General Affiliate Marketing – Categories – Finch Sells

Category - General Affiliate Marketing

Convert The Unconvertibles
OUT NOW: A Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing
My Landing Page Tips For Small Payout Offers

Convert The Unconvertibles

There’s a lot of advice in the affiliate marketing world about how to build profitable campaigns.

Some good, some bad, some as healthy as a fist in the balls.

Much of this advice shields affiliates from the elephant in the room:

That no matter what we do, only a small percentage of our campaigns will end up profitable.

Probably something like 10% for most affiliates.

20% if you are well prepared, or exceptionally lucky.

From those winning campaigns, an even smaller percentage of the traffic turns in to leads and sales.

Let’s say you have a 10% success rate in campaigns launched.

And for a successful campaign, you have a conversion rate of 2%.

90% of your campaigns end up in the bin.
Of the remaining few, 98% of the paid traffic is left to rot.

The unconvertibles.

Users that you paid for but will never see again.

What can we discern from this colossal wastage?

There isn’t an affiliate marketer in the world that converts more traffic than he loses.

And what else?

We seem to be okay with that.

Affiliates tend not to worry about the traffic that got away.

Especially when they are winning.

When they are making money.

This attitude is embedded in a testing philosophy that goes like this:

  • Launch campaign
  • Ask: “Is it profitable?”
  • If yes, carry on.
  • If no, ask: “Will it ever be profitable?”
  • Continue in loop until answer is “Absolutely fucking no.”
  • Proceed to forget about campaign.

There’s a famous myth that the average human uses only 10% of his brain.

(It’s not true.)

In affiliate marketing, the data is your brain.

And I’m afraid the myth is all too true.

We have a natural bias to focus on the bright spots of campaigns; the 2% of conversions in the 10% of campaigns that whisper, “Money not wasted.”

And forget quickly about the failures.

Pretend they never happened.

For our sanity, it’s better to focus on turning 2 conversions in to 3, lifting a CVR from 4% to 5%; bumping a CTR from 20% to 25%.

This work occupies the brunt of our day.

We call it ‘optimisation’.

But the numbers suggest that a quantum leap in performance is only possible by asking questions of our zeroes column.

Which is precisely the column that most affiliates ignore.

The traffic that doesn’t convert, has never converted, and still wouldn’t convert if you took names, addresses and helicoptered each user in to personal submission.

What can we do with unconvertible traffic?

I’ve spoken a lot over the years about what I call ‘dual-purpose campaigns’.

My belief is that one of the greatest competitive advantages an affiliate can obtain is the ability to filter traffic intelligently.

We don’t always have control of the traffic that we buy.

But we do control where it ends up.

By filtering it well.

Affiliates seeking profitable campaigns by monetising 2% of their paid traffic are at a massive disadvantage.

When a rival learns how to monetise 3% of the same traffic.

The problem is, you will never obtain this quantum advantage if your business is 100% guided by creative optimisation.

The hard labour.

  • Changing landing pages.
  • Testing new banners.
  • Doodling new calls-to-action.

These actions are only effective within the parameters of traffic that might have converted in the first place.

And that is the minority of your traffic.

So tackle a different problem:

How do I increase the overall percentage of traffic that is convertible?

And the answer?

Use your imagination.

Like every successful affiliate.

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OUT NOW: A Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing


In case you thought this blog had died and gone to Heaven Hell…


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There was an amazing response to Premium Posts Volume 2015, but the biggest criticism it faced was that people wanted more structure.

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I’ve had numerous requests for coaching, mentoring and private consulting along these lines, all of which I have refused.

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The second half ventures in to advanced marketing philosophies that should prove useful, and lucrative, for any affiliate.

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74,314 words, 419 pages, and a lot of swearing.

The Reality of Life in the Affiliate Marketing Trenches

A sweeping look at the affiliate industry; the different business models; the personality disorders affecting us all… and everything you’ll need to succeed.

Intelligence: What You Know, Who You Know, and Why It Matters

A map of the dynamic relationships that will affect your success (or failures) as an affiliate. How to build an intelligence network that massively increases your chances of launching profitable campaigns.

A Complete Guide to Offer and Vertical Selection

Every major vertical in affiliate marketing analysed and assessed for difficulty and potential reward. Insider tips for promoting each vertical.

Going Mobile: The Biggest Moneymaking Opportunities Revealed

Everything you need to know about the Mobile revolution and how to run successful campaigns on the mobile web. Offer types analysed, best practices revealed.

Essential Types of Traffic: How to Make Them Work

An assessment of the major traffic types (and their various traffic sources), rating each for scalability, difficulty, barrier of entry and more. Recommendations provided for each.

The Creative Mindset: How to Turn Hits in to Conversions

A massive sweeping assault on the moneymaking process behind successful landing pages, banners and creative funnels.

How to Develop a Successful Campaign Optimization Philosophy

How to go from losing money (or breaking even)… to making money and laughing like a maniac. A practical look at how I optimize my campaigns, including the order of testing priorities.

A Template For Launching Successful Campaigns

The checklist behind every successful campaign I launch. (In my opinion, the most useful content I’ve ever released.) I’m including it, in its entirety, from start to finish. Follow every step and your chances of making money will improve dramatically.

3 Campaign Launch Examples

100 pages of follow along examples where you can sit back and watch what happens as I launch three campaigns on three different traffic sources — examples include campaigns for display traffic, popunders and native ads.

The Principles of ‘Super Affiliates’

How do you take the next step and become a super fucking duper affiliate? I’ll show you the key principles and what you can do to make the jump.

Moving Up: Thinking Big and Beyond Affiliate Marketing

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  • CraigsList Marketing: A Shameful $XXX/Day on Autopilot
  • Jesse Willms and the $467 Million Dollar Landing Page
  • A Guide to Local Slang (and Super High CTRs)
  • Rules Psychology: How to Make It Pay in Every Niche
  • Agents of Persuasion: The Path to Skyrocketing Conversion Rates
  • Profitable Angle Creation Made Easy with The 7 Deadly Sins
  • How Laziness Destroys Campaigns And What You Can Do About It
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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.


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…

“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.


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