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Difference Between Affiliate Marketing and Lead Generation

The businesses are constantly on the lookout for ways to increase revenue generation. Due to the current growth in the digital world, businesses are shifting their operations from the old-school marketing and operation methods to more advanced practices. For instance, businesses that do not have an online presence risk losing many opportunities. However, having an online presence is not enough, which brings the concept of digital marketing methods and tools. Strategies such as content marketing, mobile marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization and pay per click are among the categories of digital marketing. In this article, we will look at the difference between affiliate marketing and lead generation. 

What is Affiliate marketing?

This is a performance-based marketing strategy where a business pays an affiliate an agreed percentage of revenue for every purchase made on a product or service. Affiliates can be paid on a pay per sale, pay per lead or a pay per click basis. 

So, who is involved in affiliate marketing? 

Affiliate marking consists of 3 parties. These include:

  • The entrepreneur or business offering the service or product
  • The consumer
  • The affiliate

In the recent past, affiliate marketing has become popular. Among platforms in which affiliates use to drive traffic include YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, Reddit and LinkedIn. Affiliates also use paid advertising on these platforms to reach more audiences hence more leads. 

Here are some of the affiliate strategies you can leverage on affiliate marketing and generate leads

  • Using niche influencers 
  • Building a network of affiliates
  • Attracting consumers with deals, coupons and promotions
  • Product pages optimizations 

Advantages of affiliate marketing include: 

  • An affiliate does not need to create a product as they take a ready product or service and advertise it, which is a great way to earn passive income
  • It has low investment costs 
  • Affiliates can work from anywhere provided they have an internet connection
  • Affiliates can control the strategies, advertisement platforms and even schedules
  • There is a wide variety of niches that affiliates can choose from
  • The marketing strategy enables businesses to only pay for leads that have converted

However, affiliate marketing also has some cons such as:

  • An affiliate cannot control the pricing strategies and the payment methods
  • An affiliate does not control the customer experience
  • Customers may feel shot changed where the experience of an affiliate marketer with a brand may differ from that of the customer
  • Affiliate marketing lacks certification and training industry standards

What is Lead generation?

This is the process by which companies attract and convert consumers into prospective customers, potentially leading to the purchase of a product or service. 

Among the most popular lead generation strategies include email marketing, networking, seminars and live events, blogging, social media marketing, coupons and website landing pages. 

Here are the components of lead generation strategies for both B2B and B2C settings:

  • Lead capture- This is the collection of a lead’s data including the name, contact information, business name and other leading qualifiers. 
  • Lead magnets- These are the incentives that convert prospects to leads
  • Lead segmentation- This involves the classification of leads based on their activities, habits and information collected.
  • Lead qualification- This entails the use of information collected to determine the chances of a lead making a purchase

Lead generation helps brands:

  • Increase product or service awareness
  • Build brand loyalty
  • Target the right potential customers hence improving the return on investment
  • Collect valuable prospective customer’s information

Advantages of lead generation include:

  • Ensures brands match their products and services with the right customers
  • Has a higher return on investment
  • The rates of conversion are high
  • It can be outsourced

However, the disadvantages include:

  • It is time-consuming and distracting for a sales team which may necessitate the brad to outsource
  • Outsourced companies may not have enough product or service knowledge which might affect the leads
  • It can take time before a lead makes a purchase

Similarities between Affiliate marketing and Lead generation

  • Both are important aspects of digital marketing

Differences between Affiliate marketing and Lead generation

Definition

Affiliate marketing refers to a performance-based marketing strategy where a business pays an affiliate an agreed percentage of revenue for every purchase made on a product or service. On the other hand, lead generation refers to the process by which companies attract and convert consumers into prospective customers, potentially leading to the purchase of a product or service.

Payment

While affiliates are paid on a pay per sale, pay per lead or a pay per click basis, lead generators are paid based on the agreement they have with a firm. 

Focus

While affiliate marketing focuses on getting an immediate action on a link whether it is a sale, click or lead, lead generation focuses on capturing the contact information of potential customers who show interest in the services or products. 

Aim

Affiliate marketing aims at getting consumers to purchase a service or product. On the other hand, lead generation aims at attracting potential customers, developing a long-lasting relationship leading to a sale in the future. 

Affiliate marketing vs. Lead generation: Comparison Table

Summary of Affiliate Narketing vs. Lead Generation

Affiliate marketing refers to a performance-based marketing strategy where a business pays an affiliate an agreed percentage of revenue for every purchase made on a product or service. On the other hand, lead generation refers to the process by which companies attract and convert consumers into prospective customers, potentially leading to the purchase of a product or service. Despite the differences, affiliate marketing and lead generation run together. Both are great additions to a business’ marketing strategy and advertising strategies. 

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References :


[0]Singh, Surabhi. Driving Traffic and Customer Activity Through Affiliate Marketing. IGI Global Publishers, 2017. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=ofYoDwAAQBAJ&pg=PR16&dq=Difference+between+affiliate+marketing+and+lead+generation&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwig1bbE4vftAhUcDWMBHS7iBcsQ6AEwAHoECAMQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20affiliate%20marketing%20and%20lead%20generation&f=false

[1]Kristopher B. Jones. Search Engine Optimization: Your visual blueprint for effective Internet marketing. John Wiley and Sons Publishers, 2011. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=oBJ3PWRKHMQC&pg=PT577&dq=Difference+between+affiliate+marketing+and+lead+generation&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwig1bbE4vftAhUcDWMBHS7iBcsQ6AEwAXoECAIQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20affiliate%20marketing%20and%20lead%20generation&f=false

[2]Nick Spurway. A Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing. eBookIt.com, 2013.https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=uwstKjlIexMC&pg=PP9&dq=Difference+between+affiliate+marketing+and+lead+generation&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwig1bbE4vftAhUcDWMBHS7iBcsQ6AEwAnoECAEQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20affiliate%20marketing%20and%20lead%20generation&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2019/03/21/16/55/text-4071413_1280.jpg

[4]Image credit: https://www.thebluediamondgallery.com/dictionary/affiliate-marketing.jpg

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