Using affiliate marketing for lead generation – FAQ

Affiliate Marketing is essentially an online referral program where a referring website, often called an affiliate or a publisher, receives a bounty for successfully driving a sale or conversion. This bounty system is used by businesses across the web, and sometimes even facilitated by a third party. The affiliate will drive traffic to your website, and if it results in a sale or conversion, they get an agreed upon bounty. Affiliates benefit from this model because they can make money from their website traffic. And you benefit because it can increase sales or lead volume with minimal risk – which can be ideal for many businesses.

How does it work exactly? Well, if your company needs to drive additional sales or leads, setting up an affiliate marketing program can help get additional sales and leads through the door at a low cost compared to other online marketing channels. Commissions or payments are set in a contract (in advance) based on volume of sales, visits, or leads provided by the affiliate. They can either be a percentage of the sale or a flat fee. It’s a performance based system – you only pay if you get results.

How does the affiliate drive traffic? The same way that you market your own site, the affiliate markets their site – then they funnel the leads over to you. They might use SEO, banner ads, PPC, social media, email or other traditional marketing channels to send leads to their site and then over to you. However, an affiliate that invests substantial time and money into their marketing efforts would be wise to pay close attention to ROI. On the other hand, if their site already has a good deal of traffic, it is a great way to monetize it with minimal investment.How does the affiliate site “send” leads to my site? Generally, the affiliate program (your site) will have a few tools in place. It could be as simple as a tracked text link or banner ad or as complicated as an embedded forms or iframes. The affiliate site just needs to paste the snippet of code into their website and the rest takes care of itself.

So what makes a successful affiliate candidate? Jonathan Moura, our Affiliate Marketing Manager at BuyerZone, explains, “Content is the key to a successful affiliate site. The site needs to have a clean look with relevant information – something that will match the standards of your own website. If the site sets the wrong expectations, it won’t drive the right traffic.” He recommends thoroughly examining any potential affiliate website – and reading all of the copy.

What if the affiliate leads are low quality? Make sure that you have standards set in place in your contract so that you aren’t paying for leads that are low quality. Reserve the right to deem a lead “unfit” if it has bogus contact information. Or if you are offering free trials, only offer commission for leads that stay on your service after the trial period. If you cover quality issues in the contract, you will save yourself from paying for junk in the long run.

Who would make a good potential affiliate for my site? It depends on the products and services that you offer. If you sell bird feeders, you probably want to look for websites related to bird watching, outdoor living, or bird enthusiasts. Use common sense and think about your target audience.

How does tracking work? Affiliate programs rely on tracked links and forms, but they also rely on cookies. Cookies are pieces of data stored on the user’s computer that are used to track browsing activity. That way, if an affiliate site refers a lead that doesn’t end up buying the product until a week later, the affiliate would still get credit for the referral.

Do you have more affiliate marketing questions? Post them in the comment section below!

Do you think that you could be a great affiliate for BuyerZone? Visit our Affiliate Marketing page or contact Jonathan Moura at 800-915-4756.

Get future posts delivered to your inbox or RSS reader by subscribing now, and follow us on Twitter @BuyerZone.

Leave a Reply