Affiliate promotion is a delicate art. It is not easy to recommend affiliate products without alienating your user, and it often takes a mix of practice, intuition, and data into to optimize sales

In this post I want to discuss one of the less-talked about areas of affiliate promotion: the pre-sales page. This is what I refer to as a “Tier 2” page and plays an extremely important role on your site.

The Tier 2 Page

The “tier 2” page is the middle level of my 3-tiered approach to affiliate sites. This is the page that users often visit before they proceed to an on-site sales page or product review.

Types of Tier 2 Pages

Tier 2 pages come in a few different forms, but they usually break down into a couple of core components: They…

The underlying theme of each of these page types is that they provide relevant information to solve a reader’s problem while slowly walking the user through a purchase cycle.

Think about it this way. Before you buy a product, you might think about whether or not you need the product, what you want the product to include, and why one product is better than another. Successful Tier 2 pages address at least one of these issues.

Getting to the Sales Page

Ultimately a Tier 2 page is only successful if it gets the user to the conversion page, which is usually a product review. This means that the Tier 2 page usually has some sort of recommendation already built into it.

To use one of the examples above: If you’re writing a tier 2 page on what to look for in a low-carb diet, you can lay out the types of characteristics common to various diet programs. You can then provide a specific diet program as an example of having or not having some of those characteristics, and link to the product review page.

When choosing a diet, it’s important to consider whether the program will phase carbs out over time or abruptly remove them from your diet. Product X is geared towards lowering your overall carb intake by healthy food selection, while Product Y removes all carbs at the outset of the program.

In this example, the post effectively communicates which diet takes which approach, so that the user will naturally click through to the product that feels more relevant to them as an individual.

Mastering this art is a practice that will only come over time. If you’re just starting out playing with different levels of page conversion and pre-selling topics before you present them, it will take time for all of these techniques to seep in and feel comfortable.

The important thing is to experiment with what works for you, and let the data guide you over time. For a practical case study, click here.