Do you know you are leaving money on the table if you direct all your product affiliate links to your merchants’ homepage? Your potential customers might get annoy and quit immediately when they were re-directed to the merchant’s homepage instead of the specific product page as they were expecting to get more information about the product.
Similarly, if you have multiple products on a page but you re-direct your readers to the same merchant’s homepage instead of the individual product page, they would get confused and lost. Most of the times, this might not be your mistake but rather was how the affiliate link was given to you by your merchant.
I noticed I made this same mistake when I was trying to sell a new set of WordPress templates from the same merchant whom I was helping to sell their software previously. They have recently created this amazing templates for their users to speed up their web development process but they didn’t provide a separate affiliate links for the new product. I created a blog post and talked about the new WordPress template and used back the affiliate link. Guess what? When readers clicked on the link, it went to the merchant’s homepage so you could imagine the readers’ frustration when they couldn’t see what they expected to see at the homepage. As a result, the sales funnel was broken and sales were not made so in order not to make such a mistake, it is necessary to direct the affiliate link to merchant’s specific product page and this link is called custom affiliate link.
How to Create and Direct Affiliate Link to Merchant’s Specific Product pages?
Some merchants allow creating a custom affiliate link easily by adding your affiliate ID directly behind the destination URL. For example, if you affiliate ID is pn=affiliatethinktank then you just add it behind the destination URL and prefix it with a question mark which look like the following:
Destination URL: www.merchantdomain.com/item/wordpress-theme-8302123
Custom Affiliate Link: www.merchantdomain.com/item/wordpress-theme-8302123?pn=affiliatethinktank
Long affiliate URL tend to run the risk of copy-and-paste error so one of the good practices is to shorten it for easy management and tracking. There are some affiliate networks such as ShareaSale.com who has a tool that help you to create a shorter and neater custom affiliate URL. It is called Customized Link Feature which not only create a short custom and trackable affiliate link to any specific page you want but it also cloak your affiliate links saving you time to find another cloaking tool.
Below are the steps to do it.
- Log into ShareaSale.com.
- Under “Links” at the main navigation menu, click on “Create a Custom Link”.
- At “Merchant for this link”, select the merchant you want to create the custom affiliate link by selecting the merchant name from the dropdown menu.
- You can leave the Optional field blank.
- At the “Destination URL”, paste the destination URL you want your potential customers to go to. Using the example above, I want my visitors to go to www.merchantdomain.com/item/wordpress-theme-8302123 then I will paste this into the box without the http://.
- If you prefer a shortened URL, you can select “Yes” at Create License Plate Link.
- Once you have done that, it will ask you whether you want to activate the Social Sharing Functions.
- You can select “Yes” to activate the social sharing functions. These social sharing buttons will appear at your destination page so that your potential customers can share it with their friends if they like the page.
- Once you have finished all the settings, click on “Create Custom Link”.
- A shorten custom affiliate link will appear, copy this URL.
- You can now add it to you blog page so that when your potential customers click on this link, it will direct them to the specific page now instead of your merchant’s homepage.
Different affiliate networks have different methods of creating custom affiliate link so do check with the individual networks on how to do it. However, there are some merchants do not allow custom affiliate link so you may want to double check with them first.
Personally, I find that there a great difference in sales conversion if visitors are sent to the merchant’s specific product page than the homepage as they are not lost and could finish the entire purchase process once they have gathered enough information about the product. If you are making the same mistake of sending all your website visitors to your merchant’s homepage, please correct it as soon as possible so you do not lose any more sales.
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