Affiliate marketing can be a great strategy for both e-commerce and lead generation websites. A Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) affiliate marketing program works where you only pay an affiliate a fixed commission if a visitor completes a form on your site, thus generating a lead. The form can simply be a name and a phone number for your company to follow up with via phone or email. Given that you would be committing to pay your affiliates for each individual who completes a form, it is important that the landing page the individual is being sent to has enough qualifying information to discourage individuals who are not viable leads from completing the form.
If you want to only pay affiliates per lead, it is important to have some measures in place to reduce fraud, so that the advertiser only receives quality leads. Here are a few ways to reduce the number of unqualified leads that you may be paying a commission for:
Successful lead programs have the following characteristics:
A CPL affiliate program can be easier to set up than other advertising campaigns and would not need as much time and focus once the set up is complete. In addition, you can choose a fixed commission that is less than the cost of a new lead from your email or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaigns.
Lead generation affiliate programs are more common in the finance or service verticals than retail. CPL affiliate programs can be an ideal match for your business if you are focused on closing sales once the online lead is generated.
U.S. Affiliate Marketing is projected to reach $4 billion by 2014. If your marketing mix does not already include affiliate marketing, now is the time to learn more and consider your options.
According to Jupiter Research, Affiliate Marketing spending currently accounts for nine percent of total online spending. More importantly, consumers that shop via affiliate links spend $7 more than the average consumer and are 17% more likely than the average Internet shopper to have household incomes larger than $75k. And, online shopping through affiliate referrals are 43% more likely to convert than average.
Still not convinced? Affiliate marketing has a higher ROI compared to all online marketing channels. The best benefit of this type of marketing is that you only pay an affiliate based on actual sales or leads generated, making marketing expenses more effective and directly attributed to revenue.
There are two main models of affiliate marketing — cost per sale and cost per acquisition. Cost per sale, also known as revenue share, is where you pay a percentage of sales referred by an affiliate. Cost per acquisition, or lead generation affiliate marketing, is where you pay a flat dollar amount for a referred sale or qualified lead.
Affiliates will extend your products to more potential customers, especially in niche groups, in more marketing channels, which is normally an expensive task for a business to tackle. They also allow you to be visible on sites at the actual point of interest in the decision making step, and also where your competitors are.
If you are looking for a rapid-response marketing program where you only pay based on performance, then affiliate marketing is for you.