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Affiliates Forum

Forewarning visitors that they'll leave your site
Or just let them find out when they get there?

 5:16 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone,

I'm working hard on my affiliate theory. Most I've gleaned from recent threads and some I'm making up as I go along ;-)

If I have a page describing a product and a link to Buy product xyz do you think I should:

  • Use Buy xyz at www.somestore.com
  • Or But xyz now!

I'm kinda leaning toward the first, as there is no suprise in store for joe punter, but I'd love to hear some experienced opinions ;)




 5:26 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I like the first one.


 5:29 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I would go with the first one. It is always better to let people know what's happening when they're leaving the site.



 5:52 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'd go with the former; visitors will feel more in control when they know what's going on.

That helps keep them in the mood to open their wallets!


 5:54 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree with the first two folks. We've done a number of partnerships where we eventually dump customers off to a "partner" site. We try to make the transition as seamless as possible, while giving people a heads-up that it's happening.

My boss coined it the goldfish theory. You know how when you bring a new fish home, you're supposed to float its little plastic bag in the tank so that the water temperature gradually changes for the new fish before he is introduced to the tank? Well, with no warning on a transition from your site, your customers are like a fish that gets dumped directly into the new tank with no acclimation. It's very shocking ... and can kill weaker fish (aka, lowers conversion).



 6:06 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, that pretty much confirms my thoughts on the matter.

Thanks everyone ;)



 6:12 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

The goldfish metaphor is a good one to use for managing transitions. Thanks for sharing it! :)



 6:19 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Depending on what you're selling, I would probably go with the second one.

Why? You are making the visitor think.

Surfer sees that link, and thoughts like:
"Buy at othersite.com? Why can't I buy from this site?"
"Am I on somestore.com or yourstore.com?"
"What's this website get out of this?"
"Will the product be cheaper if I visit without clicking through here?"

can run through his head.

Never make the visitor think, do everything for him. Make everything painfully obvious. Think of a 5 year old navigating your site, and make it possible for him to do what you want him to.

The best way to figure out what works best for you, is to test both. Get the traffic first, and track it. Then switch it for a week, and see the difference in clickthroughs and conversions. Tweaking is a big part of being a successful affiliate. You'd be surprised how minor changes in link text, color, size, location, image, etc. can make a difference on clickthroughs and conversions.


 6:25 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yes, I had planned to test of course ;) Thanks Drastic.

I see your point, in fact, it was my first consideration. But, my target group are probably not to internet savvy and I really like the honesty thing (you'd never beleive some of the dodgy jobs I've done over the years after a statement like that!)...

I'll do exactly that, run a test with no warning for a week. I'll start with the warnig though...



 8:07 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I always go with the "Tell folks what to expext" theory - especially if something's gonna happen that they don't expect. My current dilemma is that I've developed a really cool App using Amazon's "Web Services" and you can get considerable amounts of product details on my site rather than having to go to the Amazon site. Unfortunately, since I'm required to disclose my affiliation, and people are so used to the idea that "When I click this, it's gonna try to add it to my shopping cart and sell me 50 million other things before I can see what it is..." that people seem to be afraid to go to my "details" pages. I'm finding myself writing things like, "You WON'T be brought to another site at this time!"

I also pop them up in a new window. Here's a tip for those of you who are in affiliate programs that don't allow you to play with their click-code at all (which usually results in your visitor leaving your site without a new window opening). If you add a tag <base target ="_blank"> and then paste your code and then add <base target = "_top"> after the code, you can force a new window - unless of course, they put a "TARGET" tag in their click code. This way, you can get the new window, and their code (as per your agreement) hasn't been messed with. ;)



 1:06 pm on Aug 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am having a lot of success with:

"Buy XYZ here."

Lots of clickthroughs. I have to agree with Drastic on the reasoning behind it. Don't make people think.

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