Just like teenagers driving on their own for the first time, online shoppers now have more control and autonomy than ever. Big brands like Apple keep shifting power over privacy and tracking settings into users’ hands. After these changes were made on iPhones, for example, over 62 percent of users opted out of tracking. As online advertising shifts, many industries face this massive upheaval. Other platforms — like Google — began looking for an alternative to third-party tracking cookies.
As an alternative to tracking, traditional online ads fall far short. After years of overexposure, many consumers ignore banner ads, rendering paid advertising ineffective and expensive.
Successful brands need to reach people directly to build trust and long-term connections with potential customers. Affiliate programs offer the solution. These programs allow brands to work with content platforms and creators through mutually beneficial partnerships to direct traffic and generate leads or purchases.
With the right tools and support, lead generation affiliate programs can be easy to set up and run. Here’s a look at how these programs work and succeed in the real world.
How brands use lead generation
Lead generation covers the whole process of generating and directing interest in products and services. When consumers show interest in a brand, they become leads. Seeking out and buying leads allows companies to focus on receptive customers, avoiding the risks of generic and pricey ad campaigns.
Some brands collect as many leads as possible and bet enough successful leads will justify their investment. Others focus on reaching out to high-quality leads to convert them to purchases and signups.
As brands grow, the need for new customers and untapped audiences increases. Demand stays high — especially in the increasingly competitive online world. Content creators and aggregators gather leads through reviews, guides, recommendations, and other content.
Supply grows to match demand as more and more publishers see lead generation as a revenue stream. With commission payouts per lead, both sides of the equation benefit.
How affiliate programs work to generate leads
Affiliate programs function as one of the best ways to make lead generation sustainable and lucrative. Over time, an influencer, blogger, podcast, or website amasses an audience.
Readers and listeners self-select as potential customers on these topics — demonstrating interest by following specific content creators. Both parties can partner up as brands and publishers seek ways to increase revenue. In cases like these, brands pay publishers’ commissions for leads in particular.
Affiliate programs vary based on the type of product and the needs of everyone involved. For example, a good lead would simply convert into a sale for a company selling clothing. Insurance and other higher-consideration products give customers a longer path to approval and purchase.
However, these consumers often pay subscription fees and eventually upgrade to more expensive services. Affiliate programs cover a wide range of different deals between content creators and brands.
Partnerships platforms like impact.com provide the tools to make it easier to perform the complex tracking, discovery, and payments that affiliate programs require. Automated dashboards show detailed metrics over time and help publishers improve their content while maintaining their voices. Secure payments also prevent issues with late or missed commissions, which improves partnerships collaboration and trust for the long haul.
Three success stories to inspire your lead generation affiliate program
While some brands base partner payments on each sale, the following three examples explore affiliate programs in the lead generation vertical. Successful partnerships in lead generation help brands and publishers grow by directing traffic and genuine interest.
The micro-investment app Acorns helps people invest and offers easy tools to build a portfolio. Users add a set monthly amount to their accounts. Alternatively, they round up every transaction to the nearest dollar and invest the change they get from every purchase.
Customers choose their level of risk and reward. Acorns aim to work for a wide range of consumers, offering options for every level of financial knowledge and independence.
Acorns offer publishers and aggregators $10 per lead. Since its app includes broad appeal in an under-serviced market, many different publishers have successfully partnered with the brand.
Allstate succeeds as one of the largest insurance providers in the United States. It covers houses, cars, rental properties, and more. Since the law requires certain types of insurance, everyone is a potential customer. With such broad appeal, publishers and influencers covering wildly different topics can succeed as Allstate affiliates.
Travel blogs recommend Allstate vehicle insurance through their content. DIY improvement guides integrate home and rental insurance into their content. Allstate’s lead generation affiliate program makes these partnerships profitable and straightforward.
Allstate pays a range of commissions, going from $6 to $20 based on insurance type. Through impact.com’s affiliate platform, Allstate even offers templates and tools for partners to use.
3. Morning Brew
Morning Brew sends out a free daily newsletter to subscribers that focuses on business and technology updates. It aims to make the news easy to consume by offering bite-size updates on important topics. Publishers whose audiences are interested in business and tech recommend Morning Brew and direct their followers to a free source of related information.
Morning Brew pays out $3.50 per lead. Its affiliate program contributes to company growth and creates a more robust readership for the future.
Starting a lead generation affiliate program
Partnerships in the lead generation vertical make it easy to mimic the success these brands experience with the right lead generation affiliate program. Do you have followers for your dog’s Instagram? Pet insurance and dog food subscription companies offer affiliate programs. Run a technology review blog? Your audience would probably love to learn about great tech products and brands.
You can get started by:
- Working with a powerful affiliate platform like impact.com.
- Identifying publishers that would fit with your products, values, and goals. Through impact.com’s marketplace and discovery tools, this is easier than ever.
- Contacting leads and pitch your products or services, offering deals and incentives to boost your conversion rates.
- Tracking lead quality and affiliate performance, focusing on partners providing the best leads. You can grow your business while building long-term relationships with top publishers — reaching your ideal audience without taking major risks.
Lead generation affiliate programs provide a fantastic alternative to traditional advertising, bypassing intermediaries and directly connecting companies with customers.
Ready to learn more about affiliate programs and the lead generation space? Visit impact.com or reach out to a growth technologist at email@example.com.
Dive deeper into affiliate marketing with these impact.com resources: