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Lead Monetization: The Art of Increasing Earnings from Your Leads

lead monetization


Is simply selling leads enough? If you’re aiming to maximize your earnings, the straightforward answer is no. While selling leads certainly offers networks a proven strategy to expand their existing affiliate operations and earn more revenue, what if we told you that a lead’s value extends beyond the initial lead sale? With lead monetization, networks incrementally boost revenue throughout the duration of the consumer’s buying journey.

Failing to capitalize on a lead’s full potential leaves considerable revenue on the table for networks and their affiliate partners. Networks already operating on razor thin margins, simply can’t afford to miss out on the benefits of monetizing leads.

Let’s uncover how networks can increase their revenue with lead monetization.


Monetize leads for more revenue: 3 key advantages

Lead monetization gives networks the opportunity to continually increase the profitability of a lead after it has been sold. The real value stems from the ownership of the lead data.

To take advantage of lead monetization, networks begin by generating, validating, and selling the lead to the highest paying advertiser or lead buyer. The initial lead sale typically occurs on a cost-per-lead (CPL) basis. From there, the network then enlists their affiliate partners to launch targeted remarketing campaigns that drive the consumer to convert on additional advertisers’ offers and their corresponding landing pages. These campaigns utilize a cost per acquisition (CPA) model. This process provides networks with three advantages:


Increase network earnings beyond the initial lead sale

By combining the original lead sale price with the revenue from additional campaign conversions, networks gain access to a profitable revenue stream. Here are two examples of lead monetization across different verticals:


Strengthen partnerships by offering additional revenue opportunities

With lead monetization, affiliates gain more too. Remarketing campaigns provide multiple opportunities for them to increase their revenue.

Affiliates are key participants and contributors to the success of a network’s lead monetization campaigns. By providing networks with niche audiences that can easily be leveraged for highly targeted CPA campaigns, affiliates solidify long-term, mutually profitable partnerships with networks. Let’s look at an example:


Diversify the network’s vertical portfolio for sustained profitability

Lead monetization makes it easy for networks to adopt a vertical-focused approach. The benefits of vertical diversification include long-term profitability, longevity, and resilience – especially when specific verticals are impacted by shifting economies.

Plus, if exclusive advertiser contracts are in place, networks legally cannot resell or remarket to the lead with a direct competitor of the original advertiser. Remarketing to the lead with a complementary or different vertical altogether is the best path forward. The new verticals might be complementary to the network’s core vertical(s) or entirely different.



For instance, a network can target a gambling lead with additional CPA campaigns featuring gaming offers (i.e., mobile app game installs, etc.) or alternatively, target them with a financial services offer (i.e., debt financing). This offer might appeal to consumers with gambling debt interested in reducing it.


Lead monetization: A step-by-step process to get started


Step 1 – Generate leads 

The key to successful lead monetization lies in owning the landing page that collects the initial lead capture. In a standard affiliate conversion, networks leverage their affiliates to drive traffic directly to an advertiser’s landing page, resulting in the lead data bypassing the network. This process eliminates all lead monetization possibilities. Simply put, you can’t monetize data that you don’t have.

Networks that host their own landing pages gain ownership of first-party data, which unlocks new capabilities for networks beyond what’s possible with affiliate conversions. For networks, the benefits far exceed the revenue from the first lead sale. Owning the lead data enables networks to continuously remarket to the consumer while engaging with different partners across new verticals.

It’s important to note that consumers must opt-in via the landing page form to receive marketing campaigns from the network. This crucial step ensures networks comply with consumer privacy and data collection regulations, and engage in privacy-friendly marketing processes.

Once the lead generation process begins, it’s time to move on to the next step.


Step 2 – Validate leads

Proactively preventing fraud from impacting lead quality and undermining buyer confidence is a significant component for a successful lead sale and subsequent remarketing campaigns. This is where lead validation plays a critical role.

Lead validation verifies the lead is an actual human and not a bot or fake form submission. This process is easily accomplished through native and integrated tools embedded within lead selling software. Typically, these integrations include Xverify, Neustar, or eHawk which specialize in filtering out fraudulent data.


Step 3 – Sell leads

After the lead has been validated, the network then sells the lead to the highest-paying advertiser on a CPL basis. This is achieved by creating a ping-tree of all available advertisers. A ping tree enables networks to set up a workflow of eligible buyers that match the buying criteria for the specific lead being sold.

With lead distribution software, networks have more flexibility. Leads can also be sold on a 1:1 basis with a single advertiser.


Step 4 – Segment leads

Once the initial lead sale has occurred, networks must determine how to segment their leads. This ensures the leads receive targeted remarketing campaigns that align with their initial interest. It’s important to avoid wasting ad spend by targeting the wrong audience.

For example, if a lead database includes individuals who completed form submissions on mortgage and education offers, networks should separate these leads out. Here’s why. In the mortgage vertical, these consumers are more likely to be interested in additional offers that advertise home improvement services such as a bathroom remodel or new windows. Whereas in the education vertical, consumers tend to be more interested in campaigns advertising student loan financing options. The two audiences are entirely different therefore requiring proper segmentation before initiating remarketing campaigns.


Step 5 – Monetize leads

Now the network can initiate targeted CPA campaigns according to their various lead audiences. For instance, using the previous mortgage lead scenario, the network might decide to send all of their mortgage leads to their email partners to remarket a solar panel offer. Typically, in remarketing campaigns, networks do not host the landing page. Instead, they employ the affiliate conversion model where the email partner sends users directly to the solar panel advertiser’s landing page to convert. For every conversion, the network receives a fixed CPA.

The network can then launch additional remarketing campaigns to the same leads, continuously increasing their revenue potential over time.


Monetize leads for additional revenue – We’re here to help you get started

CAKE provides affiliate tracking and lead distribution all in one platform. Begin selling and monetizing leads with just a click!

If you’re ready to embark on the journey, reach out to your account manager directly or message our team here.