By Chrispian Burks

Make Money with Lead Generation

By Chrispian Burks

When people talk about leads or lead generation, many people start thinking about affiliate marketing or CPA (cost per action) programs. While it’s true there is a connection there, lead generation really is it’s own beast. A money making beast at that.

What exactly is lead generation? Many companies are starving for people who fit a certain profile and they’ll pay good money to get their hands on the information they need to try and sell to that person. For example, the online education industry is looking for candidates interested in attending school through one of their online campuses. While they do a great deal of marketing themselves they also turn to other sources to generate qualified leads for them, and they pay good money for it. A lead is simply a bit of information about a person, usually in a specific target demographic that you can sell to an interested party, in this case schools with online education programs. If you ran a site with an education theme or where people are of the age to be thinking about attending school you could be in a position to collect leads, or some basic level of information that these online schools require.

Leads generally pay very, very well. Better than most other types of income. If you run a targeted site and can deliver quality leads you can make great money if you pick the right programs. Leads often pay anywhere from $5 – $50 per lead. One company I worked with was paying around $15 per lead and we delivered around 3000 leads a month. Not bad, right? But that was just one vendor! We used a co-registration form that collected leads for 6 different programs.

Just like with any type of advertising, if you can deliver quality and quantity you can get higher rates. The people we sold leads to often came back to us to raise the rates, we didn’t even have to ask. If you haven’t looked into lead generation as a way to make money you might be missing out on a very nice source of income.

  • Hi Chrispian,
    Great to see that this blog is starting to live again!

    Are you referring to selling “member information” in different kinds? Let’s say you have a forum in a specific niche, those people’s information is very valuable for the right companies.

    I guess it’s very risky to start selling your users information even if they agreed on it. (probably they forgot it the second they clicked the checkbox).

    Could you make things more clear and give more facts?

  • Moozer, thanks for commenting.

    Great question! My personal answer is, not even if you offered me a million dollars a lead. Well, maybe then, but no. I’m talking about forms you setup specifically to collect this information. In the case of the online education, we had a form set up that we directed people to who were interested in attending a school and wanted more info. Filling out the form resulted in getting information from whichever programs they clicked on, which was provided by the schools directly.

    We made it very clear what people were signing up for and what the information was being used for. That coupled with being a highly targeted site is how we had such high quality leads. I’m sure there are people who will pay for any personal information but I hope no one goes that route. We had forums and other registration areas on our sites as well and we made it clear there that none of that information was every shared.

    Does that answer the question?

  • jruyle

    That’s a really nice route to take for people who are tired of all the little ‘tweaks’ it takes just to get people to click through banner ads. It’s seems like if you are more up front with people, you can make a better connection through a self-registration process.

    The question(s):

    Where do we find organizations that are willing to pay for lead generation? (do we contact them)

    What type of system do you use for tracking signups? (internal or external)

    *I have a site I’m launching with a group that in its hayday had 400,000 unique visitors in one day on a release of one of their main movies. Target market is men 16-30.

  • Anonymous

    That answers the questions perfectly! I am on your side, but it’s worth thinking about how you can use your users. One way is to offer advertisers to feature a newsletter that you send out to a speficic range of your people with real information. Just add the ad.

    Another thing is the question when adsense is better than affiliate programs?? We use them both, but it’s hard to say what is best. I tend to use them both to complement. Adsense is great for easy setup and management, but affiliates can be larger money if your visitors are targetted i think. Maybe something to cover in a later blog :)

  • Steve Shickles

    Being more upfront is the way to go.

  • 2MHost.com

    Do you have any live example where you have clear page to collect users information to be used in leads?

    Personally, I never participate in such programs/forms unless I see clear reward and be sure 100% that my info will not miss used.

  • andrewteman

    Some good turnkey providers of lead generation pages (to run behind existing registration processes on your site) are:

    CoolSavings (www.qinteractive.com)
    Prospectiv (www.prospectiv.com)
    Aptimus (www.aptimus.com)
    Opt-Intelligence (www.optintelligence.com)
    Co-RegMedia (www.coregmedia.com)
    ThankYouPages (www.thankyoupages.com)

    These systems are the best and easiest to use, as you simply get a re-direct URL to insert into your site (passing some parameters to the lead forms), and the page providers handle all of the heavy lifting (lead caps, ad rotation, targeting, etc). Typically these deals are on a revenue share basis, and can net anywhere from a $10-$1000 effective CPM for the publisher…depending on placement.

  • jruyle,

    1. Finding them can be the tough part. I don’t know of a central place to search for leads but I’ll see what I can find. I think that might make another good post ;) But industries like home loans, online schools etc., all buy leads. I’ll see if I can’t work up a list of some sort.

    2. Tracking – Internal and External. We keep a copy of every lead we send. We compare our numbers with threes and they are usually spot on. Because we did a lot of work up front we also had between 80-90% acceptance depending on the program. If your target market is men 16-30, drop me an email or pm, I’ve got a tip for you.


    Our newsletter was a big selling point with some of our advertisers and leads. There is a reason you’ll hear “build your list” often when making money is discussed. They say email is dead. Long live email!

    I will cover Adsense vs. affiliates. It’s a great subject. It often depends on the site, but I use both when it makes sense. While Adsense isn’t our biggest earner at the moment it’s still not worth throwing away!


    I’m not collecting leads (yet) at 451 Press, we are in the building phase. Send me an email or PM and I’ll give you an example of a live page.

    I personally never participate in these programs either. The forms I’ve used in the past went something like this:

    AD – “Are you interested in buying a house? If so, find out how you can get up to $xxx,xxx with no money down!” Ad links to form, which at the top explains that they are requesting information or applying for a loan. It depends on the program, some were information requests which the company then contacted as a lead, others were “pre-applications” etc. It was always clear what was going on and we had a 90% acceptance rate on qualified leads, some of which asked for very private information like social security numbers. The trick is targeted traffic who are already interested in the offer.

  • jamesrick

    I am interested in buying leads from any person who can generate leads of people who want to outsource their call center projects. For example they may be doing all their customer service or telemarketing in house. I have call centers located in the US and Offshore that can save the clients money and do the same job. A blog on outsourcing, or blogs that cater to demographics in the business or finance world may be perfect candidates for this. I’ll pay $15 per qualified lead. You can probably generate 1 – 2 qualified lead per 100 targetted visitors. Do the math. My email is JAMES AT GLOBAL-SKY.COM

  • traaidmark

    Our websites do just that. We set up the forms, run the campaigns and everything. When a user fills the form it get’s sent to database, the company you are running the campaign for and a copy for ourselves. We then get a commision on the lead, usually when it is closed off.

    There are no hidden anythings, it’s all clear and upfront from the word go. We get tons of leads running through our systems on a daily basis. It is defenitely worth looking into. Strangely enough though, our affiliation programs we run don’t do nearly as well as our actual leads. It just seems that people don’t trust affiliations anymore. odd no?

  • jamesrick

    Interesting – what is the name of your service?

  • Patrick

    Hi Chrispian,

    We are a call center based in India & would like to generate leads for online education thru telemarketing. We have the experience in doing the same for 15 months & we were getting $30/lead generated. We would like to do it again. Can you please help us with the contact details of any person or company who are looking to generate leads for online education thru telemarketing? We were generating around 1500 leads per month with 20 reps.

    My email is (evocsys at the rate hotmail dot com)

    Pls let me know if you can help us with our requirement.

    Thanks in advance


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