Affiliate marketing for lead gen

Posted on 25/08/2021 by Molly Watters

Affiliate Marketing can be used for lead generation as part of your wider Paid Media Strategy and it's a great way to get more results

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning money (commission) every time you promote a company’s products or services and drive a sale/lead. When affiliate marketing acts as part of your paid media strategy, you allocate a percentage of your ad spend to affiliate marketing, in order for an affiliate partner to utilise that spend to drive the most possible sales or conversions for your business. You are then able to see the overall return of that ad spend in order to determine how much of your budget you’d like to allocate to affiliates going forwards. Typically, it is most common to see affiliate marketing for eCommerce activity to increase sales.

Why use affiliate marketing for lead generation?

However, affiliate marketing is also often a strong tactic when it comes to lead generation objectives. In fact, more than 38% of marketers consider Affiliate Marketing as one of the best methods of customer acquisition. If you take our client, Boots Hearingcare, our main objective is to drive Hearing Test appointments in store, which lead to hearing aid sales, rather than aiming to drive hearing aid sales as an immediate eCommerce goal. In order to do this, affiliate marketing plays a big role in their media strategy, as the CPA is lower than all other acquisition channels including Google Search.

How does it work?

Our affiliate partner works with a range of publishers to find the best performing audiences that deliver the lowest CPA. Typically we run a small test with a few publishers before scaling the ones delivering the best performance. Publishers include both Mailers and PMPs (private marketplaces).


We work with their internal, first-party, owned data and they can then segment their data lists to the relevant target audience for specific campaigns. In the case of Boots Hearingcare, we are segmenting those over the age of 50 as this is the audience most likely to suffer from hearing loss. 


PMPs send out emails, display on site, utilise their social fan pages, create content or send newsletters with the campaign featured in order to drive leads on the Boots Hearingcare website. 

With any sort of affiliate creative that goes live, the client and account team will preview this work to make sure it is in line with the brand and wider campaign. We can also gain insights into which publishers are running the campaign, and see reports with performance broken down per publisher from which we can optimise the campaign.

Less reliance on traditional performance marketing

Affiliate marketing for lead generation can span across Email, Editorial, Mobile, Social, Display and Native targeting both desktop and mobile users, offering advertisers more consistency and reach across all major verticals. We can work to a CPL (Cost per Lead), CPI (Cost per Install) or CPC (Cost per Click) basis to acquire high volumes of engaged new users in a cost-effective way in line with your business needs.

It is important that engaging and actionable creatives are put in place and that everything is tracked in line with business goals, allowing for optimisation to take place leveraging the best performing audiences. Our affiliate partners work with the best media owners, publishers and bloggers in the industry. 

Leverage affiliates for incentives and offers

Affiliate marketing is the perfect way in which you can promote incentives and offers on behalf of your client, and compare the success to other acquisition channels. For the example of Boots Hearingcare we aim to trial an incentive offer of 500 Advantage Card points for every hearing test appointment for half of the email database, versus half with no incentive. This way we can compare conversion rates with and without the incentivisation and use this learning for wider marketing activity going forwards.

Overcoming data privacy issues

A lot of marketing channels activity cannot target users based on their data because leads don’t give their explicit consent to share their data. Affiliate marketing overcomes this limitation as their databases are always guaranteed to be GDPR compliant, and data is more granular compared to other marketing channels.

Get involved

If you feel like Affiliate marketing is something you want to discuss then Hallam’s team can help. We have Paid Media consultants who specialise in Affiliate marketing for both lead generation and eCommerce purposes and they’re happy to chat to you about how Affiliate marketing could work for your business. We also have a dedicated Strategy team who can help you look at the bigger marketing picture and discuss new opportunities with you.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

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