I get this question way too often, despite the amount of times I’ve gone over on this blog. If direct linking to an offer doesn’t work, try a couple landing pages (Rotate… always rotate). If a couple landing pages don’t work, try direct linking (or you should always rotate the DL into your landing page rotation anyways). Let me help assist you further by sharing when I’ve found landing pages work better.
Like most others just jumping in to PPV, you’ll probably end up using AffPortal, scraping relevant keywords and targets, and using them to start off your campaign. That’s all fine and dandy, and will probably work well with direct linking. However, expensive click costs come with targets that convert well with direct linking, so much so you may lose money in a bidding war over it. This is why I branch out from relevance, build out a landing page somewhat related to a different category of websites that I’ll be targeting, and go from there.
Anything that requires a credit card will almost always need a presell of some sort. I’ve gotten rebills profitable with a tiny little paragraph on a nicely designed landing page. It did worse with flogs and farticles.
If the offer page requires 10+ forms to fill, you better be using a landing page. I always like it when the advertiser goes out of their way to make their own presell page, but a lot of advertisers are ignorant and fail to do so, just giving you a link to a page with 1 sentence on the top that says “Save on Car Insurance!”. Build out a presell page that steals their design (don’t go copying logos and copyrighted material, just use the same colors and design layout. There is nothing wrong in using inspiration to guide design). But on a paragraph, some bullet points and rotate, rotate, rotate.
That’s what I’ve seen as far as PPV. Honestly, it shouldn’t even be a question to ask. ROTATE! Try split testing landing pages and direct linking at once. If you can’t afford to buy $100 – 200 worth of LPs (3-4 different designs), and can’t make your own landing page, you shouldn’t even be trying PPV at all. Get a job, do some freelance writing, and save up some money before you jump in because I guarantee you will almost always lose money on your first campaign. I lost $4000 on my first PPV affiliate marketing campaign, and lots more on the many other campaigns I’ve built out.