Text Links - Why Merchants Should Provide them and How Affiliates Should Use Them
By Rob Wood
Thu, 2 Mar 2006, 23:31:00
In the rush to put up new banners and fancy graphics, many Merchants and Affiliates overlook one of the most powerful advertising tools in their arsenal - the humble text link. This article will go through how and why a Merchant should provide text links for use by Affiliates and how and why Affiliates should use them.
With a little planning, a text link is almost as capable as a banner or graphic in attracting click throughs - in some cases they can even outperform graphic banners in getting clicks to the Merchant site. They are also very easy for Merchants to provide. For Merchant with a sale or lead program, in most cases it is advisable to provide at least one text link that Affiliates can use on their websites or in other promotion activities.
I'm a Merchant - How Do I provide a Text Link?
Making a text link available to your Affiliates is very simple. Just log into your Merchant account and go to "Program Maintenance" > "Edit Merchant Program / Banners" then click on "Rates / Banners" On the next page, use the second drop down menu to select "Text Advertisement" - then click on the "Retrieve Banners" button.
On the next page you can set all of the settings such as naming the text link and setting the URL that it directs to. Remember to hit the save button.
It is highly advisable for Merchant to offer at least a couple of different text links for their Affiliates to use. In fact you can't really have too many. You may also like to indicate on one of the text links, that Affiliates would be welcome to change the actual text of the link to say anything that they like. That way they will know that they have your explicit permission to include that link anywhere they see fit. Just put "INSERT YOUR OWN TEXT HERE" in the "Advertising Text" box. Affiliates will then be able to integrate that link seamlessly into their own marketing efforts in websites and emails using their own jusgement as to what will achieve the best results.
I'm an Affiliate - How Do I Use Text Links?
Using the text links provided by Merchants is a very easy process for Affiliates. You just need to log into your account and go to "Get Banner Linking Code / Deep Linking" and you can choose the Merchants you have already signed up for. If you haven't yet requested permission to use the text links they provide, then you will need to do that by clicking on the "More Banners" link next to the Merchant's program name.
Then you will have access to the relevant code by clicking on the "View Tracking Code" link for the relevant text advertisement. When you get the code, all you need to do is to copy and paste it into your website code or email. If the Merchant has provided a text link that allows you to change the text, then you can just type in whichever text you like.
Why Should I Use Text Links?
Used properly, text links can out perform some banners in getting people to click through to a Merchant's site. That is especially true of regular internet users who tend to be "blind" to most banners.
If you are writing some type of content or article around a service or product then you would be well advised to put a text link at the beginning, in the body and at the end of the article. You can also use the text link code to add a link to your site in a way that integrates with your site seamlessly.
As with anything to do with the internet, you will need to experiment to figure out what works well for your particular site. But certainly, text links should be a part of your overall marketing strategy.
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