Direct to merchant (DTM), pay per click (PPC) advertising has been increasingly restricted lately, with major merchants like Amazon and EBay stating they will no longer allow affiliates to use the merchant site as their landing pages in PPC campaigns.
What this means to affiliates is that they will now be tasked with building their own websites and landing pages that convert. Even though many affiliates made a lot of money using DTM PPC, the technique is flawed and smart affiliates should have recognized that long ago.
First, affiliates have been paying for traffic and sending it directly to the merchant. Unfortunately, when the merchant pulls the plug, as many are now doing, those affiliates will not have any residual traffic to a website of their own.
With perfected keywords, ads and their own websites, affiliates would have been able to continue without issue and have a site with some authority and customer trust.
Second, affiliates with their own sites could have been building a mailing list to use to contact people about similar or better products. Not a spam list, but a real list built from people that were interested in the product being promoted and possibly other similar products that can be featured on the same site.
Third, affiliates that perform well utilizing pay per click ads in the search engines have unique skills that many other marketers don’t have. Leveraging those skills to build traffic to their own websites provides them with an opportunity to increase their own authority and credibility with shoppers. Building their email list should take them to new levels that they weren’t aware they could achieve.
If you’re not great at building websites and landing pages, I recommend partnering with someone who is, or utilizing sites such as Elance.com to outsource the portions you can’t do yourself. In the ever-changing affiliate and online marketing landscape, the more you are able to utilize your skills and adapt to new requirements, the more successful you will be.
Deborah Carney (TeamLoxly.com) is an Affiliate Manager and Consultant that also hosts a podcast on Geekcast.fm to teach affiliates the ABCs of getting started (AffiliateABCs).
Download the entire FeedFront issue 7 here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/17376069/FeedFront-Magazine-Issue-7
FeedFront issue 7 articles can be found here as well: http://feedfront.com/archives/article00date/2009/08