Customers often ask us if they can use LeadConduit for tracking and managing affiliates for their lead generation campaigns. The answer depends on the situation. This article is designed to help provide the background to answer that question.
First let’s try to clarify terminology with some definitions...
What is an Affiliate?
An affiliate is a company that will drive traffic to your website and is paid on a performance basis. For this discussion we’ll assume that the affiliate is being compensated on a Cost Per Lead (CPL) basis. The Affiliate is not hosting the web form, they are driving traffic to your website. So in essence, you are buying web traffic for your site.
What is an Affiliate Tracking platform?
Affiliate tracking software is used to track and manage affiliates. A popular provider of affiliate tracking software is HasOffers. Check out their site to explore the functionality provided by their software.
What is a Lead Vendor?
A lead vendor is a company that generates leads for your business. Lead vendors host the webforms on their sites (or through a network of partners). They send you the lead data per your specifications. They don’t send any web traffic to your website. For example, you can use Facebook to drive traffic to your website. However, if you are running Facebook Lead Ads, Facebook is acting as a lead vendor since they are hosting the form for that ad unit.
What is a Lead Acquisition Platform?
A lead acquisition platform is designed to capture and process web lead data from forms or lead vendors. It sits between lead sources (such as your web form) and CRMs or email systems. Its role is to verify, enhance, filter, track and route lead data. LeadConduit is a lead acquisition platform.
So the first question is, are you working with affiliates, lead vendors or both? If you are working with lead vendors, LeadConduit is a great solution for you. If you are working with affiliates, we typically recommend using a system like HasOffers in conjunction with LeadConduit. Below are the roles of each respective system in this arrangement:
HasOffers is used to manage your affiliates and report on their metrics (impressions, clicks, and conversions). Each affiliate will have their own HasOffers account where they can get their tracking links and see reporting. You manage the financials by setting the price per lead you will be paying each affiliate in HasOffers.
Typically, when affiliates are paid on a CPL basis they are paid based on the number of "gross submitted leads". In other words, as long as a lead is submitted, the affiliate will see that as a payable action (a “conversion”), even if the lead is unqualified or junk data. The affiliate tracking system keeps track of those numbers. Ideally affiliates are only paid for good qualified leads (leads that meet your specific criteria), this can be accomplished with LeadConduit (see below).
LeadConduit is used to manage the lead data captured by webforms and qualify your leads in real-time. Real-time qualification allows you to answer questions like: Is the contact info valid (Are the email and phone number real and contactable)?, Are they qualified for your services based on how they answered questions on your form? Is the lead a duplicate? Based on the answers to these questions LeadConduit lets you filter/block leads in real-time. LeadConduit helps you avoid paying affiliates for leads that you can’t use. LeadConduit integrates with HasOffers by marking qualified leads as conversions in HasOffers using their recommended Server Postback Tracking method.