A new OPM has emailed me:
I may start working soon with a large company that deals with generating leads in a specific vertical in the medical field. This would be my first time managing a lead gen affiliate program. I’ve done some research into this, but I wanted to ask your opinion on what network you think would be best for a company dealing in lead gen? Would Commission Junction or LinkShare network be the best option for this advertiser?
Regardless of whether you’re looking to generate leads or sales, my reply would be the same: since you’re ultimately looking for consumers interested in your products or services, you want to go with a network that already has strong affiliate producers in your vertical. A basic competitive intelligence analysis of what your immediate competition is doing in the affiliate marketing field would be a good first move.
Then, once you’ve identified the affiliate networks on which your direct competitors run their affiliate programs, analyze both the performance of those programs (EPC, program ranking(s), conversion and reversal rates, where available) and their structure (payouts, performance incentives, cookie life, etc).
At the end of the day, seriously consider the affiliate network where your competition harvests the fruit. If their affiliate program demonstrates success on the network, then there are affiliates on that network that make them successful.
Of course, there will be many other factors and variables to consider, but the above approach should give you at least some idea on what to do here.
Finally, make sure you also read my following articles (directly related to this subject):
- Choosing an Affiliate Network
- Top 4 US Affiliate Networks Compared
- Side-by-side Comparison of North American Affiliate Networks
- Incentive of Loyalty Affiliates won’t work for most lead gen programs
- Don’t Blame Affiliate Network for Not Growing Your Program
- … and consider employing Pay Per Call Affiliate Marketing as well