Affiliate marketing is one of the best things that ever happened to the Web. It allows ordinary people like you and me to become instant Internet marketers by selling and promoting other people’s products and earning commissions from each successful sale. If you’re good at SEO, PPC, email marketing or any other form of promotion that leads to sales, affiliate marketing is something you should consider.
Of course, there’s a slew of challenges associated with affiliate marketing. Driving targeted traffic to your site, earning the trust of your prospects and creating a customer experience that encourages sales are all vital areas where you have to make important decisions. Sometimes you’ll get it right, sometimes you won’t. The important thing is for you to be able weak parts of your campaign and apply the right corrective measures to generate more sales.
A common sticking point is the issue of design versus copy/usability. People in the design camp would argue that a landing page’s look and feel is vital to the impression that visitors get upon entering a website. People on the copywriting side would often counter that the persuasive power of copy and overall landing page usability are the biggest elements that drive sales, therefore design should conform to copy and not the other way around.
In a recent post titled 10 Commandments of Affiliate Marketing, SEO guru Dan Gray drops his two cents on this long-standing topic. In commandment number 3, he writes:
3. Problem: You’re starting with visuals/templates as opposed to copy.
Solution: Form serves function. Figure out what you want to do, and create a page (or find a template) that matches that. Don’t start with visuals and then try to fit your copy/ purpose into it. For example, I’ve seen complicated SaaS software trying to sell me on a $50 subscription with hardly any copy on the landing page, because the lander featured a big spot for a hero image / video (which was meant for newbies very unfamiliar with the category of product, and thus didn’t help me) and then some horizontally aligned features with 3 lines of adwords-length copy each.
Being an Internet marketer-type, I couldn’t agree more with Mark. Don’t get me wrong, I think web design is very important and I wouldn’t be caught dead with a campaign that doesn’t have some nice visuals. Still, when push comes to shove, I’d say user experience and copy trumps all other priorities.
Actually, I attribute the success of past campaigns to cop that really captured the essence of my marketing messages and helped the audience understand what I’m trying to tell them. I believe design is there to SIPPORT your copy, but it isn’t what your visitors come to see when they go to your landing pages. Think of it this way: your visitors are like managers in a job interview. You can get by with your good looks for about two minutes, but after that, you better have something substantial to say.
Mark has a bunch of other great tips for affiliate marketers which you can find after you hit the link above.
Ever had an experience where you had great design that clashed with your other interests? Let me know in the comments section below.