Pay affiliates more for real leads – not for junk

Anyone who tries to generate leads via affiliate marketing programs learns quickly that ensuring quality leads can be a challenge, but the good news is that high-quality affiliate traffic is worth every penny when it delivers on the leads most likely to become customers. A critical element of a successful lead buying program is implementing a process that ensures you only pay for leads that meet your criteria. 

There are many elements to ensuring that your affiliate marketing programs are effective. But if you pay cost-per-lead rather than impressions or clicks for your affiliate traffic, one of the most important keys is ensuring that the leads you buy are coming from consumers who have valid contact information, align with your buyer profile, and are actually in the market for your products.  

There is a wide range of data sources that help ensure that you’re targeting the right consumers, but finding out you have the wrong buyer after you’ve purchased the traffic isn’t very efficient, or cost-effective. 

One way that companies try to keep low/no conversion leads out of their systems is to put barriers in the way of completing the lead form in an attempt to filter out users who are not serious about a purchase. But wouldn’t you rather set the rules and filters yourself, rather than hoping your complex lead form is filtering out the wrong people?

Fortunately, you have the power to ensure that only valid leads meeting your criteria make it into your system – and only the dollars that count make it out of your budget. We call this the power of the pixel.

Optimizing Your Conversion Traffic

Affiliate tracking is commonly referred to as pixel tracking, but there are different variations of affiliate tracking. A pixel is a single, nearly invisible point in a webpage, typically placed either on your own site or in an advertisement you are placing on an affiliate’s site. While no one will notice an individual pixel, it can be incredibly powerful. That tiny point functions as a link to another system, and when it “fires,” it sends a string of information about what has just occurred on the page. For example, it might communicate that “a user has just submitted form XYZ.”

They are particularly useful in pay-per-lead marketing. When a user submits a web form, the “thank you” page containing a pixel automatically loads into their browser. The pixel fires a signal to the buyer’s system that they’ve “received a new lead based on form XYZ,” and that they now owe the publisher for that lead.

But what if you could delay a pixel fire until you’ve had a chance to further validate and score the lead? 

In addition to browser pixels, there are server pixels, also known as postback or callback tracking. These are more accurate and provide advantages that can be leveraged by lead optimization platforms like LeadConduit.

By using the ActiveProspect platform and housing the server pixel in your LeadConduit flow instead of in a web page, you can choose a different moment for the pixel to fire, such as when the form is submitted to LeadConduit, or after the submitted lead has been validated and scored. You can even fire unique pixels for every lead source or campaign.

You can set rules in your LeadConduit flow to “suppress” the pixel fire until you have verified the lead. In real-time, you can validate that the lead is real, contactable, and fits with your buyer profile (i.e. age, location, gender, etc.). Only if it fits your custom criteria is the pixel fired — and if you don’t fire the pixel, the lead is rejected. And because the pixel tracking rules are part of your workflow, they can be altered without changing the code.

LeadConduit uses server-side pixels rather than a pixel that is fired from the browser. Therefore if the pixel’s action involves either placing a cookie in the user’s browser or reading a cookie already in the browser, that action will not occur when the pixel is fired from LeadConduit.

Planning for the Pixel

When you optimize conversion tracking, it’s important to communicate this with your affiliate traffic providers and build those plans into your contracts. Your vendors don’t want to send you traffic you can’t use any more than you want to pay for it. Using a pixel fire to stop the wrong consumers from entering your CRM system is preferable to returning those leads later when they can no longer be sold elsewhere. And if you can control the quality of your affiliate traffic, it’s even worth paying a bit more for the consumers most likely to convert to sales!

Higher-quality leads are a win for everyone. Buyers no longer pay for duplicate or non-contactable leads, and there is no more guesswork as there is with negotiated “scrub rates.” Meanwhile, sellers can ensure that they send only the highest-quality leads to buyers, giving them the power to negotiate higher per-lead rates and higher volume caps. 

To learn more about LeadConduit and how suppressing pixel fires could work for your business, contact us today.