Check the Merchant

Section 03 - Lesson 02

Check the merchant's sales pages for quality.

While looking at offers in the affiliate network, be sure you are viewing the real merchant sales page. For example, if an offer is valid in the UK only, but you're in USA, you'll see a "catch all" default page inserted by the affiliate network. Fire up your VPN software and select a UK server, to be sure you're seeing the correct merchant sales page.

Now quickly scan the sales page for the offer. Ask yourself, if you would you shop there. Would you honestly buy the product this merchant is offering? Can you advertise it with pride?

Is there any fine print or disclaimers? Are there real testimonials from real customers?

Are you confident giving them your credit card number? Do you trust this merchant will deliver on their promises? If the answer is no, pass on the offer and look for something else.

Look for bait and switch because it happens often. For example, I saw a game offer giving $1.50 per install. That sounded great. After clicking the supplied affiliate link, it led to a page with over 100 games on it. The one on the offer page was nowhere to be found, so I complained and the affiliate network quickly dumped them.

In addition to testing your affiliate links, click all the links on the offer's sales page. Make sure they all go where they are supposed to, and that there are no shenanigans.

For example, if the offer leads to a merchant's loan application form, make sure it matches what was proposed on the offer page. If it's an item for sale, be sure that the buy button actually goes to a shopping cart, not another page. Also watch out for upsells and downsells that may link away from the offer.

Look at the design. Is there a photo showing a person using the product? Does it show the product being used in context and solving a problem? Does it show the end result that you want the person to have?

Is there a persuasive headline that entices the prospect to read the rest of the page? Does the headline start telling a story, or promise a solution to an existing problem?

Are there bullet points that describe the main benefits? Are there sub headlines to help readers scan the page and find areas of interest?

Does the color harmony match the product category? Things like blue for banking, turquoise for insurance, white for retail and food, wheat and green for natural products?

Are there confidence builders on the page? Look for things like credit card logos, BBB and trust symbols. Are there the essential legal pages like a terms of service, privacy policy and a contact us form?

Is there a toll free phone number on the page? If so, does the phone number have a unique local for people to call, so your affiliate commission can still be tracked?

Is there any sort of risk reversal like money back guarantee? How do you cancel an order or trial offer. What about shipping costs? What about returns? Are those links easy to find?

Most importantly, can you find the conversion point quickly and easily? Is there a clear call to action? Does the buy now button stand out from the rest of the page?

All the above design elements will help any offer convert better. Not to say you can't run ads for an amateur design if you want to test it, but good design is good for business, because it builds consumer confidence, which means more profit for you.

And don't worry if this list seems a bit much. After a bit of practice you'll run down this checklist in under 5 minutes.

If anything looks weird, go with your gut feeling and pass on the offer. If you decide to run it, keep the offer page open in a browser window, and move on to the next step.

Business owners really need to understand that Michael Campbell's marketing strategies are blessing and nothing less. He has engineered a substantial increase in traffic and my web based revenues.

Dapinder Singh

When dealing with people let us remember that we are not dealing with people of logic. We're dealing with people of emotion.

Dale Carnegie

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