Meet Tim Ash, a highly-regarded presenter and keynote speaker, conversion rate optimization expert and host of the Landing Page Optimization podcast on WebmasterRadio.fm and CEO of SiteTuners. At Affiliate Management Days SF 2014 (March 19-20), Tim will hold his traditional “Live Affiliate Landing Page Critiques” session.
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Question: If you were to emphasize one important area or issue that every affiliate manager should be paying more attention to, what would it be and why?
Tim Ash: Conversion. Unless you actually have an absolutely unique product or service that people are willing to walk on broken glass to get to, the reality is that you are probably peddling something that has lots of competition in the minds of your audience.
Since you are reaching the ultimate buyers through an affiliate intermediary, you must influence and attract these middle-men. Since affiliates are all very practical mercenaries, you must have the best performing offers and pages.
The best way to lock in the loyalty of super affiliates is to relentlessly focus on your conversion rates and put more money in their pockets.
Question: What do you see as the main areas of opportunity for online (and especially affiliate) marketers in 2014?
Tim Ash: Mobile. For many businesses this already represents 25-50% of leads or sales. If you only have affiliates that are hitting email lists hard, you will miss out on this opportunity.
Do everything you can to attract mobile-savvy affiliates.
Question: Not too long ago, you released the 2nd edition of Landing Page Optimization. How is this book different from other tomes on conversion rate optimization?
Tim Ash: Actually there are no other tomes. Most of them are light-weight tactical guides. My book is significantly updated for the second edition. We have done massive reorganization, as well as added 150 pages of solid new content.
You can think of it as a college textbook that covers the theory and practice of conversion rate optimization.
Question: At AM Days SF 2014, you will be speaking on conversion optimization techniques for affiliate landing pages. I know it isn’t easy to fit your session’s content into a paragraph, but can you give Small Business Trends readers a few quick tips on how they can improve the performance/conversion of their online landing pages today?
Tim Ash: Less is more. Get rid of text, unnecessary visual distractions and conceptual complexity on your landing pages. Don’t expect people to actively engage with your content and wrestle the meaning out of your landing page.
Assume that they are busy and design your pages for maximum clarity and focus.
Question: If you were to leave online advertisers, merchants and affiliate managers with one piece of advice for 2014, what would it be?
Tim Ash: Go do mobile versions of your top-performing offers. By the way, that does not simply mean making a stretchable “responsive” version of your page. It should involve a fundamental rethink of what people want from you in a mobile context.
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The upcoming Affiliate Management Days conference takes place March 19-20, 2014 in San Francisco, CA. Follow @AMDays or #AMDays on Twitter as well as Facebook.com/AMDays. When registering, make sure to use the code SMBTRENDS to receive $500.00 off your two-day (or all-access) pass.
See the rest of the interview series here.
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Tim is one of the smartest guys I know and his skills in conversion rate optimization are top-notch. This is a great summary, but hearing him in person (and connecting with him digitally) are opportunities you don’t want to miss.
Robert, I agree with your comments on Tim; and on the need to hear him in person. Affiliate Management Days (in 5 weeks) gives a great chance to hear both Tim and nearly 30 more other top-notch experts. Will I see you there?
If we want a better bottom line, the middlemen/affiliates matter a lot. It’s just like with any business. In order for the products to reach the customers, the middle men serves as the vehicle which is why we need to pay attention to them. Make them happy with more payment for every hard work and you’re sure to see some significant conversion increase.
Thank you for your comment, Divine. While I am not entirely sure that making affiliates “happy with more payment” can significantly impact the conversion rate (while they can ensure the targetedness of referred traffic, there is very little affiliates can do to the improvement of merchant websites (apart from pointing to the areas requiring improvement(s)), I wholeheartedly share the undergirding sentiment of your above comment — that it is mighty important to care about affiliates if you really want your affiliate program to bear fruit.
Thanks for your insights Tim. I like how he answers in a direct manner. Saying it in one word in the beginning and then explaining it later. I agree that the future is really in mobile. That is quite new as of now but then it will surely boom in the future. This is the perfect time to tap that medium and make some big money.