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How much to pay for leads?



I'm trying to make an affiliate program that is more than fair. Right now we're offering $1 per lead, but I'd like to up that, hopefully substantially. But I need to show my CEO that other people are offering more per lead. Can anyone help me with suggestions for cost per lead?

We're essentially B2B, selling web marketing solutions to real estate professionals, and our leads come by way of our free test drives of our products.

Thanks, everyone!

Linda Buquet

Hi Jason,

I don't know what the magic or "right" number is for you -
it would take some competitive research.

I do have the perfect solution for you though.
A tiered program.

$1 per lead base
$5 per lead for affiliates that send over 100 leads a month
$10 a lead for over 1000 leads a month.

I just made up the volume tiers, don't know without research what those should be. But basically this would allow you to offer $1-10 per lead (for example), which sounds much stronger, yet you don't have to pay out the higher amounts except to affiliates that can generate that amount of volume.
Affiliates that generate heavy volume are worth more and if you let supers know they have the opportunity to make more based on volume you'll have a better chance of attracting them.

FYI tell your boss that since you are B2B its much tougher to get affiliates
PLUS since your B2b in a targeted albeit large niche - the number of sales are limited. Even if I were an affiliate I would not even join for less than 10 a lead to start off with and others think just like me. They will wonder "how many Realtors a month could I possibly reach that need a site an would sign up." Then they would think "maybe I could generate 10 leads a month and at $1 per lead make a whopping $10 a month." "Or I use my site and marketing to promote consumer products that sell like hotcakes and have a huge market and make 30 per sale and make around 100 sales a month - that's $3000 a month vs $10 a month. Which would you choose?

Sorry that's probably not what you wanted to hear -
but it may be exactly what your boss needs to hear. :p


Thanks Linda!

The problem with competitive research is that I can't find any of our competitors who are working with affiliate marketers.

What would be a good incentive for the B2B world?

Linda Buquet

B2B is just plain tough! There aren't very many programs that have been successful, in fact there just aren't that many around period. I would imagine if there are any in your field they would be more pay per sale - which if it was a sale you could probably afford to pay a lot more.

I'm sure you've Googled Real estate affiliate program type keywords. If you cant find any that way then look at what other companies pay for plain old web development leads. Then factor in the fact that the market for general sites is 5000 times bigger than for Realtor sites and go from there.

There was a company in Orange County that specializes in Real Estate sites. Can't remember their name but I think they had an affiliate or just referral program. That was years ago, so not sure what they are doing now.