Copywriting has always been a "scary' word for me. I think people put such a stigma around good copy writing that top copy writers make $100K for a single sales letter etc, the truth is there are 100's of books, trainings, and videos on the subject and you only have to be pretty good at it to make a lot of money. - Brian
Have you ever heard the saying “Good copywriting will set you free?”
There is some truth to that statement.
Your campaign starts with ads so basically the ads are the gateway to your campaign.
If no one clicks on your ads then they'll never see your landing page, advertorial, or offer.
This isn't a competition of the prettiest ad or the most creative ad.
The end goal here is the profit.
One of the biggest problems with advertising on billboards TV or magazines is that you have no idea of how much profit you've made or lost with it.
It's not possible to track the exact metrics.
We call this return on investment (ROI) in affiliate marketing, which is how much you made on the money you spent.
We can tell exactly ROI on a campaign.
With today’s internet you can track exactly how much your campaign has made or how much you have lost, you can also see which ads have the most clicks.
Which ads made money and which ads lost. Plus, how many times the ads were actually shown (Impressions). Here's an example of the numbers in the Facebook ads manager:
What we do is called direct response marketing, our goal is to make the customers take an action.
Step 1 we want them to click on the ad.
Step 2 is to have them read our landing page.
Step 3 is to sign up for the offer or make a phone call.
What makes a fantastic ad is if you can get people to take the desired action.
Your ads will have these three goals.
1. It needs to get attention.
Which one of these ads from Outbrain Ads on CNN.com is likely to get more clicks?
Over time you will develop what's called a "marketer's eye".
Certain things will grab your attention more than others.
Reason for that in the image above looking at the pictures the first one with the lady grabs my attention because it's a very unique headpiece, the glasses don’t, and the pills don’t really.
The one of the end it's kind of like “whoa” this guy doing a building or a city pole that one's the most attention-grabbing not to mention that it's in black and white and looks like a really old photo so it has some other incongruity that you are not used to seeing.
If people don't click your ads then you have zero chance to sell them anything
2. Ads have to be relevant.
If you want to get better at basketball, which ad would you find more relevant?
The ad on the right would be more relevant if you're trying to learn how to shoot a basketball.
The point here is you don't want people clicking on your ad that have no desire to buy your offer.
Each click costs money.
Let's say you're running an ad for Chicago Bears Jersey and when someone clicks the ad to get taken to a Geico Insurance page.
Well if you're running this ad to Chicago Bears fans you'll probably get a high click-through ratio, the offer there seeing is not relevant to what they're looking, the people will leave and you waste money.
3. The ad needs to help convert the offer
Which of these ads makes you want to pull out your credit card?
The picture on the left shows there's a clear problem with the windows letting off heat. The one on the right doesn’t really show the problem.
Most people don't want to waste money on heat and spend more than they have to. Not to mention that gets your attention a lot more seeing a map of the house. (Not something you see everyday)
It's relevant if you're looking to save money in the winter time and you're looking for a solution to insulate your house better with new windows.
A good time of year to target this would be in the winter time in the northern states for example...
Types of Ads and Examples
Different traffic sources specialize in different styles of ads.
Some traffic sources may have multiple styles of ads.
In the section I'm going to cover the most popular type of ads with some examples.
1. Text Ads
I'm sure you've done a Google search before, these are the specialty of Bing, Yahoo, and Google.
These ads are strictly dependent on your ability to write copy.Examples:
2. Image ads
Here's an example of 300 X 250 banner ads the most popular size.
The most popular desktop sizes are:
- 300 x 250 (Medium Rectangles)
- 728 X 90 ( Leaderboards)
- 120 x 600 ( Skyscrapers)
If you're just starting out you're going to want to focus on the most popular banner sizes and then consider some of the other banner sizes if you want to scale.
Just a quick note, some traffic sources allow GIF images which are like animated banners that can be attention-grabbing.
3. Hybrid ads
These ads typically have text and images. The text is a headline and you want to focus attention on the image as well as a headline.
Some native ads and some social ads feature both.
Facebook is a perfect example of a hybrid ad, and like the image above this was at the bottom of a news website.
4. Pop under ads
Pop under ads are when you use landing pages as ads.
The customer visits a website, then your landing page pops under in another browser under the current website typically the customer's not aware of this.
When they close their main window your ad or landing page appears.
The two major traffic sources are pop unders on mobile and pay-per-view on desk top.
Add metrics and formulas
The only two things that matter in affiliate marketing when it comes to your ads are the conversion rate in the click-through ratio.
- Add metric number one a.k.a. CTR or The click through ratio
Simple math here if your ad is showing 5000 times(5000 impressions) and 100 people click on your ad, your CTR is 100 / 5000 = 2%
Generally the goal is always to increase the CTR of your ads.
The traffic sources typically reward you with a lower cost per click.
The reason for this is some traffic networks only make money when your ad gets a click.
If your ad is bid for $2 and nobody clicks on it the network doesn't make any money.
Rewarding you with a lower cost-per-click is their a way of motivating you to shoot for higher click-through rates.
Lower cost-per-click means your campaigns are more profitable.
2. Add metric number two conversion rate
Your Ads can affect the entire conversion rate of your flow.
There is an art to balancing the conversion rate versus the click through rate.
We have run the situations before if you make false promise like saying the word free you will get a high CTR and potentially and higher conversion rate.
But, then people find out that the product or service isn't actually free and they don't convert and you end up losing money.This likely will also affect your quality of the leads.
The Advertiser will come back at you with complaints on lead quality it may not want to pay you for misleading the leads.
We have run into this scenario on multiple occasions in verticals such as Home Improvement and Solar.
Copywriting for Affiliate Marketing
This is where the rubber meets the road in affiliate marketing.
The average are separated from the pros.
Copywriting is the ability to persuade people.
If you could persuade people through writing copy, you can get conversions and make a lot of money.
Let me demonstrate with a couple examples:
- Help the environment by using green electricity
- How I saved $172.41 a month on my electric bill
In this case the second one will perform quite a bit better because specific and more appealing to the person actually reading the ad.
Don’t get me wrong people want to help the environment and go green, they're not going to probably convert unless they know they're saving actual money every month.
Saving money on their electric bill is appealing and benefits.
Which paragraph you think will perform better:
- Ginger oil has a lot of health benefits, it’s been proven through years of research.
- No more leg swelling with this hundred percent herbal ginger oil, the world is going crazy over this massage oil for leg swelling.
The answer here is obviously the second one is going to convert better because you're telling people the benefits of what is giving them you had on the pain point which is leg swelling and you're giving him a solution. I know this converts because I am running this at the time of this writing!
My Top 3 Copywriting Tips
- I mentioned in the example above, people are buying on benefits not features
The key thing to remember here if you need to tell people exactly what's in it for them.
People don't really care what’s in the product, for example the oil above they really only want to know what it's going to do to help them. It converts well….
Another example is: 2000 people join our meeting group every month. How does it help them?
Thousands of people a month join a Meetup Group and(How Does it help them?) you'll never be able to run out of people to network with.
2. The book Cashvertising needs to be your Bible, look up the life force 8
This couple encompasses a number of the life forces.
Once you understand there are certain things that just about everybody wants in life and use that knowledge to target the human needs, this will set you free affiliate marketing.
You want to use one or a combination of a few:
- Enjoyment of food and beverages.
- Life extension, survival, enjoyment of life.
- Sexual companionship.
- Freedom of fear and danger.
- Comfortable living conditions.
- Care and protection of loved ones.
- #winning, to be superior.
- Social approval.
3. Keep a swipe file
There are many times that I have a hard time being creative, so I look into a file that I keep in a Dropbox with ads that I've seen over the years that have caught my attention.
If I ever need inspiration, I just open this folder and get some ideas start writing my copy or work on my images.
Here are my top 4 headline formulas
When I went to college and even in high school they really never taught me how to write copy to make money.
We I first started it was like a blind man trying to write persuasive copy.
I did have a basic understanding of benefits instead of the features.
So naturally, you start looking at other people's work and then copy competitor's writing.
That generally is a short-term solution and doesn't usually last too long.
I found out over the years that you need to be creative and come up with your own headlines, you will notice overtime if you look at newspapers and magazines that a lot of the headlines are very similar.
Topics can be very different, but the attention-grabbing headlines can be very similar.
If you can figure out the headline game, how to get higher click-through ratios and lower cost clicks on your ads which is going to equal more profitable campaigns.
There are several proven formulas that we've used and below is the psychology behind them.
1. Big Promise Without the Pain
Everyone wants the easy pill these days. the benefits without the pain.
Most people who are overweight don't like going to the gym or dieting. They all know what the solution really is but making that happen is a different story.
Promise your readers they can achieve their goals, tell them it doesn't involve their fear or pain point.
The Formula: How to(desired goal) without (common, painful method)
Here are some examples:
- How to lose love handles without going to the gym or dieting
- How to make $369.82 a day without selling
- How to look 6 years younger without injections
2. The comparison headline
Let's talk about the anchor effect in psychology. People make judgments based on what they are familiar with.
The Formula: (Your offer) is better than (Known Product)
- My Game is better than Fortnight
- Match.com is for boring people. Our website have more out-going people.
- Our acne cream is 125% more effective than Clearasil
Pretty simple here - in these scenarios we’re does claiming a.k.a. advertising the our product is better product then the product the audience already knows about.
A real life example was when Apple came out and said they were better than Windows.
You see this all the time advertising people saying their product tastes better than the competitors the people have heard of.
The products that people have already heard of is the standard and you're trying to beat the standard.
4. Promise Instant Gratification
In today's world our attention spans are shorter than ever. We want Instant gratification and we lack patience.
Jimmy John's promises freaky fast delivery.
They built their entire marketing campaign around quick delivery.
From personal experience, I've ordered Jimmy John's. It does come incredibly fast, it's almost scary.
I'm pretty sure just about all of you have seen the Jimmy John's commercial: there's a fire in the house and the delivery guy shows up before the fire department to help put out the fire.
It's kind of funny but it definitely proves a point about instant gratification when you're hungry because you can get your subs freaky fast. This campaign has been running for a long time, I barely watch TV and I have seen it, I am certain it’s been effective.
The Formula (Get desired result) in a (Time frame)
- Get your mortgage lowered in less than 10 minutes
- Need a date, we will find you one for this weekend
- Repair your cracked phone screen in 5 minutes
5. Rebel Against The Experts
Have you ever seen a commercial for the product Liquid Plumber? Their slogan was something like the professionals hate us.
Meaning, plumbers or the professionals don't like the product because it takes business away from them.
Think about if you had a product and you implied that it was so good that they wouldn't need the experts in the field or the experts don't want you to know about this.
The formula: The secret the (Experts) don't want you to know
- Your fitness trainer won't tell you about this weight loss trick
- Dentists won't tell you this when you ask about teeth whitening
- The one fruit doctors won't recommend when discussing diabetes
How to Make Ads
At some point in your affiliate marketing career you're going to have to design banners.
Don't worry I'm not a Photoshop expert, but there are plenty of designers out there who are.
You don't have to be a great designer in order to get a good performing banner. We've tested professional-looking banners over and over again against what I would consider ugly banners and generally the ugly banners have a higher CTR
Here's an example of a template as an ad
You don't have to be a graphic designer to make successful banner ads.
You don't have to be super creative, a better word would be clever, the main focus of a banner ad is for them to take action.
Components of a typical Banner ad:
- Call to action
Spying is one of my favorite things to do in the research stage.
Once I talk to my affiliate manager and decide which offer and which traffic source I'm going to run.
This we doing my research begins, which includes spying on other affiliates.
If you can find stuff that's already working and model it better, you're going down the right path.
I will talk more about spy tools in the resources section, but my go-to spy tools Astrex and Adplexity
If you're on mobile then I would recommend Adplexity.
Spy tools are a huge time-saver and time is money in this business, and your goal is to make money.
Get out there and do some spying and use your marketer's eye to notice some ads.
Check out vipbox.tv for some mobile ads and just check out your Facebook news feed as well.
Keep that swipe file I mentioned all the ads that catch your attention and you want to refer back to.
Spy tools don't get every single ad but they're a nice starting place.
The best place to actually see ads happening in real time are the platforms themselves.
Create a swipe with the following ad formats:
Keep in mind a lot of times ugly works, just take action.
- 728 x 90
- 300 x 250
- 120 x 600