When it comes to starting an online business, you need only one thing to define your business’ success – Audience.
You can have the best content, product, or service, but if no one visits your shop, your business won’t make you any penny.
Affiliate marketing and lead generation are both important parts of a successful online business. Learn the differences between these two strategies, how they can be used together, and which is better for your needs.
Even though affiliate marketing and lead generation might feel similar because of their results, they’re pretty different. In Affiliate Marketing, you make money only once a visitor converts from your affiliate link.
However, lead generation is simply targeting a qualified audience to a business and nurturing them. You don’t have to convert them into customers to earn money.
To make things more clear, we need to dig down deeper and understand the difference between Affiliate Marketing VS Lead Generation, how it works, and how you can make money through it.
So let’s dive right in.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a strategy that comprises THREE main factors:
A- The business/entrepreneur – who has a product or service and wants to sell it.
B- The customer – who is going to buy the product or service
C- The advertiser (affiliate) – who will mediate the entrepreneur’s contact with the customer.
In affiliate marketing, the advertiser can be anyone who makes a customer get in touch with a product or service offered by the business or entrepreneur. For a lot of people, though, driving traffic to promote affiliate offers can seem like a daunting task that’s difficult to master.
A few ways to drive traffic to affiliate offers are:
- Facebook Groups
- Youtube channel
- Blogging with SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Answering questions on Quora
- Paid advertising – Such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Pinterest Ads, Instagram Ads, Native Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Youtube Ads.
Once you’ve picked a traffic source, it’s best to choose one affiliate program to focus on promoting when starting out. Depending on the niche, the more you drive traffic to your affiliate assets, the more you will be able to make sales and, ultimately profit.
The great thing about affiliate marketing is that it’s free to join. So you can promote any of your favorite products and make money through them. All you have to do is
- Join an Affiliate Program.
- Create quality content about a product.
- Share your affiliate link within the content
- Disclose that you are an affiliate, and your commission won’t cost anything to your audience.
- Promote the content to attract more visitors.
When you help a business make more sales, they pay you a commission called affiliate commission. The range of affiliate commissions could be as low as 5% and as high as 90%, depending on the niche and business you are promoting.
With thousands of affiliate programs and dozens of ways to make money with affiliate marketing, it’s one of the most popular ways to make money online.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process through which a company captures the contact information of potential customers, who at some point showed interest in the company’s products or services.
Simply put, lead generation is the process by which companies acquire information about potential customers for their products or services.
So, to make money from lead generation, all you have to do is
- Create epic content to educate a target audience
- Engage with those who show their interests
- Shift them to the next stage of the funnel and ask them for their email/phone number/or any other contact detail.
- Send these leads to the company sales team. They will work on converting them into customers.
Once the cycle is done, you will get paid for what you have done. The higher the leads, the higher your paycheque will be.
But the main problem is, how many leads convert?
Many marketers think that they can’t predict it from their end. However, it isn’t. They can predict who is going to convert and not.
Those who show great interest in your content and seem ready to purchase the offer are known as qualified leads. So, rather than focusing on the quantity alone, pay attention to the quality of your leads.
Similarities Between Affiliate Marketing and Lead Generation
Even though affiliate marketing and lead generation can seem quite similar at first, they’re very different.
However, there are still a couple of similarities between them which might confuse people who are still learning about affiliate marketing vs. lead generation.
1- Attract Potential Leads/Customers
The main similarity is that you will need to attract visitors or customers by doing affiliate marketing or doing lead generation for your business.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, without an audience, followers, subscribers, customers, or clients – you won’t have any sales. No matter how great the quality of your product is, you need sales to generate income.
2- Earn Huge Profit
Another similarity is that to create a successful income stream for your business. You will have to target and acquire qualified leads with proper marketing techniques.
Marketing techniques are different for affiliate marketing and lead generation, but the result is very similar – Increasing Sales.
So, when you close a sale, both you and the company will make money – creating a win-win situation for both.
Affiliate Marketing VS Lead Generation – 4 Key Differences
While a couple of similarities, there are many more differences strengthening the Affiliate Marketing vs Lead Generation comparison.
1- Basic Idea
With affiliate marketing, the main goal is to promote and sell products or services of another business to people in return for a commission rate.
On the other hand, lead generation is a process of attracting qualified visitors and leads to benefit your own business.
With that being said, marketing strategies are also different.
For example, affiliate marketers mostly rely on organic traffic (with the help of search engine optimization) and ads. But the Lead Generation relies on all sorts of outreach and turning a stranger into an interesting prospect that can become a customer or a client.
3- Prospect’s Stage in The Funnel
Another difference is that you only have to take prospects through half of the marketing funnel as an affiliate marketer. You have to educate about the product, understand their needs and explain how they can accomplish their goals with the help of a product, and make them purchase it through your affiliate link.
Once they make a successful purchase, you will earn a commission for it.
However, with lead generation, you’re responsible for bringing the leads through your marketing funnel, nurture them and take their contact information. Then the sales team of the company will take care of their conversion.
While affiliate marketing might seem easier at first, there is a difference in the revenue. Many people think that lead generation could be more lucrative than affiliate marketing because closing a sale is not a part of it.
But from my experience, the groundwork of both of them is different. From this, I can say, Affiliate Marketing is more lucrative than a Lead generation.
Even though companies offer a good commission rate on every lead you send in their way, to get quality leads, it takes more time and effort than affiliate marketing. On the other hand, attracting a prospect who already knows about a product, educating and converting them takes comparatively less effort than lead generation.
So, as soon as you are closing a sale, you are making money.
Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
- Free to join for affiliates
- Require minimal investment to get started.
- It can help you monetize your business and increase your business’ value
- There are thousands of free affiliate programs
- Low risk and low ongoing costs
- ROI is huge and grows at an exponential rate.
- Can generate multiple streams of income
- It is great for creating a passive income stream
- Ground working takes time.
- Lack of control over affiliate programs or products
- No guarantee of revenue and affiliate program rules can change
- Risk of getting removed from an affiliate program unless you strictly follow all of the rules
- Some affiliate programs offer very low commission rates
Pros and Cons of Lead Generation
- Great for generating awareness of your brand/company/product
- Ability to increase sales and increase profit margins
- If done correctly, lead generation can generate a positive return on investment
- Great for increasing the interest or demand for the company’s product/service
- You need to focus on the quality of leads.
- Converting leads can be difficult
- Conversion rates depend on the popularity of a program
- Lead quality might not be up to your standard at all times
How Do You Use Affiliate Marketing to Generate Leads?
As an affiliate marketer, you will need visitors or leads interested in the content you provide.
If you are promoting high-ticket affiliate marketing products, you might be struggling with a low conversion rate.
However, lead generation is often a helpful way of getting in touch with the “right” leads as an affiliate marketer.
Putting yourself in front of the right people has never been easier, and yes, lead generation can be used to generate affiliate marketing leads.
If you aren’t interested in generating visitors and making sales from organic exposure, investing in a quality lead generation tool and combining it with a marketing strategy is a great way to improve your marketing performance.
What Are Some Benefits of Lead Generation Marketing?
Lead generation is one of the most profitable marketing processes. Like, capturing leads of potential customers of products and nurturing them to convert later is one of the lucrative ways.
Once you capture leads, understand what they like, and educate them about different relevant offers.
This means, if you capture leads interested in Email Marketing, understand their roles, needs, and pain points, and educate them about different Email Marketing service providers, you will be able to make a lot more from different sources.
That’s why content marketing lead generation is one of the most hyped ways used by B2B marketers to acquire qualified leads with the help of content.
So, here are some benefits of lead-generating marketing.
- Help you expand your market
- Let you drive followers.
- Create several business opportunities.
- Help you in branding
- Attract qualified leads and increase revenue.
What Are Some Common Mistakes In Using An Affiliate Program To Generate Leads?
Affiliate Marketing is a life-long journey. You promote the products and earn commissions along the way. But to see results, you have to be patient and avoid mistakes causing hurdles in your success.
Many affiliate marketers, especially the newbies, make some mistakes that cost them a lot in terms of time, effort, and investment as well.
So, to have a steady affiliate income, make sure you avoid following mistakes.
- Do not promote several different products at once.
- Do not promote to SELL – Educate your audience. They will convert later.
- Stay consistent with a niche
- Promote the best only.
- Do not write false reviews
- Collect emails of your leads from the beginning.
- Maintain the quality of content you share.
- Interact with your audience to help them.
What are The Best Lead Generation Affiliate Programs to Join?
1- Leadfeeder – Focused on Web Visitors
Leadfeeder is a very well-known lead generation tool that helps you uncover potential leads you’re missing on.
These leads can be your regular website visitors, and Leadfeeder focuses on businesses that visit your website.
They can identify and then qualify leads before connecting you with influential people in the company to add them to your follow-up list.
If you’re not aware of who’s visiting your website, you’re leaving potential customers on your table! Since they’ve visited your website, this means they were looking for something that you have to offer.
Following up and getting in touch allows you to work with warm leads that already know you.
2- ActiveCampaign – Focused on Email
ActiveCampaign is a great lead generation tool that focuses on email marketing. It helps you learn what your email subscribers would like to see, and according to this information, they help you tailor personal emails suited to your audience.
From there, you can find out what works and test best-performing emails to personalize them further to achieve even better results.
What’s great about ActiveCampaign is that you don’t need much information to create personalized email campaigns. The tool will do the spadework for you.
3- Instapage – Instagram Focused
Instapage is another great lead generation tool that focuses on one social media platform, Instagram.
If you are running ads and you are not sure if they’re optimized at all, Instapage can help you out.
Instapage ensures that every ad you run on Instagram is optimized for your business. This includes optimizing everything from a landing page, personalizing your ads for your targeted audience, experimentation, page speed, and even collaboration.
As a result, you can get up to 400% more from your ads, resulting in a higher return on investment.
4- Aeroleads – LinkedIn Focused
Email addresses are much more important than most businesses even realize. Aeroleads is a great Chrome browser extension that helps you find emails from LinkedIn.
Instead of getting in touch with possible prospects directly through LinkedIn, you might have better chances of reaching out through email.
With Aeroleads, you can find email addresses from LinkedIn profiles but also add relevant leads to Aeroleads.
From there, you can keep one valuable list of all prospects you hand-picked. From there, you can use your favorite way to reach out to your potential prospects.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your email game and ensure that you get replies to cold letter of introduction emails you send out, Aeroleads is worth a shot as it can help you generate leads by connecting with your aspects.
5- Snitcher – Track Other Potential Businesses
Snitcher is a great lead generation tool that helps you discover your visitors, get their information, and have a way of contacting about 97% of visitors that don’t get in contact with you.
This lead generation tool can help you find out which companies visit your website. From there, it is up to you to create a list and start contacting these companies to see if you can provide more information or direct help.
Only because visitors don’t get in touch with you doesn’t mean they’re not interested, and that’s why Snitcher helps you get in touch with warm leads that are most likely going to become a customer/client.
Most businesses don’t even know that they can track other businesses who visit their website. If you’re a B2B product or service provider, each visitor on your website can make a huge difference in your revenue.
Therefore, finding out who visited your website and what they were looking at is a great way to get in touch and close a warm lead!
What Are The Best Affiliate Marketing Programs?
1- GrooveFunnels Partner Program
GrooveFunnels is a great tool that can help online businesses and entrepreneurs build marketing websites, funnels, landing pages, stores, and business websites.
It is also offering one of the best affiliate programs, making it easier to earn a lucrative commission. Anyone can register and become a GrooveFunnels affiliate, giving you the ability to promote GrooveFunnels products and services.
GrooveFunnels has a great pricing plan with a complete set of features, attracting many new customers, so your job is a lot easier.
As a GrooveFunnels partner, you can make up to $558 per sale (introducing and converting the user to GroveFunnels paid plan), which is the highest you can make in a single sale.
2- Builderall Affiliate Program
Builderall is the go-to place for online business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and anyone who’s doing business online. It provides a vast range of digital marketing solutions to help you successfully run an online business.
Besides being known for its quality as an all-in-one platform full of valuable tools, Builderall is also known for paying millions of dollars in commission each year to its affiliates.
You can become a Builderall affiliate by registering an account and earn 100% commission for the first month on everyone you bring to Builderall. After the first month, you can make 30% on everyone you bring to Builderall.
3- Cloudways Affiliate Program
Cloudways is a hosting platform, and no matter what you do online, even if you want to host a small blog, you’ll need hosting.
Therefore, as a leading and best hosting provider, Cloudways is the best deal to promote.
On top of that, Cloudways is also known for its affiliate program. They pay you $50 per sale but keep in mind that this is the recurring commission.
Therefore, you can quickly become a Cloudways affiliate in only three steps, yet you can make passive and recurring income. Even if you bring only 20 people, you can start making about $154/month of recurring income every month.
4- LeadPages Affiliate Program
LeadPages is another great company that helps people build a landing page or a site to improve their internet presence.
Not only is LeadPages known for its quality service, but it is also very well known among marketers because of its affiliate program.
LeadPages offers a great affiliate program where you get everything you might need from analytics, promotional material, tracking tools, and even promotion ideas to help you boost your performance.
What’s excellent about the LeadPages affiliate program is that three commission structures depend on the revenue you help LeadPages generate.
- Bronze – $0 – 49 = 10% commission rate
- Silver – $50 – 2,999 = 40% commission rate
- Gold – $3,000+ = 50% commission rate
Even the bronze level offers a great commission rate, so LeadPages is a company worth promoting since it excels at everything they do and offer.
5- ClickFunnels Affiliate Program
ClickFunnels is one of the most popular funnels and landing page builders on the market, but if you’re a marketer, you might have heard about the ClickFunnels affiliate program.
As long as you are a ClickFunnels member, you automatically become their affiliate, so you can take full advantage of spreading the good word about the company.
In return, ClickFunnels offers an excellent commission structure for its affiliates where you can earn up to 40% recurring commission for referrals that become a paid ClickFunnels customer.
Affiliate Marketing Vs Lead Generation – Our Verdict
Even though affiliate marketing and lead generation are not the same things, they have some similarities.
What’s even more important to know is that lead generation can be of help to affiliate marketers.
However, without leads, you might hardly run any business, so if you’re struggling to get clients or find customers, you know what you need to do now!
Hopefully, in this post, you can learn everything you might need to know about affiliate marketing and lead generation and find great affiliate programs and lead generation tools to get you started.
Do you prefer affiliate marketing or lead generation, and why?