Leads are the life-line of any business, digital or traditional brick-and-mortar. Regardless of the industry you’re in; leads are the name of the game. After all, you can’t sell anything without customers, can you?
Lead generation in the world of digital marketing boils down to getting potential customers to fill out a form with their personal details. Nothing really more than that. The model for this is called CPL – Cost Per Lead, where your affiliate payout is based on your leads qualifying themselves by registering their details. Your payouts on a CPL model vary, depending on the amount of information the registration process calls for.
In its simplest form, a CPL could be something as basic as submitting your zip code. Payouts for zip submits will typically be less than $1.50. That might not seem like a lot, but since you’re only asking for a zip code, conversions are high.
At the other end of the spectrum come more detailed registration forms, for example, registering for a webinar or online training. That will, of course, involve name and email details and, in many cases, a telephone number. Payouts for these types of CPPL can go as high as $150, depending on the vertical.
Why do merchants run CPL affiliate offers?
There’s a “thing” in digital marketing known as banner blindness. Website visitors are exposed to so many banners that they quickly become noise to be ignored. “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention,” and in the world of digital marketing, that translates to fewer banner clicks and, by extension, fewer leads.
A qualified lead is the first point of contact between any business and its customers. After all, if you don’t know how to contact someone, it’s practically impossible to sell them something.
Businesses want to do what they do best. Marketing their products to interested prospects. Rather than go to the expense and hassle of generating leads, companies prefer to use affiliates for their lead generation, only paying for qualified leads.
The lead generation business is extremely lucrative and has given rise to a whole new vertical, with some huge companies solely targeted at lead generation for third-party partners.
These companies tend to operate on an industry model rather than for specific companies. Interested parties sign up for general information about weight loss, for example, rather than specific, product-focused offers like “Atkins weight loss.”
That takes the personal touch away, so more and more online businesses focus on their in-house affiliate programs for their lead generation. For affiliates, this is an excellent place to be!
How Does CPL Lead Generation Work?
Signing up to promote a lead generation product on a CPL basis is similar to any other kind of affiliate offer. Be prepared, however, for more restrictions on what you can and can’t do. Many CPL affiliate programs will limit or even reject specific traffic sources if these result in low-quality leads. Keep in mind the merchant will try to sell to these leads, so quality plays a big part.
Unlike CPA (Cost Per Action), as an affiliate promoting a CPL offer, your job is done once the lead fills in the registration form. If your traffic results in low-conversion leads, the merchant will reject the particular source, meaning you lose the payouts on these.
Many CPL programs may also restrict the keywords they allow their affiliates to use. Brand keywords are usually restricted since these build on the back of the brand recognition the merchant already has and prevents any competition between affiliate campaigns and brand in-house campaigns.
A niche site with SEO traffic is an excellent vehicle for CPL lead generation. Long-tail keywords are the tactic here combined with local search terms for lower competition. Paid traffic is always an option, but there are some provisos to keep in mind when it comes to CPL.
Before launching any paid traffic campaigns, make sure the affiliate network allows the particular traffic type. Some affiliate networks might not allow Social Media or Push traffic, for example. Check with your affiliate manager before launching any CPL campaigns on paid traffic to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Don’t let the seemingly low payouts put you off. There are plenty of affiliates making thousands a month with CPL offers. Get the right traffic, and the numbers soon start to add up!
We know our way around CPL campaigns. If your brand needs more leads, get in touch with us today and see what we can do for you.