Lead generation is a marketing strategy wherein you collect a few information from your prospects so you can further market to them down the line. The more leads a business has, the higher the chances of generating sales.

A lead is comprised of the user’s name, plus some additional information such as zip code, email address, phone number, physical address, and more; it all depends on what the advertiser needs to learn about the user initially.

Every pro affiliate marketer out there has tried promoting lead gen offers. Your journey as an affiliate won’t be complete without it. But what exactly is lead generation, and why do businesses need it?


Why do companies need a reliable lead generation strategy?

The purchasing process has evolved. With the advent and propagation of digital marketing, tons of businesses are now promoting their products and services through display ads. Because there are simply too many ads, they are quickly becoming noise to the user. According to economist Herbert A. Simon, “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”. In the advertising world, this means users have developed ad blindness.

Because of this, companies realized that in order to push users to a purchasing decision, they have to develop a relationship with them first. And how do you develop a relationship with a prospective buyer if you don’t know how to get in touch with them?

Getting a lead is like the first point of contact between prospective user and company. This means the user has already expressed interest in the product or service; hence, it is one of the most important aspects of marketing. With the “first touch” out of the way, they can start working their magic to move these prospects from interested people to actual buyers.

It is no wonder, then, that companies want hundreds, thousands and even millions of leads to work with. However, many businesses would rather focus on marketing to interested people and growing their business, instead of wasting a lot of their time and money collecting leads.

Where Do Companies Get Leads?

There are four ways for a company to get leads, and this is by:
  1. Hiring in-house marketers;
  2. Hiring a digital marketing agency;
  3. Purchasing from lead generation providers;
  4. Working with affiliates and affiliate networks.
Hiring in-house marketers and hiring a digital marketing agency generally works the same – you pay for someone to create and manage your ads, while you still pay for the advertising fees. Because the company has to pay both the people who manage the ads and the ads themselves, this can be an expensive endeavor for companies.

Lead generation providers, on the other hand, are B2B companies that focus solely on providing leads based on the client’s needs. These companies usually do manual research and data gathering on their own, or employ lead generation techniques themselves to prequalify leads based on industry. Some popular lead gen companies are:
  • UpLead
  • Salefully
  • Elucify (free)
  • Lusha
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator
The problem with purchasing leads is that you don’t get that “first touch”. These people don’t actually know you or your product; they are just people who might be interested in what you offer but have not really heard from you before.

This is why some companies opt for getting leads via affiliate networks. They can create their landing pages and just ask affiliates to drive traffic to it. Affiliate networks can help prequalify the leads they receive. Plus, they can limit the manner by which an affiliate sends them leads. They can do so by restricting traffic methods and even limiting keywords used if utilizing search engine traffic to avoid low-quality leads and prevent the affiliate from competing with the company’s own ads.

Also, having affiliates develop the lead generation strategy for them is the better choice for these businesses since:
  1. They don’t have to assign people to work on lead generation;
  2. They only have to pay for every qualified lead;
  3. They can evaluate the quality of leads generated and increase caps for high performing affiliates or reduce allocation for lower performing affiliates.
Having affiliates that will promote their offers is advantageous for businesses, but what would affiliates benefit from engaging in such activity?

How Affiliates Can Earn from Lead Gen Offers

For every valid lead an affiliate has generated, the advertiser will pay him a predetermined price. Generally, the easier the information is to obtain, the lower the payment per lead. This is because some information are harder to coax out of a user than others.

For example, many lead gen offers require only the user’s first name and email address, which many people are willing enough to give out if they’ll receive something in return. Other information, such as physical address and credit card information, take special consideration on the side of the user before they give it out.

To find lead gen offers in affiliate networks that you belong to, you only have to look for Cost-per-Lead (CPL) offers or sometimes Cost-per-Action (CPA) offers. However, CPA is a broader term and required actions might actually include purchase from the side of the user, so make sure you read through the terms of a CPA offer.

How Can an Affiliate Generate Leads?

The answer to this is simple: you need to drive traffic to the advertiser’s landing page. You can do this via free or paid methods.

One free or organic traffic type is SEO. You can create your own website, with content that aims to direct a user to click on a link where they will be taken to the advertiser’s landing page. Organic social media posts are also a free traffic source.

Paid traffic is more popular and easier to obtain, though. You can use search engine ads, banner ads, native ads, pop ads, push ads, social media ads and more. However, when choosing a paid traffic source, make sure the advertiser allows it. If they don’t, all leads you generate using an unapproved traffic source will not be paid for.

Final Thoughts on Lead Generation

Many affiliates have earned thousands of dollars with lead gen offers. The key to earning this much is by establishing yourself as an affiliate that provides high-quality leads. You can do this by following white hat techniques and targeting users properly. Once you’ve found what works, keep on testing and scaling. You will eventually find your gold mine!