Best Practices for Creating Text-Based Affiliate Links

Building a library of accessible creative ensures that your publisher partners have access to the most relevant and accurate content to promote on behalf of your brand. Text links, or text hyperlinks, are one of the creative types you can create for your publisher partners to promote your program in their placementsincluding store pages, category listings, newsletters, social media and more. Having a solid base of text links is a critical component to any successful affiliate program. Text links should include your brand name, new product lines, offers such as free shipping, coupons, % off discounts, and much more. All affiliate links should be in line with your marketing and promotional calendars therefore, it’s very important to refresh them regularlyso promotions are accurately updated, and brand guidelines are followed correctly. 

To help keep you organized and prepared when it comes to text links, the following are some best practices to keep in mind, especially as we navigate through Q4 and the busy holiday shopping season: 

  • Be mindful of the character limit 
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  • Text links are limited to 255 characters. This might sound like a lot but it it’s easy to go over when including offer details or branding information. Be as direct and as clear as possible to get attention and drive action.  
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  • Call out your brand 
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  • Your brand is the most important asset – it’s also the easiest to leave out when building text links. Make sure to lead (or close) by mentioning your brand name in the text link. This can be used as part of your call to action.  
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  • Call to action (CTA) 
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  • Every text link should include a call to action, or a prompt to complete a desired step. Links are interactive and the call to action reminds shoppers of this. It never hurts to include your brand in a call to action either (e.g. Shop MYSITE now!). 
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  • Make sure the link has a clear focus: product, category, collection, offer 
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  • Product or category-specific links are a simple way to draw your partners (and therefore your consumers) to a targeted item or collection on your site. Building these links is an effective motivator for partners and can draw attention to an item with extra inventory, a sale section or a new product launch just to name a few. Product and/or categoryspecific links and sitewide offers are useful in driving consumers exactly where you want them. You can also build sale messaging into these unique product links.
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  • Sitewide links work well with highlevel sales, free shipping offers or general updates (think free shipping thresholds, re-stocked best-sellers or new customer acquisition campaigns). 
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  • Considerations when building offerbased text links 
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  • Include a code, if necessary. We recommend capitalizing the code, so it clearly stands out and is used correctly, creating a better user experience. 
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  • Include offer duration in the link anchor text. Feel free to play around with this, by leaving out the end date to create a sense of urgency.
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  • Drive to a specific landing page. Be aware if the page expires, the link will no longer provide a seamless user experience. Specific landing pages are generally not recommended for evergreen links for this reason. 
  • Input date ranges to ensure links expire properly. By including a start and end date when creating the text link, the creative will automatically expire and negate the need to manually revisit your account for cleanup. This works best for sales, codes, seasonal collections or themed pages.  
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  • PublicPrivate and Exclusive Text Links 
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  • Public links are available to all publishers. These should reflect what is currently available on your site, to save publisher partners time when verifying valid offers. 
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  • Private offers are available to assigned publisher partners. These should be saved for unique publisher optimization opportunities.  
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  • Exclusive Codes are an Ascend™ spend allocation tool that enables the assigned partner to receive the reward for each redemption, regardless of if they appear in the click stream. Because a click is not required for the partner to be rewarded, Exclusive Codes are valuable components for tracking campaigns in podcasts, print, radio, television and more. This spend allocation tool can be exchanged for additional or enhanced publisher placement opportunities, both online and offline. 

 

Bonus tips for advertisers on Pepperjam’s Ascend™ Affiliate Cloud platform to keep in mind

  • Make sure to select a promotional type, so your text links have the correct details listed in Pepperjam’s offer feed. This gives your link the opportunity to be featured for publisher partners that leverage filtering logic in the platform.  
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  • Use description fields to describe the offer if you believe extra info is needed. Providing your publisher partners with additional information such as offer exclusions ensures that there is no confusion regarding what partners are promoting. If no extra details are neededyou can paste the anchor text in that field to simplify partner access. 
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  • Make sure to press Save’. Text links do not autosave as you build them, so be sure to click save when you’ve entered all of the necessary details. 
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  • Bulk uploads are available by using .CSV files. This feature gives you the opportunity to quickly and easily add a group of text links to your account. Required fields for the CSV upload can be found in Ascend™ under Creative>Text>Upload Text Links. 
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Remember, as we sit in the thick of the holiday shopping season, building text links is one of the most practical and useful topics that you can be knowledgeable about to provide the best possible experience for both you and your partners. Additional help file on creating text links can be found here