Pay per lead

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Pay per lead
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Pay per lead (PPL) is a form of cost per delivery of a lead. It's Online and Offline advertising payment model in which fees are calculated only on the basis of deliveries of potential customers(leads)[1].

Pay per lead is a form of an affiliate program in which the commission is paid to the partner for each finalized lead that will be generated by him under the program. This type of partner program is one of the most profitable affiliate commission structures[2].

Pay per lead is created especially for particularly involved partners who want to take the time to acquire new, high-quality clients for the company while earning money[3].

Profits for Pay Per Lead program partners

In PPL, a profit for partner entities is a commission for achieving previously set goals. In order for a partner to receive a commission, he must generate a potential customer for the partner with whom he cooperated[4].

Usually, it is about registering on the site or leaving contact details in a different way with the permission to use them. The provided information may consist of an email address or may contain a detailed profile containing many contact points and answers to qualification questions. For example, company might pay for every visitor that clicked on link and then filled out registration form[5].

Leads can be delivered:

  • by phone in the payment model for a call,
  • by e-mail,
  • SMS,
  • data entry directly to database,

Affiliate programs offering this type of cooperation do not usually require any cash contributions from their partners. However, sometimes it happens that when joining the affiliate program and signing the agreement and terms, a small deposit and membership fee for participation in the program is required. However, they require an effort of high-quality work that, when acquiring prospects, will also create a positive company image[6].

There are many risks associated with the Pay Per Lead campaign, including the potential unfair activity of marketing partners. Some scams are easy to detect. Nevertheless, regular audit is recommended.

Alternative option for PPL

An alternative option for Pay Per Lead is Pay Per Call (PPC), characterized by exactly the same rules, with the difference in the fact that the potential customer instead of providing his contact details must independently contact the call center/branch of the company[7].

The Pay Per Lead program strongly competes with the Pay Per Click (PPC)program, due to the fact that it is much more difficult to involve a potential customer to take a specific action than to encourage him only to click on the link. Therefore, PPL generates much more profits for the partner compared to PPC, which are to be an incentive for partners to make an effort to get a potential customer[8].

In order to be effective in acquiring leads in this program, the partners must focus on identifying the target group that could be interested in the products or services of the company with which they cooperated. They must also determine the best way to reach customers, create a sufficiently strong incentive and call to action that will allow them to interest prospects[9].


  1. Cameron B., 2006, p. 213
  2. Gooder R., 2004, p. 94
  3. Moskel D., 2014, ch. 9
  4. Wright A.J., 2016, ch. 1
  5. Cameron B., 2006, p. 80
  6. Cameron B., 2006, p. 218
  7. Gooder R., 2004, p. 91
  8. Carroll J., 2001, p. 360
  9. Trika J., 2010, p. 70


Author: Dominika Pszonak