If you are looking to make money online, one of the methods that you’ve likely heard about is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a process of marketing other people’s products and getting paid a commission for the sales or leads that you generate. It’s a very effective and popular way to make money online.
Basics of Pay Per Lead Affiliate Marketing
When most people think of affiliate marketing, they think in terms of selling a product. While selling a product is a very direct way to earn money, often times the conversion rates are low. You are always competing against other marketers and consumers are careful when making purchases online.
However, there is another way to make money marketing for affiliates and that’s through generating leads. It’s often easier to generate a lead than it is to close a sale because lead generation is simply the process of locating a potentially interested customer. It’s an earlier stage in the sales process. The customer just has to indicate that they may be interested in receiving more information about a product and give some contact information. They generally don’t need to give out their personal financial information or make a purchase at the outset. Many times it’s simply providing an email address.
You are approaching the customer in their zone of comfort and really giving them the control on indicating their interest in a product. At the same time, companies are willing to pay for lead generations because these customers tend to have a higher conversion rate since they’ve already indicated an interest in the product. It’s a win win situation for everyone.
For the online marketer, lead generation uses the same skillset as affiliate marketing. You are still marketing for an affiliate product. But instead of recommending a sale of the product, you are simply giving your target audience the option to provide contact information and receive further information about the product.
If you’ve had success marketing your own mailing list or other affiliate product, then you understand the process of pay per lead affiliate marketing.
Can You Make Money Through Pay Per Lead Affiliate Marketing
In my experience, generating leads through affiliate marketing has a much higher conversion rate than trying to generate sales.
I find that many times when marketing a product to sell, I will see a clickthrough on the affiliate link, but then there is a very low rate of conversion to an actual sale. My theory on that is that people are interested in getting more information when they click on the link, but are much more reticent to make a purchase.
On the otherhand, I see a much higher conversion rate on the affiliate links for leads. I think this is because the person who is seeking to learn more about an offer or service is more willing to provide some simple contact information to learn more about the service.
In real world numbers this works out to a much higher results from marketing leads than sales for me. This has translated to earning several hundred dollars each month from some programs.
Over time, I’ve begun to take a closer look at affiliate programs and networks that focus on lead generation due to this trend.
Taking a Look at T3leads
Recently, I was offered to try out T3leads, a pay per lead affiliate network specializing in lead generation in the financial industry. Their lead generation partners range from the payday loan industry to various insurance industries. Since this blog discusses a variety of financial topics, I thought it would be a good fit.
Here are some of the things that I look at when I review an affiliate network:
- What kinds of advertising tools do they provide for me
- How informative are their analytics reports
- How and when do they payout
- Do they have a subaffiliate program
- How is their affiliate support
T3Leads Advertising Tools
One of the things that impressed me right off was that T3leads provides really robust tools for the affiliate marketer. Most of the time affiliate tools are limited to a variety of banners and text links. These are pretty sufficient for the most part, but T3leads gives much more.
T3leads not only provides banner ads and text links to their affiliates, they also provide complete personal websites that you can download and install on your own domain. If you want to create your own personal landing page, for specific products, these are available for that purpose.
I was impressed that they provided this option for you to create a personal website. This is more than just a simple landing page. The website comes complete with a content management system and various themes and designs. Also, they provide some basic cms documentation so that you can personalize your website. This really is a complete website. With this tool, you can become a complete lead generation agent for your chosen affiliate partner.
If you don’t need a full on website, you can simply use their banner ads and text links to link to their pre-existing public webpages maintained by T3leads. This is more like the traditional affiliate marketing.
However, T3leads also provides some tools for intermediate strategies. Suppose, you have a blog already and don’t need to create a separate website to market your leads. At the same time, you want to give your readers the option to complete a lead form without leaving your blog. You can do that as well.
One of the lead generation tools that T3leads provides is the ability to create your own lead forms. Do you want to embed a lead generation form right into a page on your blog or within a blog post? You can do that quite easily. They have a ton of forms to select with a lot of customization options.
T3Leads Reports Dashboard
I want information. Lots of information.
I’ve joined some affiliate programs that are really bare bones about their reports. Sometimes they only give updates on conversions. The problem with thin reports is that I can’t tell how much traffic I’m generating and what my conversion rate is when they don’t provide that information.
I don’t want to be left wondering about my performance. Also, when I’m missing basic information sometimes I get the vague feeling that I might be getting cheated.
T3leads certainly isn’t lacking in this area. They have reports in virtually every category.
The more information I’m given, the safer and more confident I feel in the affiliate network that I’m joining. I want to feel like every click and purchase is tracked and accounted for. In this case, so far I feel like t3leads really has this area covered.
What About Payouts
- Minimum payment threshold
- Payment Methods
- How Often do they Payout
Almost all affiliate networks have some kind of minimum payment threshold. When I first started blogging, this took me by surprise a bit. It’s particularly difficult when the minimum payment threshold is too high. You can end up generating a number of sales and putting in a lot of work without ever getting an actual payout. There are a few programs I’ve joined where I’ve generated some sales and had money sitting in a virtual account without ever being paid because I didn’t hit the payment threshold. It really sucks.
At the same time, it’s the nature of many of these affiliate programs. So, it needs to be taken into account. In general, it’s awesome when there’s no threshold, but I find that an average of about $50 is acceptable.
In this case, T3leads has a minimum threshold depending on the payment method starting at $100 for paypal payments. I find it a little bit on the high side, however depending on the conversion rates, it’s not an unattainable amount in a given month. Like I said I’m participating in other programs that generates over $100 a month, so if this program performs as well, then the high payment threshold won’t be too much of a hinderance. Overall, I would say that it’s a bit on the high side.
However, there are some positive points to their payment system. T3leads provides the most comprehensive set of payment methods that I’ve seen. This is good for affiliates that don’t have a paypal account and need some other way of payment. I would say that they are certainly not lacking in that arena, however this is tampered by much higher payment thresholds in many cases. Just take a look:
Overall, I’d say if you can stick to a check or paypal, that would be the best option. As you can see, the other methods have payment thresholds that are at extraordinary levels.
The big positive to T3leads is that they have a regular twice monthly payment schedule. Most programs payout once a month, but if there’s the possibility of getting paid more often, I’m all for it.
Overall, I would say that if you use paypal or willing to get paid by check, then their payment method is not overly burdensome. Beyond that I’d really consider whether it’s realistic to make their payment threshold regularly.
T3Leads Referral Program
I like networks that have referral programs. I think that it encourages growth and it also gives us the opportunity to earn a little extra money through our referrals. Some of the best referral programs are the ones that have subaffiliates. I’m in some programs where I don’t personally generate many conversions, but I make money every month because I’ve referred other people who do. It’s really a great benefit.
In this case, T3leads has a referral program that pays you 3% of your referrals earnings. 3% isn’t huge, but it adds up over time. Since T3leads seems to provide some really powerful tools to help their affiliates convert leads, I’m fairly optimistic about their affiliates generating decent earnings.
Most affiliate networks have affiliate managers that give you advice and support when you join their program. I evaluate affiliate support much the same way as one might evaluate customer service. I like to see how quickly the affiliate manager responds as well as how accessible they make themselves.
In this case, I found that T3leads makes a strong effort to make their affiliate manager extremely accessible. I was provided not only with his email information, but also a toll free number with his extension and his skype handle. I certainly feel well informed on how to get in touch with him if necessary.
I sent in one quick inquiry by email late at night and I got a response first thing in the morning from him. This was followed by a pleasant email exchange to make sure all my needs were met.
So far I can say from my brief experience I felt well taken care of.
Overall, my impression is that T3leads is an affiliate network with very high potential. I’m impressed with their selection of advertising tools and the thoroughness of their analytics. While their payment threshold for paypal and checks are a bit higher than average at $100, it’s not overly burdensome. Also, there is the opportunity to earn extra money through referrals. This appears to be a program that has a high conversion potential. If you are a paypal member or willing to get paid by check then I’d definitely join the T3leads affiliate network.