Get More Opt-Ins With Branded Referrals

By Brennan Dunn

Pat Flynn, the self-professed “crash test dummy” of online marketers, sends a ton of (affiliate) traffic to ConvertKit, the email marketing platform he uses at

He links to them everywhere. Outbound links to ConvertKit are placed on his homepage, on his resources page, etc.


Here’s what someone who clicks on one of Pat’s links sees:


When sends traffic to ConvertKit, they're ending up at a landing page that prominently features Pat.

This is obviously working well. Last month, Pat brought in $14,450 in affiliate revenue just from ConvertKit.

Let's think for a second about the traffic Pat's sending to ConvertKit:

  • They likely already know and trust Pat. There’s a good chance they’re on his list, listen to his podcast, or have seen him speak.
  • They’re interested in passive income. Why else would they be hanging out at

We all want to make sure we're not wasting time. If we’re put in front of a new product or service, we want to make sure we’re at the right place.

And the landing page that ConvertKit created for Pat does exactly that.

But you probably don't have the time to create landing pages specific to each domain that links to you.

And if a site is linking to a piece of content (like an article you wrote), you can't just hijack that inbound link and show a landing page instead of the article.

But you can remember where someone came from and act on that, either immediately or later.

For example, let's say that ConvertKit didn't go through the effort to build a landing page specific for Pat Flynn.

What if, instead, they just tweaked a few parts of their existing marketing site?

  • They could change the headline that greets a referred visitor to be something like “The email marketing app Pat Flynn trusts.”
  • The very first testimonial they see should be from Pat (similar to what they're doing now on the landing page)
  • Since inbound traffic is interested in passive income, ConvertKit’s automation features should be prioritized on the features page.
  • If the visitor lands on the sign-up or pricing page, Pat’s smiling mug (trust!) should be there too.

By making a few minor tweaks — swapping out a headline to talk about how Pat uses ConvertKit, by changing a single testimonial, etc. — ConvertKit could achieve the same lift in relevance that their dedicated landing page now delivers and they could carry that theme (trusting Pat Flynn + interested in passive income) throughout the rest of their site.

(You see this a lot online. An industry-specific or themed landing page that does its job... but once you leave that landing page there's a loss of continuity).  

Fortunately, with a tool like RightMessage and a few minutes of your time, you can increase how relevant your website is to the traffic you're already getting.

Here's how:

Step 1: What sites link to you now?

Here are some of the best backlinks ConvertKit has that link to their homepage. (Courtesy of Ahrefs)


We have a few segments: foodies, copywriters, programmers, and parents.

Go through and look at all your referral traffic... look in tools like Ahrefs. Look in Google Analytics. Who's sending you traffic?

Store it all in a spreadsheet, and see what kind of overlaps you can find. This will become the segments you'll target.

Step 2: What kind of relationship do you have with each referrer?

If you know the person behind the referring site, ask them if you can quote them.

Otherwise, what kind of person is likely to click over from that site? gets a lot of traffic from niche freelancing blogs. Some of these blogs target designers, others target writers, and so on.

By making a generalization about referral traffic, I can slightly tweak the experience this traffic has when they browse around the site.

Step 3: Create personalization campaigns for each referral source

Similar to what I described with Pat Flynn and ConvertKit, you could make a few across-the-board tweaks that would make the experience someone has on your website personalized to them.

And if someone is linking to an article of yours, you don’t even need to just personalize the post they arrive on. You could tweak just the call-to-actions of your site and maybe some of the content on your marketing site.

With RightMessage, you can define a segment (say, "Foodies", and define it as any traffic that comes from,,, etc.) and then start to drop food-related messaging throughout your entire site.

You don't need to write a ton of copy or content either. Just swap out the various headline, image, CTA copy, and maybe a testimonial or two.

Do just that and people who came from a food blog will probably think, "Wow. This company gets me."


Within RightMessage, you can get 90% of the way there personalizing your site for a specific segment in just minutes.

"This is what finally made RightMessage make sense for me."

I was in Nashville last week doing some demos, and my friend Bryan Harris (of Videofruit) was checking out RightMessage.

He sort of knows what we were up to: making it point-and-click easy to change stuff on your site.

But he didn't see why you'd want to personalize ...

Until I showed him the ConvertKit + Pat Flynn idea I listed above.

Of course, he thought. If Pat sent a lead over to a specific salesperson at ConvertKit, that salesperson is going to talk about Pat with the lead.

Why? Because the person they're talking to trusts Pat. The lead trusts Pat. Pat trusts ConvertKit.

It's what every salesperson worth their salt knows.

And, finally, it's now easier than ever to do the same in a matter of minutes without needing to create one-off landing pages.

Pretty useful, right?