Affiliates are often poised with the question: to direct link or use a landing page? Some offers require further pre-selling while others can simply be direct linked to achieve results. A lot of times it boils down to how the offer converts. As a general rule of thumb, the more steps to achieve a successful conversion, the more pre-selling is required. We built iMobiTrax with this in mind and offer the ability to split test between direct linking to an offer vs. using a “pre-lander.”
How To Setup A Direct Link vs. Landing Page Split Test
To accomplish this on our platform we simply proceed to campaign setup as normal. Define the campaign name, set it to active, assign a group and traffic source and enter our starting CPC (cost per click):
This is all pretty straight forward but in the next step we want to define the Campaign Type as Landing Page:
This populates fields below that are going to allow us to enter information about the location of our respective landing pages. First through we need to define the offer(s) we plan on running. To keep this example simple I’m going to assume a split test between one offer direct linked and one landing page that links out to the offer. Before I proceed further I need to enter information about the offer I’m going to promote:
Since I’m only going to be running one offer I will leave the fields for Offer 2 blank. I make sure I use the “green weight button” to have the offer rotation set to 100% and I’ve entered the cost I receive after a successful conversion and have defined by affiliate network. If I wanted to split test multiple offers I could enter as many as I want here or if I wanted to have more than one offer on my landing page.
The next step is where we add in the split test between direct linking vs. going to the landing page. You’ll notice: % to Landing Pages:. For this example I want to split test my traffic evenly with 50% of it going directly to the offer and 50% of it going to my landing page. Therefore I’ll set my percentage to 50%:
I then want to enter information about the location of my landing page. Once again, in this example I’m only going to be using one landing page but I could use this opportunity to also define a second landing page and split test this variable if necessary:
Notice at the top we see where I split the percentage to landing page to 50%. I can set this to whatever value I want depending on how I want the traffic to be distributed in terms of direct linking vs. the landing page. I then defined my landing page name and the location of the URL (must be .php). Since I’m only going to be using one landing page in this example I use the “green weight button” to set my split % on that to 100. If I wanted to add another landing page to test even further I would do that below and then use the green button to evenly weight.
We can then create the campaign where we’re given our tracking link:
This link is active and ready to go to our traffic source. As soon as it is clicked it will automatically sent 50% of the traffic straight to the offer while taking the other 50% to the landing page.
Tracking The Results
When traffic distribution starts we can monitor the data in real time and see which combination is yielding better results. As I mentioned above the general rule of thumb is the more complex the conversion flow the more pre-selling is required. Sometimes though results can be surprising therefore we always want to closely monitor this to ensure we’ve reaching the highest ROI as possible.
To begin tracking the results of the campaign we want to log back into our installation of iMobiTrax and click on the “stats” link in the Campaign Dashboard:
We’re then directed to a page that breaks down the campaign into four main parts: Campaign Overview, Offer Overview (Direct Linked), Offer Overview (From Landing Pages), and Landing Page Overview:
Campaign Overview – This is a complete snapshot of how the campaign is performing overall. This includes the total clicks to the tracking link as well as how much you’ve spent, made, ROI, etc. A good determining metric to see if the campaign has an overall potential.
Offer Overview (Direct Linked) – This shows how the split test directly to the offer is performing. In real time you’ll see how many people have hit the offer direct as well as how much you’ve spent on these clicks. This will begin to give you a good idea if your money is better spent going straight to the offer or using a landing page.
Offer Overview (From Landing Page) – This shows how the offer is performing from the landing page. Nine chances out of ten these numbers are going to be much higher since the landing page was used to help pre-sell the user to become a successful conversion. This will let you know from an offer standpoint how much better/worse a landing page performs.
Landing Page Overview – Finally we’re displayed how the landing page is performing. If we were split testing multiple landing pages then we would have multiple lines so we can make optimization decisions based off this data. By comparing this table to the Offer Overview (Direct Linked) we can make a pretty good decision on which combination is going to work best for the particular offer; direct link or using a landing page.
The good thing about iMobiTrax is we can perform all of these split tests from the beginning of the campaign. Once we start to see what’s going to work and what’s not we can go into the campaign and make edits without ever having to change our tracking link at the traffic source. For example, if we determine that the offer converts best with a landing page we can eliminate all the direct linking traffic to the offer and then add additional landing pages to split test from. This saves you a lot of time and allows you to make the best decision possible optimizing your ROI.
Let’s not forget that during this entire process we’re also tracking very important conversion data including: Device Manufacture, Name, Model, Combined Name, Marketing Name, Type, Operating System, Display Size, Resolution, and Data Speed, Referring URL, IP Address, Carrier, Internet Service Provider, Country, and any user-defined custom Tokens. Remember, iMobiTrax is not only useful for your mobile campaigns but you can accomplish the same type of split test with desktop campaigns as well.
By successfully conducting a direct link vs. landing page split test you’ll answer the question on how the offer converts the best. Sometimes the results may surprise you but you will never know unless you test. Have fun tracking and enjoy the extra ROI!