We, as affiliate marketers, understand the necessity of warming up a customer before making a sale. Especially those in the Nutra vertical realize how crucial this is. Direct head-on approaches will yield weak conversion rates (CR) and it’s doubtful that anyone will make a purchase. It’s even better not to begin such experiments; I’ve tried a couple of times out of curiosity, and there’s little sense in it. Ad landing pages tend to be generic, offering nothing exceptional to impress our audience.
So, how can we warm them up? How is it done in Nutra, and what is mainstream, “legitimate” supplement brands’ approach? Let’s explore, compare, and find that sweet spot to apply in our campaigns so that conversion is more vibrant and drives faster returns.
Pre-landing pages are in our control, we can adjust this variable as we please. With landing pages, the situation is slightly more complicated. Few advertisers agree to modify landing pages on their end. Either you need to be in good graces with such an advertiser or find reasonable ones who will adjust accordingly (look for me!).
Of course, depending on the sub-vertical, pre-landing strategies vary. Warming up a keto audience (women) is different from potency (men) or offers to target seniors. Different Geos require different approaches and promises. However, today, we’ll try to touch upon a bit of everything, sparking new ideas and possibly conjuring intriguing combinations.
Why Worm Up?
Those who have worked in traditional e-commerce, like Shopify and alike, remember the standard - the average conversion rate in online retail is around 1%. If you manage to achieve 2-2.5%, you’re doing exceptionally well. Nutra and supplement products have the potential to offer a stable conversion rate of 4-6%, and some brands and advertisers even hit the 8-10% mark. I’d say 2-2.5% is the bare minimum for Nutra SS/Trial and Supplements.
So, why warm up? We’ve already established the purpose. We warm up to increase conversion, EPC, and other vital metrics by which you evaluate your campaigns. We, as humans (or, perhaps, more accurately animals to a certain extent), need to be intrigued, our insecurities tickled before making a significant decision. For example, parting with over $100+ on an unknown website is one such decision. There’s a plethora of research on how emotions and feelings influence our actions and decision-making, particularly among the target audience that purchases Nutra products. The first phase of decision-making is emotional, the second is the “thinking” phase. With pre-landing pages, we tickle the first phase - the emotions and feelings.
What emotions and feelings do we need to evoke in the buyer to break through that 0.5-1% conversion rate and elevate it to 5-6+% CR? Let’s contemplate:
- Trust. During the warming-up process, we establish trust in the product. Health is a very personal and sensitive matter, especially in Nutra, often intimate. Text about the product, videos, reviews, customer testimonials, and social proof can assist with this.
- Pressing on Insecurities. If you’re John from Utah with some problems or complexes with a man’s things, you probably have some insecurities and dream of raising a dragon in your cage. You are trusting and naive. You see an article on Facebook, something like Men’s Health, claiming that wives cheat on guys like you, and these potions can solve all your problems! A lightbulb goes off in your head, and you decide to buy 5 jars for $200!
- Offering Hope. Here, it’s essential not to overdo it and avoid blatant deception. Promising someone that they will be cured of complex illnesses like diabetes or hepatitis wouldn’t be ethical. But growing a dragon in a cage is a different story, harmless.
- Spark Interest. People are naturally curious, so you must know how to pique their interest without going overboard. Oprah lost 40 pounds with the help of Keto pills, so I can do it too!
- Awareness. We create an initial level of awareness about our product, especially if we’re selling something relatively unknown and new. In Nutra, nearly all products fall into this category.
- Pleasure and Comfort, Laziness. People are lazy and don’t want to spend time and effort on solving their problems with lengthy, effective methods. They’re fine with deceiving themselves into believing that a pill they found on the internet will either reduce or enhance some part of their body.
- Urgency: A sense of urgency, for example, through a limited-time offer or a promotion that’s only valid for a specific duration. “Today only, time is ticking!”
- And other emotions that can push them to part with their money. Put yourself in the “patient’s” shoes and think from their perspective. I, for example, have a slight stutter, and if there were a Nutra craze against stuttering, I’d create super pre-landing pages because I know the pain of people with stuttering. It requires a bit of a psychologist’s touch.
A Minute of Theory: Funnel
I’ve placed the pre-landing page at the top of the funnel, the second element from the top. It’s an integral part of the funnel. The pre-landing page can be in the form of text, video, an influencer, and so on. This part of the funnel can be termed “interest.” As for the advertising at the top of the funnel, it represents “awareness.” And of course, everything below is aimed at driving sales.
Without a pre-landing page/interest in the funnel, the profitability of any online sale will break down.
How to Warm Up?
What are the options for warming up the audience?
- Standard Affiliate Pre-landers: These are your typical pre-landing pages used in affiliate marketing.**
- Informative Review Articles: Articles that provide valuable information about the product in question.
- Comparison Articles: Content that compares multiple products, helping the audience make an informed decision.
- Quizzes, Calculators, Surveys: Interactive tools like quizzes and calculators that engage the audience.
- Videos: Including YouTube videos and Video Sales Letters (VSL) to visually and audibly engage with the audience.
- Social Media and Influencers: Leveraging social media platforms and collaborating with influencers to build trust and interest.
These are the various methods you can use to warm up your audience and prepare them for the sale.
Let’s examine each of them, look at examples, links, and screenshots. I enjoy comparing white-hat and black-hat approaches in Nutra/Supplement. I’m working on both fronts, and I’ve described it a bit in this note. And here, we’ll explore both approaches.
Standard Affiliate’s Pre-Landers
There are many variations of these pre-landing pages, and affiliates have come up with a plethora of creative approaches. I won’t list them all here to keep it concise, but I’ll touch on some that have recently come up in my campaigns.
Fake Articles Using Celebrities and Doctors
As an advertiser, I strongly caution against these kinds of pre-landers. I distance myself from them completely. Using celebrities and doctors in fake articles can have severe legal and financial consequences. I’ve witnessed a couple of my American affiliate friends getting into serious trouble for such tactics. Lawsuits with claims worth millions of dollars were filed against them for affiliate’s use of celebrities in pre-landers. In the United States, legal battles can be an expensive ordeal, and you might even end up behind bars.
Affiliate marketers know that sometimes this is a working scheme. However, people are gradually becoming more aware and less likely to fall for such tales. If an advertiser finds out that you are using these tactics, they might refuse to pay.
Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, popular figures in the USA, have been targeted by affiliates extensively. However, I wouldn’t recommend promoting products using their names as it’s an outdated strategy.
Fake articles using well-known sources and shows.
How long has this pre-lander been in use? Does it work for anyone in the USA? I’ve been seeing it every other day in Google for a couple of years. No matter how much we test, it’s a challenge.
Timer, comments section since 2016. Cannes Lion awarded. I could recite the names and photos from the comments section from memory after a couple of minutes of preparation.
There are many similar pre-landers, and I don’t want to dwell on them as you’ve likely seen them already: Shark Tank, Oprah, sensational scientific breakthroughs, and so on. Perhaps these work well in new geos for SS/Trial offers or through different traffic sources. Of course, if you can modify and create your unique story, it might make an impact. It’s essential to test.
Adult-Themed Fake Articles
This approach can be effective if handled correctly and if you bring something unique or fresh to the table. It’s certainly more suitable for ME (Male Enhancement) offers, and it may not work as effectively for other niches. This approach often involves making promises like growing a “dragon” or ensuring a spouse won’t leave. If the landing page echoes a similar narrative, it can create a puzzle that entices the audience.
Of course, all these pre-landers are typically used by Nutra affiliates. A reputable white-hat supplement brand wouldn’t risk its reputation by employing deceptive tactics.
Let’s move on to pre-landers that can be used by both Nutra and supplement brands.
Informative Review Articles
These articles are often designed in an SEO style and are typically either paid or strategically placed. In 98% of cases, these are not sensational pieces but rather standard, marketing-focused content. It’s essentially the same approach as previously mentioned but without the shock value and sensationalism. Both black-hat and white-hat players can employ this method.
A Minute of Theory.
Affiliates who work with SEO traffic manipulate search engine rankings using articles, both free and paid placements. White-label brands also employ this method, but they take more care in crafting articles, and their links are of higher quality and more influential. Why? Because white-hat players are in it for the long run, and they are determined to boost their domain’s visibility in search results through these links. Nutra brands, on the other hand, often don’t care much about their domains as they can change several times a year. The acquisition of links and placements is called link-building.
Now, let’s take a look at how Nutra brands do this, and I’ll provide a few examples. For instance, there’s a brand called Nutrafol. They’re a reputable and significant player, and their office is just across the street from mine in New York. They are a white-label supplement brand fighting against hair loss. They write and order many excellent articles and reviews.
They write in different styles and publish them on authoritative websites.
Now, let’s take a look at a Nutra brand. The quality of the content and the website is not as polished as Nutrafol, even though they made an effort. Clickbait headlines, shock content.
There is no image, and the text doesn’t contain anything valuable for a typical consumer. It’s all about exposing and dissecting the “super effective formula.”
Now, let’s search for such reviews on Google. Compare the black and white approaches. As a normal, adult person, what would you be inclined to trust before making a purchase? I’d probably lean towards quality and useful content.
And now, a moment of observation.
If you enter the SS/Trial offer that you’re running on native U.S. Google from an American IP, you’ll likely see the first article in the search results about that miracle product on the outlookindia.com website. It’s a site with a relatively good Domain Authority (DA), where most Nutra affiliates buy links and articles. This is where you’ll find many of the pre-landers I mentioned earlier. However, when you search for terms like “Keto” and so on, you won’t find anything. In my opinion, it’s a bit of a shady place to advertise, even though the links are relatively not so much expensive. But normal authoritative websites don’t sell us, advertisers, links and articles on their pages about miracle pills for male organs or weight loss. Well, that’s a different story. If you’re interested, I can write a bit about SEO in Nutra and supplement, it’s essential.
Comparison Articles with SEO Style
This approach is very similar to the previous one but involves several products and the creation of an engaging and informative article in which one particular product outshines the others.
They use various tricks to highlight a particular product, such as scoring on a 10-point scale, arranging them from top to bottom, omitting links to “losing” products, and so on.
This is a popular approach in both the black-hat and white-hat camps.
Now, here’s a native Nutra. Well, they tried, not bad!
This is a great type of pre-lander that can convert well. However, there are nuances. Let me share a scheme from personal experience that comes with some advantages. We ordered bottles of Keto Nutra from competitors and got our own. We took photos of these bottles with an iPhone and created a lengthy native review article. Of course, my brand is rated number one - with a link, a 10/10 rating, endorsements from nutritionists, and so on. It turned out to be natural, and people are inclined to trust such content. Where did I get the idea? From AG1, a white-label brand. Look for a screenshot of that pre-lander in the previous article.
P.S. Sometimes you can find photos of competitors’ bottles on the internet and save money by not purchasing them.
Here’s another idea for you! Real product reviews or comparisons on Reddit, Quora, and similar platforms.
Here’s another excellent example.
Quizzes, calculators, and surveys.
I like this type of funnel in both white and black approaches. Why?
- People are drawn to this kind of interactivity; it’s interesting.
- In the questions, you can tap into their complexes and desires.
- The customer feels a “personalization” of the offer, the sense that the product is specially tailored to them.
- A high-quality and well-thought-out quiz looks trustworthy and professional.
They are used in many niches: dating, crypto, white-label products, and, of course, in our beloved Nutra and supplements.
Here’s a black-hat example. They camouflage them as Reddit, hospital websites, popular publications, and so on.
At the end of the quiz, you can lead to another pre-lander, for example, one related to the “hospital” that was the subject of the quiz or with shock content. Alternatively, you can lead them directly to the offer’s landing page.
White-hat quizzes are more attractive and well-thought-out. They feature factual questions without going overboard. They often integrate them directly onto the website, placing a prominent CTA button because they are an effective tool!
A prominent button on the quiz on the website.
The questions and the answers to them are interesting. Ask your girlfriend/wife to take it, and most likely, you’ll find yourself considering $100+ hair cosmetics here. I got hooked on it !
Here are a few more cool ones:
For those who are more interested, feel free to reach out, and I’ll send them to your DM
Where can you create quizzes?
There are plenty of options, here are a couple of effective ones:
Youtube, VSL, and other videos as pre-landers.
Videos before the offer are used in many niches. They can be long, as in crypto/forex or as short as 30 seconds, such as in dating or e-commerce. They can be an hour long like VSL or 15-second stories. They can be on the landing page or separate, on YouTube or in social media. There are numerous options. In the nutra niche, fake reviews on YouTube and VSL are popular.
As with articles, the approach differs significantly between black-hat and white-hat products. Black-hat marketers usually don’t bother much and create low-quality content using AI-generated voices. They piece together video clips made from screenshots with overlaid voiceovers. Or they hire small-time, unscrupulous “reviewers.” I’ve both created and commissioned such pieces for my offers, and it’s embarrassing to watch. You can search on Google for some “keto offer review” and be inspired by this shame:
Comments on such videos are a separate art form.
While supplement brands approach the matter very professionally, ordering reviews from bloggers with beautiful visuals and presentation:
Certainly, brands pay for this, or you can negotiate for an affiliate link. However, it’s not embarrassing to show people such content.
Video is a top tool, and it works very well in the white-hat approach. We actively test it, often running tests with positive results. Purchases from video reviews are often cheaper than from paid traffic. But it’s also work, and you need to find an influencer and an audience that will convert.
I don’t know the conversion rate for supplements with video, unfortunately. However, I see that all my black-hat offers and those of my acquaintances are featured in those embarrassing YouTube reviews, and new videos are constantly being added. Affiliates who work with this traffic post these videos, but I don’t get involved. Every week, a new “embarrassing” review appears, so it probably works in some way.
Social media as a pre-landing
Let me tell you about an interesting case that you probably haven’t heard of. Facebook groups for brands with customers are a popular topic in the supplements industry in the United States.
For example, there’s a group for the brand Obvi, which has 70k followers. They lure people into this group through email newsletters for abandoned shopping carts, advertisements, and after-order “Thank you” emails, among other methods. When a person joins this group, their doubts can quickly dissipate, and they may make a purchase or become a repeat customer for Obvi. The posts look very native, people share their weight loss success stories, leave comments, and give likes. It’s the perfect scheme. These groups are created for warming up and increasing retention.
I hadn’t thought of how to apply this to nutra, but it seems like a brilliant idea. Write to me if you want to try this; I’ll be happy to experiment.
I won’t go into detail about Instagram or Facebook posts as pre-landers. An Instagram post is like a minimalistic pre-lander. However, nutra brands often neglect social media and don’t put much effort into it. This is a missed opportunity because such things with social activity significantly increase trust, even for the shady players.
What other pre-landing options are there?
There are probably just as many as I’ve listed. I’ll write about them in another article.
Definitely avoid these
I added this screenshot after writing the article. It’s a sore point for me. Affiliates often send me such pre-landers. The screenshot I left is still a decent example; often, it’s just a picture of the product bottle with a clumsy CTA button that says, “VISIT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE.” Why are you doing this, my dear Affiliate? What are you trying to tell the customer with this invention? Save the money you’re flushing down the drain on this and take your lady out on a date instead.
How to find pre-landers?
You probably know them better than I do. You can find pre-landers through:
- Spy Tools: Utilize spy tools to discover pre-landers used by competitors.
- Google Search with a U.S. IP: Perform Google searches with a U.S. IP address to uncover pre-landers.
- Offervault: Use Offervault by searching for the offer’s name and checking out associated pre-landers.
- Adult Websites: Sometimes, adult websites can provide ideas for effective pre-landers.
Which one to choose for work?
The choice of a pre-lander depends on several factors, including the product you’re promoting, the geographic location (Geo), and the traffic source. Ideally, you want to use fresh or custom pre-landers, but these require a good understanding of the material.
When working with affiliates and promoting something together, I often ask them to show me the pre-landers they use. They proudly present their “own” pre-landers, which sometimes just involve changing Oprah to Kardashian and the CNN News header to Forbes, or simply swapping out images in an old pre-lander without changing the story/text or the product names. Are you guys kidding?
Dig deeper into the Geo, trends, and audiences you’re working with. Also, ask your affiliate network managers about approaches. Don’t hesitate to show them your pre-landers; they can provide guidance without stealing your treasure.
However, be cautious about affiliate managers at your network who aren’t knowledgeable – there are many of them. Look for a competent partner.
How to create pre-landers?
The easiest way is to download a website using a utility like Sitesucker (for Mac) or the WebScrapbook Chrome Extension. You can also find online website downloaders. Another option is to use Ctrl + S on Windows or Command + S on macOS to save web pages. You can build pre-landers in website builders like Webflow or using WordPress plugins. There are plenty of options available. Make sure to check the page in Google Page Speed to ensure fast loading times before going live.
Pre-landers are an essential element of the funnel in the nutra and supplements industry. Nutra affiliates need to change their approaches, adapt to their audience, and get creative in new ways. Customers aren't as gullible as some marketers may think on the other side of the ocean. I wish you all to create pre-landers that warm your customers instead of marinating them.lol