Classic battle between affiliate leads and ad driven leads.

As a consultant I run a pretty clear ‘game plan’ for my clients…(sorry I won’t give that to you)

But suffice it to say that most of them come in and expect to get RIGHT to affiliate marketing.
They’ve seen the success that others have had and they instantly want it!
I can’t really blame any of them…affiliates are AWESOME!

But I’m a bit partial to affiliates and the leads they send…so let’s discuss leads.

There are really two sources of leads: Affiliate driven leads AND Advertising driven leads.

Ad leads come from many different sources, direct email buys, google ads, banner ads, etc etc.
There are many ad brokers out there (really only a few good ones, ask me if you want a contact). They use a variety of methods to drive leads to their clients.

Costs are usually up front, and range depending on amount of contact info needed. If you want phone numbers, home mailing addresses, and blood type you’re going to pay more…duh :). So carefully consider what YOU need from a lead in order to get them to buy. If you only need email, why pay for home mailing addy?

The quality depends on the source, the amount of info required, the ad broker you’re using, the marketing material, the demo of the list, and several other TESTABLE factors. If you find a good email ad source, stick to it but never let your marketing get tired or stale…(My Free Gift :)) Some get high quality ad leads from google…then a month later the quality drops…that’s google for you. Same thing is true with google (or any other ad lead source) is to not let it get stale in order to keep quality high.

Another HUGE quality factor is the amount of work YOU have to do on the backend in order to get them to buy. With an ad lead, you’re just getting the lead who’s just about as cold as you can get…so it’ll take more time/effort to convert them. Take that into account!

As far as the volume is concerned…it’s only limited by your budget, tracking, and conversion numbers. There are some ad brokers who can send 10k leads a month, but it’s going to cost you.

Affiliate leads come from…affiliates. Most affiliate leads (I’d say 90% or greater) are coming from email marketing. Some affiliate leads come via external ad buys, but the affiliate marketer really has to know his/her numbers in order for that to make sense.

The costs of affiliate leads really depends on how ‘you’ set up your affiliate program. Some companies pay per lead, but most pay per action (sale).  So if your program is PPL then you’ve got up front costs, but if you PPA then you don’t pay for non-buying leads.

Another cost to add to this would be your affiliate manager (if you have one). This is the person that’s representing you, your company, your products, and your CONVERSIONS to the world…make sure you have a good one. As far as an exact cost goes, it’ll depend on reputation, reach, and other factors they bring to the table to ensure your return on investment.

Now what about that seemingly puzzling aspect … quality of affiliate leads?
It varies almost as much as with ad leads…BUT…affiliate marketers are giving their leads more of a ‘push’ to buy because they have a vested interest in their leads buying.

Volume? …affiliates can drive tens of thousands of leads!
Headsup—EarsUP!! There are several factors that make that possible…and not just your ad budget.
Here are three.

  1. First, you’ve GOT to know the right Affiliates.
    It’s always about WHO you know.
  2. Second, the product or offer affiliates are promoting has to be good.
    Most of the top affiliates want to see the products/offers before promoting, WHY?
    Because they have REAL relationships with their lists…and they don’t want to and are not going to send them crap.
  3. Third, the offer has to, must convert! Why bother otherwise?!
    Remember— most affiliates are driving FREE leads with the hope that a percentage of those leads turn into buyers, a significant percentage!
    Current conversion numbers are KEY to landing those big affiliates.

The other quality aspect with affiliate leads you have to take into account is the fact that affiliate partners are sending multiple, mostly custom written, introductions to you/your offer. It’s not just one email and done. Usually it’s a few so the lead develops a higher level of trust therefore less time is needed on the ‘backend’ to warm them up.

What else?? Did I miss anything? Did I go overboard? Was this helpful? Are you really reading these questions?

Let me know what you think should be on the “lists”.

Brad

P.S. If you need/want affiliate leads…I’m the guy to talk to 🙂