Affiliate marketing definitely has its downsides. Crowded niches, low payouts, offers ending, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use your internet marketing skills to promote your own “offer” in a niche you created? Well you can.
One of the very successful techniques we use is our own lead generation websites. It became very clear to me early on that the skills learned marketing CPA offers can be leveraged with your own lead capturing websites. I’m not talking about running lead generation offers on networks, I mean creating your own site to capture leads then reselling them to local business. These sites can be built in virtually any niche where businesses need new customers. Some of the advantages of creating your own lead sites: you have total control, conversion tracking/analytics are a breeze, PPC campaigns have great quality score, you collect exactly the data you want, make your own landing pages, and set your own prices.
Many companies are used to buying leads. Real, estate agents, lawyers, financial planners, are all buy expensive leads. Those are very competitive niches, even locally, so I wouldn’t suggest them. But virtually any business can be sold leads. One of the first small niches we tried 2 years ago was personal training. We ran a site that captured local leads for people searching for personal trainers, and offered discounts for training services. The leads went to a local personal training business who paid us a per lead basis, and allowed the customers the discount our site promised. It was a win win for everyone. We pushed traffic to the site through local PPC, social networks, and SEO.
Do you have to keep it local? Of course not, you can sell leads to companies wherever you want. Its usually just easier to use your local knowledge and proximity to clients in your area. If you live in a decent sized city you probably have access to more business than you can ever handle.
This is probably the hardest part to get started. Expanding into B2B lead selling will take you out of the comfort zone that you enjoy as an Internet marketer. You actually have to contact businesses and sell your product to them. Again, you can probably use your online marketing skills to get some customers, but you may have to resort to old school techniques. Once you have a few customers in a certain niche though, word of mouth can quickly spread among business owners and professionals.
Customer acquisition costs are high and most companies know what that average cost is to them. Once you research the going rates for leads, you can usually undercut the established rates due to the low cost of operating online. When you are setting up your contract with the company buying your leads, everything is negotiable. You can sell leads at a flat rate fee, a percentage of sales from lead, by monthly subscription, using a sliding scale based on lead quality, etc. Just make sure everything is very clear in your contract.
This topic is so huge its a whole industry in itself. I haven’t even scratched the surface. My point of this post was only to get the ideas flowing and let you realize you probably already have the skills to do this. If there is interest though, I can dive into this topic more in future posts. Good luck!