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How to set up an affiliate network to generate leads?

Written by Anders Bigandt

Whether you are on a tight budget or are simply looking for additional streams for client leads, creating an affiliate network might be a reasonable option for you. You will have many different ways of doing this, so consider your options carefully. This article is intended to give you a bit of help as you plan what could be a very lucrative approach to building your client base.

First, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of such a network:


  • Ultra-cheap leads
  • Ability to reach clients beyond the paid media
  • Multiple options for set-up


  • Often yield a lower quality of leads
  • Very unreliable volume, no assurances of success
  • Possible lower quality of clients as well

Now, if you have decided that the pros outweigh the cons and you want to launch an affiliate network, consider these pointers as you proceed:

It’s probably best for you to interact directly with media instead of with an affiliate that buys media, unless you know of sizeable affiliates and can arrange a generous revenue share with them.

The most common arrangement is for you to buy leads at a certain price from a given media, and they in turn run your offer on the inventory that they do not sell directly. You will more easily wrap up the deal when you can guarantee a certain floor price, because the media will have to earn more than what they typically would in running remnant inventory.

Finding these media partners can be a bit tricky, but with enough research you should be able to forge a relationship. Look at sites that specialize in broadening a client’s network for lead generation. You also should network as much as possible as you go about your everyday business. You can find site lists through Google searches, tools such as SimilarWeb and by paying attention to industry chatter or even asking a fellow broker.

Don’t restrict your deals to only display sites. Think carefully about mobile apps and email list providers. The public is doing more and more on their mobile phones and less and less on their PCs. Europeans spend about 1½ hours on their phones each day, and that figure is rising constantly, according to the European Travel Commission’s Digital Portal. They spend about the same amount of time on their tablets, and that figure will also rise. Europeans will very soon spend more time online than watching television.

You can go all out with affiliate networks by creating a site for affiliate programs to enlist with you, not the other way around. Warning: this is a massive project, so plan carefully if you hope to tackle it. To keep this hopping, you will need a steady stream of marketing, SEO, events and other similar channels. The good news is that there are software packages available that can run the entire program, such as Hasoffers.

Affiliate networks basically extend your reach for a low cost and minimal effort, if all works right. You should consider this method of building your business.

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Anders Bigandt

Partner (DK)

Anders is a Partner at MediaGroup Worldwide and runs the DK office. In the agency, he primarily works on new business, client management and staffing. Before joining MediaGroup, Anders was working in leading marketing and sales positions within the FMCG sector (Coca-Cola, Domino’s Pizza), the travel industry (, office supplies (Lyreco) and has been a Board Member in several companies. Anders is Danish and lives in Copenhagen.

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