For many, many years banner ads and text links were the primary ways affiliates drove traffic to a merchant and sadly in many cases those two forms of links are still the primary affiliates promote a merchant. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against banners and text links. They are an awesome tool to use and definitely have their place on your site and in the affiliate industry.
But over the past few years many of the affiliate networks have developed tools that make it much, much easier to integrate products into your posts and on your sites. Some of them are dynamic tools that update whenever the merchant makes a change (new price, product goes out of stock, etc.) and others allow you to pick the individual products to show. All 5 of these tools I am going to show have some awesome uses on your site and although you don’t need them in ever post on your site you should regularly incorporate them.
For the sake of this example I am going to use the Fanatics.com affiliate program (yeah, I am the affiliate manager for that one) and will use some Washington Huskies products as an example. And don’t worry, my commission is set to 0 so I don’t make any money on these:
Shareasale Product Showcase – This tool allows you to simply enter a keyword and it will build a nice product display showing all the products related to that keyword. These products can be from a specific merchant or they can be from all the merchants you are working with in Shareasale. This is an awesome tool because it is simple and totally dynamic. If a product goes out of stock it is removed from the showcase and you will only be showing current products to your users. There are 5 different sizes to choose from and you can customize the colors. I see this tool as an excellent replacement for a standard banner ad. Here is what it looks like. I just put in the keyword “Washington Huskies T-shirt” and the add will pull all the related products from the datafeed:
Shareasale Make A Page – Page View – The Shareasale Make A Page tool allows you to select specific products to display on your site. You can just pick a couple or you can pick dozens. This is another tool that works with either one specific merchant or all the merchants you work with. You have a lot of different ways you can customize the layout, sizing, fonts, colors, etc.. For this example I just entered the keywords “Washington Huskies” and selected 12 products. It can take quite a bit of tweaking and testing to get all the sizing right for your particular site but once you do you can save your template and easily use it the next time you want to build one of these:
- Nike Washington Huskies #1 Twill Football Jersey - Black
- Price: $74.99
- Washington Huskies Unisex Gel Flip Flops - Black
- Price: $24.99
- Washington Huskies 9'' Plush Mascot
- Price: $17.99
- Washington Huskies Women's Yukon Vest - Black
- Price: $69.99
- Washington Huskies Replica Basketball Ornament
- Price: $6.99
- Nike Washington Huskies Spiral Tech Replica Football
- Price: $29.99
Shareasale Make a Page Gallery View - The Gallery View is another great way to display the Make A Page content. It gives you a nice display unit the users can scroll through with nice images, prices, product descriptions and social sharing buttons. Here is what this view looks like:
Avantlink Product Ad Widget - This is another ad unit on Avantlink that is similar to the Make A Page Page View in Shareasale. You can select your products and customize the unit to fit your site. There are a number of different customization options and it gives you an option to edit the raw HTML which can be nice. Here is what this unit looks like:
Avantlink Product Display - This is similar to the Product Ad Widget except it is a bit more dynamic. It is based on keyword and you don't select the product. The tool searches through the merchant datafeed and pulls out the right products to display. You can select the number of products to show and there are some other customization options as well:
All these tools will easily allow you to add products to your site and let you go beyond standard banners and text links. If you are an affiliate and want to see how to use any of these tools let me know and I would be happy to give you a walk through. If you are a merchant and want to know how your affiliates can utilize these tools let me know and I would be happy to give you some ideas.