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10 Best Lead Generation Strategies for Affiliates

Published by Papa Whale Affiliate Marketing

These 10 powerful & simple lead generation strategies will help you bring more qualified users where it counts and make more money as an affiliate.

You’ve probably seen offers like Jerkmate that pay top dollar for double opt-in (DOI) leads. 

However, can you say in all honesty that you never struggled to bring more leads to your websites?

Come on, we’ve all been through this—you’re not alone! 

Let’s see how we can tackle this problem…

But first, we need to have all the basics accounted for!

What is a lead?

In layman’s terms, a lead is someone who has shown clear interest in a product or service

Think of it this way: the next time someone browses your website, pokes around and subscribes to your mailing list, he or she becomes a potential customer—a lead.

In this case, completing a positive action (opt-in) is how a simple visitor turned into a qualified lead.

Now, there are 2 types of qualified leads and it’s important to set them apart. 

  • Marketing qualified leads (MQLs): curious about your offerings, yet shows varying degrees of purchase intent
  • Sales qualified leads (SQLs): knows exactly what he or she is looking for, easier to close (i.e. convert) .

It’s the marketer’s job to turn MQLs into SQLs through lead nurturing—warming up potential clients to the idea of spending money and guiding them along the spending process.

What is lead generation?

Now that you know what a lead is, you might wonder how to actually get them. 

Enter lead generation strategies: proactive measures you can take to bring in more traffic to your websites and encourage visitors to inquire more about your products or services

As you’re about to discover, lead generation can take many forms in the digital landscape.

Why is lead generation important?

Few businesses can weather a dry spell of customers—online or not. 

You need a constant flow of both new and loyal customers to keep the lights on, which is also how affiliate marketing works.

A stream of leads adds grist to the mill, so to speak. It’s how you will be able to find new sales opportunities and achieve more conversions. 

Therefore here’s 10 foolproof ways to generate more leads and drive better business in 2019

1- Offer content of the highest quality (blog)

It might sound like a broken record at this point, but it bears repeating: quality content is your best path at reaching the next level

Quality is a “measure of excellence,” whereas quantity is more about how much content you can churn out in a limited time. You can already guess which one is better! 

Well-researched, thoughtful and actionable content gives you a remarkable edge. Long-form content also generates more backlinks, an important SEO factor. 

Long-form content generating backlinks

There’s a direct correlation between the average number of words and backlinks generated according to Backlinko

Backlinks are powerful lead generation tools at your disposal. It’s a simple formula: 

More backlinks = more traffic = more leads! 

 According to Medium, the optimal post is 7 minutes long

Optimal post length in reading time

Size does matter.. *chuckles

But quality content isn’t just about length! 

To get more leads, create valuable content. Find a topic you want to write about and let yourself loose from the stranglehold of “best practices”. 

Break some rules if you need to. Great content doesn’t have to follow a natural path—be a trailblazer. People will call you out on your bluff if all you care about is slapping a few keywords here and there. 

Google’s algorithm is also pretty efficient at detecting low effort posts padded with worthless content. Always ask yourself: what is the benefit of MY content for the end-user?!

2- Write compelling headlines that pop

The first thing people read isn’t your thought-provoking text that took hours upon hours of research and editing. Rather, they will be attracted—or repulsed—by your headline.

This is a sad truth you must come to terms with. 

The good news is if you master the art of crafting engaging headlines, your content will attract more potential leads!

How to write engaging headlines?

Consider the following two examples:

  • Headline A: “Climate change brings wolves out of the woods”
  • Headline B: “SCARY: Wolves Are Returning to UK woods for the first time in 1,000 years (Hint: It’s Climate Change)”

Which one would you be more inclined to click and/or share in a heartbeat? 

If you answered “B,” you’d be right.

Users are quick to dismiss content. 

Grab their attention immediately! 

Be clear and consider adding an emotional angle to your headlines. 

Emotional value = more shares = more potential leads!

Post emotional value linked to the number of shares

Emotional value of headlines according to CoSchedule

The Advanced Marketing Institute lets you calculate the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) of your headlines with its online analyzer tool.

Notice how emotions are broken into 3 major dimensions:

  • Intellectual: great for offering products or services
  • Empathetic: triggers a strong, positive emotion
  • Spiritual: connects at a very deep, emotional level

Your headlines must sync with your goals. If you’re selling a yoga course, getting spiritual might be a good idea… but the same might not be said if you were trying to get more leads by selling homemade furniture.

For the record, positive headlines get more attention. Which makes a lot of sense, since we look forward to living happy moments, not the contrary. 

Come up with different headlines (10+) and test their EMV value before you make a final selection. You’ll want to aim for 35-45% EMV. Use power words to drive more engagement.

You can also test the potential of your headlines with another tool—Sharethrough’s Headlines Analyzer (online & free). Note: Be wary of algorithms though as some recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt. 

Still, it’s a good indicator as to whether or not your headline needs work. 

Combined, these two tools will help you come up with headlines that bring people to your content… and boost your lead meter significantly! 

3- Use Push Notifications

Over the last few years, push notifications have spread like wildfire. Every website and marketing campaign under the sun adopted them… for good reason. 

Push notification performance is out of this world!

According to a 2018 report by Accengage, average opt-in rate for a mobile push notification is 91.1% on Android devices and 43.9% on iOS devices. The significant cap is due to Apple requiring active consent for opt-ins while Android uses passive consent (automatic). 

As a reminder, push notifications are small alerts that pop up on your device of choice. They feature a brief message: marketers hope you click/tap to a destination URL.  

While driving traffic to your website is great and all, it doesn’t instantly guarantee you more leads. Adding push notifications certainly helps!

For this lead generation strategy, you will need a specialized service. We use OneSignal. In our experience, it’s the best value your money can buy (there’s a free plan, too). 

How to Optimize Push Notifications?

Once users have given you permission to send them push notifications (using a prompt), you will be able to get more leads with a few simple tricks:

  • Write short & simple copy
  • Create a sense of urgency  
  • Use Emojis to catch their attention
  • Talk about benefits, not features!
  • Add a great image (only available for web pushes)
  • Craft a powerful Call-to-action (CTA) to increase click-through rate (CTR)

Here’s an example of what it looks like on desktop:

push notification example web browser

Do you want to know why this particular browser push notification works great as a lead generation strategy? Let’s see:

  • Title: Increase Traffic By 10X in 30 Days (benefit-oriented)
  • Description: See the best strategies used by top blogs (curiosity). Get organic traffic from all Search Engines (benefit-oriented)
  • Image: (matches the content and is eye-catching)
  • CTA: Show Me (crystal clear, feels like a natural evolution of the copy)

Push notifications are great for getting more qualified leads. Afterwards, you will be able to guide leads to relevant landing pages or offers so they convert! 

But how can you fine-tune this process?? 

By segmenting your audience! Just like emails, push notifications can be tailored to user data: device type, device language, location, tags, last session, etc. 

As you can see in the graph from businessofapps below, segmentation does matter! It’s linked to a higher click-through rate (CTR) across all industries.

4- Set a powerful lead magnet

How are you going to reward users for their contact information?

With a lead magnet, of course! 

You’re going to give them a reason to take action—an incentive of immediate value.

And you know what: there’s nothing better than free… at least, not when it comes to lead generation strategies. 

Your lead magnet can take several forms. Here’s a few examples that still do wonders:

  • Ebooks, white papers and guides
  • Limited-time trials
  • Exclusive webinar entries
  • Sweepstakes
  • Joint offers from partners

Make sure your gift has clear benefits to end-users. Often, it will be your only opportunity to hook them in for good!    

5- Tap into the immense power of email marketing

A proven path to getting more leads is through email marketing.

We’ve glanced over the idea of lead nurturing in our intro. Considered as one of the most valuable assets for online marketers, mailing lists can turn anyone into a loyal customer—if done right.

First, you’ll need to ask permission so you can send promotional emails to your audience. Spam laws have really tightened up in the last few years, which means unsolicited emails can put you in a world of trouble.

Having permission from say, a mail catcher is lead generation by itself. This is how you are able to send focused emails so users are led to optimized landing pages where they might purchase a product or service.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet to crafting exceptional emails that will be an important part of your lead generation strategy:

  • Make sure the subject line is free of spam words
  • Be focused and don’t overload your emails with tons of different offers
  • The image-to-text ratio is important. You need more text (~80%) than creatives (~20%) to stay out of the spam box
  • Know when to send emails for maximum open rates. A couple of years ago, GetResponse found out weekends had the lowest open rates.

email 7 days a week

MailChimp also recorded higher open rates with emails sent between 10:00 and 11:00 AM.

image-in-insights-from-mailchimpand8217s-send-time-optimization-system

 

  • Use clear Call-to-actions (CTAs)
  • Keep it short and engaging

7-  A/B test your ads

In order to generate more leads, at some point you might be tempted to confront different ideas and run your own experiments. 

That’s the spirit! 

Conversion optimization is an important part of online marketing.

You can achieve greater results with A/B testing, which is also known as split testing.

How do you do it? Start with a radical change.

You could test between two different freebies (as lead magnets), like giving away an ebook vs. handing out an exclusive white paper as part of your opt-in efforts.

If more people subscribe because they want to download your ebook, then you can start testing out with various micro elements.

The important thing is to actually test with ONE different variable at all times!

Otherwise, it’s going to be hard to pinpoint what exactly led to an increase or a decrease of leads. When you isolate variables, their individual performance becomes much clearer. 

You haven’t truly tested unless you’ve toyed with the following:

  • CTA button choice of words. Example: Download now vs. Get your free book
  • CTA button choice of colors. Greater contrast has proven to convert more. It’s only logical: CTAs want to draw the users’ attention. 

firefox-contrasting-cta-CrakRevenue

The screenshot above is from Mozilla and perfectly encapsulates contrasting colors used to make CTAs “pop” on a page.

8- Give influencer marketing a try

Influencer marketing outreach is one of the most popular lead generation strategies of the past few years. 

Again, it all comes down to reaching your potential customers where they are: on social media. 

Don’t take it from us: 80% of marketers think influencer marketing is effective according to a 2019 Media Kix survey.

how effective is influencer marketing mediakix

It’s not only about brand awareness either: influencer marketing can greatly boost leads and conversions!

How? 

Simply put, influencers have a privileged relationship with their audience built on trust. They are able to reach potential customers with very high engagement rates

Something like a simple shoutout from an influencer can generate more leads than all your other marketing efforts—combined! 

It’s no wonder 89% of marketers believe the return on investment (ROI) from influencer marketing is comparable or better than other channels. 

roi comparison influencer marketing

9- Use video to your advantage

Engaging content is key to generating more leads. In fact, we can’t think of a better way of attracting potential customers than by creating targeted videos

By 2022, Cisco expects IP video traffic will be 82 percent of all IP traffic.

That explains why 87% of marketing pros use video as a marketing tool! 

Perhaps more enlightening, Aberdeen Group stated that video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year

Here’s a few reasons how such tremendous success can be explained:

  • They help build trust towards brands
  • Videos have better reach than any other type of content
  • They boost dwell time, which leads to better rankings on search engines
  • Finally, they help establish you as a leader in your field.

If you’re not using video as a lead generation strategy yet, now you understand better what you’ve been missing out on.

Here’s a few ideas to get started for affiliate marketers:

  • Create product reviews
  • Host a questions & answers live session 
  • Create in-depth guides
  • Promote events or talk about them
  • Share interviews with leaders in your industry

10- Use Social Media to your advantage

There’s more than 3 billion social media users in the world

That’s almost one out of two humans connected to social platforms! 

It comes as no surprise that bringing more leads to your websites can be done by finding and interacting with people where they are—on social media.

If you don’t already have a page on Facebook, create one. Then do so for Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Reddit, etc. 

The more you post, the more opportunities you will create for leads. This is the top of your sales funnel: attract. Get the word out. Build a following. 

It’s no secret that online marketers love social media. Just look at this graph:

Social media ranks first among all digital marketing channels available for businesses, according to a Clutch Digital Marketing survey.

With added brand awareness at a low cost, it’s no wonder why. 

We repeat: if you’re not promoting on social platforms, you’re missing out on an estimated pool of 3.48 billion users as of 2019 (WeAreSocial). Not everyone wants or cares about your offers, but it’s still a massive traffic avenue.

Facebook even launched its own dedicated lead generation tool in 2015 called Facebook Lead Ads. 

Advertisers can create and launch new lead generation campaigns quickly.

Instead of filling out details in a form, users do so within the ad, which has pre-populated fields. 

All they have to do is hit the submit button and voilà! You have a lead. You don’t even need a landing page.  

Instagram and Linkedin also deal in lead ads. It’s a great opportunity to consider if you want to generate more leads without dealing with a painstakingly high barrier of entry. 

Lead the way

That’s it for our amazing lead generation strategies you can dabble with right now. All of the aforementioned options truly work and can boost your conversions significantly, as long as you are willing to put in the work. 

Feel free to share your prefered lead generation tips & tricks below!

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