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We have found that in some cases building a more focused site that just uses the affiliates e-commerce solution can improve the CT to sales. At least you have control over it.
I find text links get about 20x the clickthroughs but 1/10th of the sales. Which kind of links get the best sales ratios?
Edited by: JamesR
Yes, and take a look at the ad copy the merchant uses to sell you -the potential affiliate- on what they're doing. I've found that it provides good starting point for writing your own copy. While you may not be able to alter the affiliate code, you can certainly precede the click-point with a better intro.
I also take a hard, hard look at their creative. The ones that explain more about what's to be expected on the other side of the click are going to convert better.
I'd be interested in hearing how you track which
links and banners they click on. Maybe the program tracks
this for you?
Yes, most of the better affiliate networks provide a decent reporting module. CJ's is perhaps the most extensive, but I've found them to be a little confusing sometimes.
The individual creative or text link for each merchant has an ID code, if you drill through the reports you can get CTR and conversion rates. Being new to affiliate promotions, I go more by gut call on the creative and don't really track comparative CTR within the merchant's program as well as I should.
My biggest problem is converting lookers to buyers. I'm re-working my content on this, and I've raised my clickthroughs from the .5% range into the 3-5% range, and 10-15% on product links. But I'm still a measly 1-2% click-through-to-sales ratio, and that's what confuses me the most. You'd figure that if the people feel safe and secure enough to click through to see the product, there should be a percentage willing to buy it. I haven't found out that trick yet, and I guess it's more a matter of seeming less tricky and more professional - Something I'm still working on.
As I said, you can only do half the job by getting the click throughs, and the affiliate program has to do the other half by getting people to sign up when they see the form they have to fill out.
The webpage they see when they click through has to be able to "close the sale" (make the person buy the product.) Some of these pages are real turn-offs.