Definitely watch the video above first, but I've summarized the concept and expanded on some more technical aspects below.
What Are "Alternate Incoming Affiliate Links"
Alternate incoming affiliate links are affiliate links that direct to a page other than the default affiliate page (which is generally a sales page).
When someone clicks on these links, they are cookied to us and if they purchase, we get a commission.
The graphic above shows the traditional affiliate link that directs to the products home page. Below it is what an alternate incoming affiliate link looks like. It goes to another URL and then can lead people to the home page eventually.
What's the Logic
When you send traffic to pages that aren't the main sales page, you do increase the number of steps between the click and the sale. These pages technically have lower conversion rates. So, why bother with them at all?
#1 Customers don't buy right away, they need more exposure. The cardinal rule in marketing and advertising is "the rule of 7" which states that customers, on average, need to see an ad 7 times before purchasing. "Ads" don't need to be traditional advertisements either. Simply landing on the website of the product accomplishes this same goal.
#2 You burn through good will if you only share sales pages. Value is at the heart of affiliate marketing. Sharing great content regularly increases goodwill which increases the future value of every follower.
#3 You can share more content. "I don't know what to send my email list this week." You've felt that before, right? This is an easy solution. When you aren't sure what to send or don't have time to create a great original piece of content, send them an alternate incoming affiliate link. It doesn't matter who made it, what matters is how much value it provides. Syndication is as good as creation in many cases.
#4 More cookies = More sales. All things being equal, more cookied visits leads to more sales. When you link to non sales type content, you get two huge perks. First, way more clicks. People are far more likely to click on a piece of free information than a sales page link. Second, you get to ride the coattails of the retargeting campaigns from the companies you're promoting. Retargeting ads are common sense for big companies, which means they will run ads to the people you send to their website. When they buy, you get paid.
Alternate Incoming Affiliate Link Examples
Here are some examples of real alternate incoming links I use.
The beautiful thing here is that these links are all informational or helpful. They do not blatantly sell anything, but they do make sales.
How to Make Alternate Incoming Affiliate Links
Unfortunately, not every affiliate program has the functionality to allow their affiliates to create alternate incoming links.
Companies that currently do NOT support alternate incoming affiliate links include (but aren't limited to).
Note: Most companies are able to create their own alternate incoming affiliate URLs even if they don't let their affiliates do them manually. First, check the affiliate portal to see if they've already made these links available. If they haven't and you really want to promote their content, send them a message like this.
Hey (affiliate manager),
I want to boost my sales this year and I think that sharing some of the free content you've published would really help me do that.
Is it possible for you to get me some affiliate links that direct to a couple of other pages?
(Insert pages if you have them).
Having these will help me send a lot more traffic and we can both make more moolah 🙂
For the companies that do support them, how you create them varies. Sometimes it's very straightforward and other times it takes a little digging.
Here are some examples of affiliate link generators inside of the big name affiliate softwares the companies I promote use.