February 23, 2022

The Biggest Mistakes Brands Make to Drive Down Their Affiliate Conversion Rate

By Alex Cramer

Coffee is for closers, and at Advertise Purple, we drink a lot of coffee. Ok, really, we drink a lot of things but saying “kombucha is for closers” doesn’t hit quite the same.

The point is that we know how to get sales done. Overseeing more than a billion dollars worth of transactions for our clients in just over a decade speaks to that. But you don’t achieve a lot of success without also witnessing a lot of failures, and we’ve watched companies blow millions in sales by making choices that seemed minor at the time but had a huge impact on their bottom line.

Consumer behavior can be hugely influenced by the smallest factors, and most brands have no idea how many sales they lose seconds before their potential customer was about to smash the buy button.

These are the steps you need to take if you want to close the gap between “thanks, but no thanks” and “your order is on the way!”

Optimize Your Website

Three seconds. That’s enough time to take a breath, change a TV channel or read this sentence. That’s also exactly how long you have for your homepage to load before you start losing customers.

According to Google data, a load time of three seconds means that you have a 32% chance of a bounce back, which is a measure of how quickly a website visitor will leave a page. However, if you push that load time up to six seconds your bounce back probability increases to 106%.

What that means is that a customer clicked through your affiliate, showed up on your website ready to buy, but a difference of three seconds was all it took for them to decide that it wasn’t worth it.

The dial-up era is over. Your customers have 5G, fiber optic internet and very little patience. If your website isn’t optimized to move at its fastest speed, you’re losing sales.

Keep it Clean

Google is the most visited website on earth. It processes 5.6 billion searches a day. It also has the simplest layout. A logo and a search bar. That’s it.

Consumers react best to clean and simple homepages. That means that your landing page should have plenty of white space, a few high-quality images and black text against a white background and that’s about it.

An over-cluttered website stuffed full of text blocks, links, autoplay videos and flashing ads is a guaranteed conversion killer. Google found that as the number of elements on your homepage increases from 400 to 6,000, the probability of achieving a conversion drops by 95%.

High-Quality Video

Videos have become an increasingly important part of the buying journey. A study released by Wyzowl showed that 88% of people have been convinced to buy a brand’s product or service by watching a video.

And we’re not talking about slickly produced and expensive hype videos where a major celebrity endorses your product right before they sky-dive off the top of Mt. Everest.

What consumers really want is much simpler. A how-to video that shows your product actually works. This style of video has become so popular with consumers, that it’s now the fourth biggest category on YouTube.

Showing your product in action is an easy way to give consumers the confidence that it will work for them.

Call to Action

An affiliate is what lands a consumer on your page. The call to action should lead them to buy from you.

A strong CTA should be prominent on your website, offer simple and clear instructions (click here to download a free PDF!) and promise to add value for the consumer. A good CTA should say something like “Save now!” instead of “Buy now!”.

Even basic design elements, like using appealing colors for your CTA that contrast with the rest of your website, will do a lot to pull customers towards your buy button.

Test, Test, Test

No matter how well designed or how much money you spent on it, the first version of your website will definitely not be the best version and you won’t be able to fully optimize unless you’re regularly performing A/B testing on every feature of your website.

A/B testing essentially means that there are two versions of your website and users are directed to one or the other so that you can measure the effectiveness of any design change.

Doing this will teach you that small choices can have a major impact on your bottom line. For example, you might get 10% more sales if your “buy” button is blue instead of green. Or you could increase clicks on your CTA by writing in an active instead of passive voice.

The website performed A/B testing on their home page’s background photo and drove up their conversion rate by 27%. 

The point is that you’ll never learn any of these things if you’re not intentionally testing and gathering data.

Making sales is never easy. There are a thousand factors that are completely out of your control, from interest rates to the weather, that can have a big impact on your bottom line. That’s why it’s so crucial to be on top of everything you can control so that you never miss an opportunity to turn an affiliate lead into a satisfied customer.

Are you getting started in affiliate marketing or looking to improve your current program?

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