Optimizing your content
4
April
2024

CTA: why will the card gradually replace price tables?

The quest for performance is fundamental to affiliate marketing, and call-to-actions (CTAs) play a crucial role in the conversion process.

Various types of CTA exist, such as text links, buttons, price tables and cards. Some have significantly higher engagement rates, mechanically increasing the number of clicks and, consequently, sales. Unlike price tables, which display only the prices offered by merchants for a given product, cards allow you to add a summary of the information you need to know about the product. This format generates even more conversions, which explains their growing adoption in content-to-commerce monetization. Focus on this new CTA, which outperforms all others.

The challenges of choosing CTAs in affiliation

Let's go back to the definition of a CTA: it's a visual element prompting an action, in this case, to click. In affiliate marketing, CTAs are designed to redirect visitors to the merchant's site to trigger a sale. Therefore, it's imperative to keep CTA links constantly up to date, as well as information on prices, stock and delivery costs, so as not to disappoint your audience.

There's no such thing as the ultimate CTA: they'll respond to different issues. The placement of links is of the utmost importance in maximizing their effectiveness. For example, a text link inserted in the middle of a paragraph does not hinder reading, unlike its position at the bottom of an article. Conversely, a more prominent element (such as a table, map or button) placed to continue reading is more likely to reduce the bounce rate.

At Wirecutter, the map is editorialized and forms an integral part of the article.

The rise of the cards

The rise of the card format is mainly due to its integration, which could be described as Native. It presents information in a synthetic way, readable in a few minutes by a web surfer. Whereas price tables simply list prices with buttons, the card goes further. In the example above, the card summarizes the product test, lists only two merchants, and incorporates the editorial endorsement ("Our Pick"), which provides added value. All these elements bring together the information needed to help visitors make the right decision.

Beyond the user experience, cards offer the advantage of greater control over the merchants you wish to promote. Unlike price tables, which generally use feeds that are difficult to filter, cards enable more precise selection.

💡Attention when using merchant feeds. Some mix new, used and marketplaced items. It's crucial to make the necessary checks when choosing what to display, or risk seeing your e-cpc plummet.

How many offers to display? A few case studies:

In the first case, the Les Numériques site has opted for price tables with 6 offers, with the possibility of displaying even more by unfolding a menu. Even though purchases are concentrated on the former, this diversity reassures the reader and, according to their tests, proves more effective than a smaller number of merchants.

The price list on Les Numériques is editorial-free: it's the prices, nothing but the prices!

In the second case, the 01net site had originally limited the number of links on its cards to three, motivated by an analysis of click-through rates which showed that links beyond the third merchant received few clicks. In their view, price comparison did not require a large number of links to be effective. However, more recent integrations have gone back to 5 offers.

Other examples:

Create effective CTAs and cards for affiliate articles

Creating high-performance cards requires an investment of time to carry out A/B tests and analyze their performance. It's crucial to define the key elements that should appear on your card. If you haven't yet read our article onoptimizing CTAs in affiliation, here are the key points to remember:

  • Key information, such as price and merchant name, is essential.
  • Shipping costs are also an important factor for Internet users.
  • An editorial endorsement, such as the label you assign to the product or its rating, is appreciated.
  • Reproducing your site's design helps improve integration and avoid banner blindness.
💡Banner blindness is a concept used in navigation, whereby a web surfer will, consciously or unconsciously, ignore a site's advertisements. Although price tables are not advertising elements in the strict sense, they are also clearly identifiable as monetization elements.
At ZDNet France, the card is editorialized, sometimes with strengths and weaknesses. It is a useful complement to the article, with the product's dynamic price at the heart of it. The description is the link between the product and the article.

The main advantage of cards is their integration. For this reason, it's optimal to place them directly in the article, rather than on the periphery, as can be the case with price tables. In this way, the card is said to be in-feed or in-article. Unlike banner ads, cards don't obstruct content and minimize the risk of accidental clicks. It's a format that respects both the content and the reader.

A card summarizing the essential elements of your article can also be inserted at the beginning or end of the article. This approach allows the reader to quickly obtain the key information of the test and reinforces confidence in your CTAs thanks to the editorial endorsement.

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Key points to remember

Call-to-Actions (CTAs) play a fundamental role in the affiliate conversion process, offering various types such as text links, buttons, tables and cards.

The boom in affiliation maps is due to their "Native" integration, presenting information in a concise, easy-to-read format in just a few minutes for the web user.

Cards enable more precise management of merchants than price tables, offering a more targeted selection that's easier to control.

Strategic link placement, combined with A/B testing, is essential to maximize the effectiveness of cards in generating conversions.

Creating high-performance cards requires the inclusion of key elements such as price, merchant name, shipping costs, editorial endorsement and site design.

In-feed cards minimize the risk of accidental clicks, offering a format that respects both the content and the reader.

Conclusion

The card is a format with many advantages. Inherited from the price board, it has retained its main asset while improving its visual appeal. It is highly recommended to integrate cards into a modern affiliation strategy. Given the constant innovation in this sector, maintaining openness and adaptability to the latest trends is essential to maintaining your competitive edge and maximizing your performance.

About the author
Vincent Alzieu
General Manager

After successfully managing several companies in the tech world (Les Numériques, Doctissimo, Au Féminin...), Vincent Alzieu joined Affilizz as late co-founder in 2022 to bring his experience of media and affiliation.‍

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