So I decided to do an opinion post comparing all the various types of payout types usually offered by affiliate networks. For those that don’t know;
PPL (Pay Per Lead) – Publishers get paid for referring leads. This is usually in the form of creating free or trial accounts. The payouts per registration are usually low ($1-2), but since it’s free trials or signups, it’s much easier to get conversions.
PPS (Pay Per Sale) – Publishers get paid for every The commissions are usually fairly good (depends on product or service). These conversions are harder to get than a free trial signup, but with greater commissions are usually worth it.
Rev-Share – Publishers get paid a revenue-share on all referred customers. The amount of rev-share will depend greatly on the program being promoted. Certain programs offer rev-share over a period of time (usually a year or so) while other programs offer lifetime revenue-sharing.
PPS vs PPL vs Rev-Share
Now to pit them all against each other. I personally prefer rev-share, especially lifetime rev-share. I refer a lot of publishers to display ad networks. Especially publisher programs in the adult niche. All these programs pay a lifetime revenue-sharing and it’s badass and awesome. Every new email for a new publisher referred (those programs and others) means that there’s going to be new residual income coming in.
PPL is great for the right programs. It’s easier to get conversions. If the program offers the choice between rev-share and PPL for the same programs, I’ll always go with rev-share. You might land a whale and be banking for a longtime. PPL programs also require good traffic. If your traffic isn’t converting enough, the program might cut you. It’s a fine line making PPL profitable. The company has to take into consideration how many leads will convert to customers, and figure out the PPL payout rates accordingly. If you’re sending spammy traffic that signs up but doesn’t convert, you’re losing the affiliate network and their client money. This could actually result in a ban if it’s really that bad.
PPS is great, assuming the product gets steady conversions. I’ve got the most luck with web hosting affiliate programs, as I’ve got a bunch of webmaster and marketing resource type sites. For the hosting programs, I get anywhere from $50-$85 per sale, depending on the network and how many conversions for that particular network.
What Works Best Depends On Product / Network
It’s not really black and white. What works best might depend on the individual products and services, rather than the payout type itself. For example, if the PPS is $50, and the rev-share is 10% on a $5 monthly payment, it’ll only be .50 monthly. For something like that, PPS definitely would be better than rev-share.
Examine your niche and traffic and try to determine what payout types work the best. Experiment around with different offers until you’re able to find the most profitable combination for you.