.

Who’s gonna bite the bullet and go Full Geri?

Geri 1990s

It’s your last chance to drunkenly extract campaigns network with the best in the industry.

STM is known for putting on the wildest affiliate shows in town.

If you are in London — or willing to travel — this is going to be a HUGE three days that will inspire, motivate and hopefully kickstart your campaigns to the next level.

Sign up to STM today, and register for the event!

Special kudos to the sponsors:

My Plans For March

This blog has been quiet recently. I’ve had to prioritise my business with a focus on training employees, at the expense of splurging my views to you cretins.

Life is busy.

I’m moving to Thailand with my girlfriend on March 14th.

She’s already secured a job in Thailand, and the final arrangements have been made for us to say Au Revoir to the Big Smoke.

We’re counting down the days with a combination of excitement and dread.

  • The excitement of starting a new life in Asia
  • The dread of dealing with final ‘logistics’ while the calendar closes like a spiked ceiling in the Temple of Doom.

Who am I kidding?

It’s mostly excitement.

I have a house full of belongings to shift:

Furniture, appliances, a huge pile of books… a Lazy Spa…

Is there such a thing as owning too much crap? I think so.

I was going to blow a fortune putting my stuff in storage, and shipping over my office essentials — but fuck it, why bother?

There’s a good saying: “The more stuff you own, the more your stuff owns you.”

The only thing I’m taking to Thailand is my clothes — and my dogs (back to their homeland, the expensive little arseclarts).

Everything else is getting sold, donated to charity, or trashed.

Of course, ‘dealing with everything else’, as anybody who has moved house will attest, is a great aphrodisiac… for shitting your pants.

It will be worth it in about 3 weeks!

I can’t wait to touch down in Bangkok.

RECOMMENDED THIS WEEK:

  • In case you missed it, my brand new 2015 edition of Premium Posts is available now. Need a recipe for affiliate success in 2015? You won’t find a single resource that covers as much ground as this. 375 pages of my very best tips and strategies.
  • The Premium Posts 2015 Edition is sponsored by Adsimilis. You know all about Adsims, right? They are one of the best CPA networks in the business. If you run any kind of mobile, dating or sweepstakes… then sign up an affiliate account, ca-ching.

P.S. You can read 40 pages of Premium Posts 2015 for FREE by opting in to my monthly newsletter below:

Copyright © 2014.