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Pay per lead or cost per lead (PPL) is an affiliate marketing model, where a partnership is formed between an advertiser and a business owner where the advertiser undertakes to bring leads to the partner-company and get paid by a commission.
It is a subcategory of classic affiliate marketing where you get commissions for selling products. This is essentially selling “customers” to businesses. The rest is the same.
What is good with PPL is that many of these affiliate programs have tiered referrals, meaning – you get certain percentage of your referrals commissions as well (if he refers new customers also).
How does Pay Per Lead Work?
In a pay per lead deals, the business or the advertiser pays for leads generated at their destination site. And the payments are made only for the qualified leads – those that make the desired action, like signing up or leaving contact or some other demographic information.
Pay per lead programs usually requires a lead (person you refer to them) to:
- Sign up for a free trial
- Create an account with their business
- Register for an event like a webinar or showing of some sort
- Download or install app or other software
- Request a demo, e.g., software or product demo
- Book/schedule a meeting, appointment, or visit
- Submit contact info, e.g., email address or phone number
- Complete a quote, for example, a life insurance quote
If you have thought for yourself while reading the above, “well those are some easy requirements, signing up or watching a webinar is not too hard for people to do” – you are discovering probably the best feature of PPL marketing – it is easier to score conversions as the bar is indeed set low.
But, the bar is not the only thing that is low – so are the payouts. They are usually measured in cents, rather than dollars but since the conversions are much higher – it evens out and you can earn solid money provided you can acquire qualified traffic.
The Top Affiliate Programs
Before we list the programs, let’s first see what would make an affiliate program to be “top” or “best”.
Of course, the commission or the money paid per lead is the leading criterion. But not the only one, there are more.
This will heavily depend on the vertical/industry you are active in but generally, 20% commission is the widely used benchmark. Of course, fixed commissions are a different beast, they are usually agreed upon individually with every advertiser.
Cookie Length – The longer, the better
Only a handful of products are the so-called “impulse” buys where people get triggered in a moment, whip out their credit card and buy it on an instant. Most of the time, they need to sleep on it, discuss it with their partner, wait for their paycheck etc before they make the purchase. That is why it is important that the advertiser gives you a fair time frame for conversion. Couple of days or even only a week is pretty unfair and you will lose a lot of money in such programs. 30 days is an acceptable time-frame for a cookie length – if the customer doesn’t convert in that period, he probably gave up altogether.
Other criteria you should take into consideration are a program’s earnings per click (EPC), payout threshold, deep linking capabilities, and support. You need a responsive affiliate manager who is there when you need help. Also, the tracking software needs to be reliable and credible, otherwise you could easily get defrauded of your commissions.
Pay Per Lead Affiliate Programs List
Let’s check the best pay per lead affiliate programs in more details.
Top affiliate networks like ShareASale, Impact, CJ Affiliate and FlexOffers already contain huge lists of affiliate programs you should definitely check out. But my list is more concise and divided into categories for easier overview.
Most big companies have their own affiliate program and the details about them are usually located in their website’s footer area. If you can’t find it there, you can always do a google search filtered only for that site with the site:domain.com operator. For example:
affiliate program site:domain.com will give you all pages on the site that mention affiliates of referrals.
Personal finance, investing, trading and debt
This is one of the most lucrative verticals to work in.
Many companies in these categories offer high payouts for leads. For example, Acorns pays $6 per lead, Digit ($10), Ally Invest ($20), Upgrade ($60), Personal Capital ($100), and Kabbage ($120).
- American Debt Enders : $10 per lead – $125 per sale
This program helps you reduce creditors call, get rid of debts, and prevent your bank account for being sized.
Ecommerce Affiliate Programs
- 3dcart – $2 (commission rate)
3dcart helps business owners create, operate, and maintain successful online stores with relative ease and efficiency. Learn about the 3dcart affiliate program.
- Amazon Business UK – £25
Amazon Business serves business customers globally and provides the selection, convenience, and fast delivery that customers expect. Learn about the Amazon Business affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
Marketing Affiliate Programs
- Constant Contact – $5
Constant Contact enables individuals and business owners to create and share professional-looking emails in minutes. Learn about the Constant Contact affiliate program.
ClickFunnels is an excellent software to build sales funnels. It gives you everything you need to build landing pages, collect email subscribers, send follow up emails, receive payments, and recruiting affiliates for your products.
Education Affiliate Programs
- LinkedIn Learning – $8
LinkedIn Learning is an American massive open online course website offering video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills. Learn about the LinkedIn Learning affiliate program on FlexOffers.
- Pluralsight – $5
Pluralsight offers extensive online developer, creative, and IT courses that are taught by industry experts. It offers 6,000+ courses to businesses and individuals. Learn about the Pluralsight affiliate program.
- Skillshare – $12
Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of free and paid classes in design, art, business, marketing, technology, and more. Learn about the Skillshare affiliate program.
- Treehouse – $3
Treehouse focuses on technical education. It offers more than one thousand videos created by experts on web design, coding, business, and more. Learn about the Treehouse affiliate program.
- CreativeLive – $0.50
CreativeLive is a platform that offers online courses in photography, video, music, business, productivity, self-development, and art. Learn about the CreativeLive affiliate program.
Hosting Affiliate Programs
- GoDaddy – $2
GoDaddy is the biggest domain name registrar and web hosting company that supports millions of customers globally. Learn about the GoDaddy affiliate program.
- SugarSync – $1.60
SugarSync is an online backup, sync, and storage solution that helps you share all of your data across your devices. Learn about the SugarSync affiliate program on FlexOffers.
SMB Affiliate Programs
- Box – $100
Box is a cloud content management, file sharing, workflow, and collaboration platform. Learn about the Box affiliate program.
- Code42 – $60
Code42 is an enterprise and small business (CrashPlan) SaaS solution that secures all distributed end-user data on state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure. Learn about the Code42 affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
- FreshBooks – $5
FreshBooks provides small business accounting software. Users can send invoices, track time, manage receipts, file expenses, and accept credit cards. Learn about the FreshBooks affiliate program.
- QuickBooks – $5
QuickBooks makes account software for individuals and businesses. Stay organized, get paid, and save time. Learn more about the QuickBooks affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
- Salesmate – $0.25
Salesmate has everything you need to organize your sales process, build life-long customer relationships, and win more deals in one powerful sales CRM application. Learn about the Salesmate affiliate program.
Other Affiliate Programs
- 1Password – $2
1Password helps simplify your online life by automatically filling, storing and securing passwords, personal data and credit cards. Learn about the 1Password affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
- AirHelp – €35+/-
AirHelp helps travelers to get compensation for delayed/canceled flights and trip-related problems. Since 2013, it has helped over 13 million stranded air passengers get justice. Learn about the AirHelp affiliate program.
- Bigstockstock – $16
Bigstock offers images and videos for everyone including over 55 million stock photos, videos, and vectors. Learn about the Bigstock affiliate program on FlexOffers.
- CableMover – $6.50
SmartMove provides easy-to-use tools and resources to connect people with the best Internet, TV, and Smart Home technologies. Learn about the CableMover affiliate program.
- Canva – $6.50
Canva is a graphic-design tool that helps people create images, logos, thumbnails, posters, and more. It provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, fonts, and templates. Learn about the Canva affiliate program.
- Cronometer – $0.10
Cronometer enables you to track your fitness, nutrition, and health data to live a better life. Learn about the Cronometer affiliate program.
- Direct Energy – $40
Direct Energy is one of the largest retail providers of electricity, natural gas, and home services in North America. Learn about the Direct Energy affiliate program on FlexOffers.
- Grammarly – $0.20
Grammarly offers grammar, punctuation, and spell-checking software to help students, writers, and professionals. Its software checks more than 250 grammar rules. Learn about the Grammarly affiliate program.
- Hiscox – $25
Hiscox offers professional service businesses a new way to buy small business insurance online. Learn about the Hiscox affiliate program.
Keeper is the leading password management solution for both businesses and consumers with millions of customers worldwide. Learn about the Keeper affiliate program.
- LeafFilter – $17
LeafFilter Gutter Protection seeks to provide the best gutter cover solution. Learn about the LeafFilter affiliate program.