by John Barbour
One of the best ways to monetize a web site, and among the least known, is lead generation, which is actually a highly lucrative form of affiliate marketing, but is used by relatively few online marketers.
Here's how lead generation works. Listen up - this information is golden!
Monetizing a website by becoming a CPA affiliate is very, very simple. You sign up with one of the 50 or so CPA Networks that are available online, drive traffic to the custom landing pages they provide, and get paid whenever a site visitor fills out and submits a form. That is really all there is to it.
A CPA network is a clearing house that brings advertisers and publishers together. The advertiser provides a custom landing page and form, pays the network commission for making it available to affiliates, and the affiliates in turn are paid for driving traffic and generating signups.
CPA stands for "cost per action", and in this case, the action is the site visitor filling out the form. Compare this to traditional affiliate marketing, and you will see the beauty of it quickly. Done right, it is a much easier and more lucrative way to monetize a website.
A traditional affiliate must acquire traffic, do a good job of "pre-selling" the product, and send visitors on to the vendor site through an affiliate link, hoping to generate something like 1% to 5% sales, which in turn is highly dependent on the quality of the vendor's sales letter and product. If the vendor does a poor job of selling on the sales site, or has an over-priced or poorly received product, the affiliate has spent a lot of time, and perhaps money, for very little return.
A CPA affiliate, on the other hand, has a much easier job of things. He or she must still acquire traffic, either by paying for it, or by putting together a well-optimized site that gets good search engine placement for certain key words. At that point, however, the CPA affiliate's job is nearly complete.
The next step is for the site visitor to fill out a form requesting some sort of information. Keep in mind, this does not entail the visitor getting out his or her wallet, or making a decision to spend any money. All it entails is that the visitor *request free information* and give his or her name and email address, and perhaps a physical address.
You, as the CPA affiliate, get paid *even though your site visitor has yet to buy anything*. You are getting paid for a LEAD, not a sale.
Many people have no idea how huge and lucrative lead generation is, and not a clue the kind of money that certain businesses will pay for a good lead. Things like mortgage and insurance leads, in particular, are very, very valuable, as are credit card leads. But even something as seemingly inexpensive as a cell phone ring tone can bring you a nice commission per lead. Why?
These lead purchasers are planning on maximizing the long-term value of a customer. In the case of a mortgage, one lead can generate a commission of thousands of dollars to a mortgage broker. An insurance or credit card account is worth recurring commissions potentially for many, many years. Even a ring tone lead has a long-term value, since the vendor will continue to market to that person over and over again, selling them many times what it cost to acquire them as a customer.
CPA is big, big business, and one of the best ways there is to monetize your web site. If you are looking for easy and lucrative ways to monetize a web site, CPA affiliation could be your answer. To really do well at CPA, you need to learn how to use traffic generation methods like Google Adwords effectively, but in the long run, CPA is far easier and more lucrative than traditional affiliate marketing.
Author John Barbour writes on various topics related to internet marketing and making money online. Visit his sites at http://emarketingman.com and http://monetizedwebsites.com to learn more.