Affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be focused on sales only. It can also be used effectively to generate leads and broaden your audience. Plus, the success of your affiliate program depends on how motivated your affiliates are. Choosing a system that rewards them fairly is smart.
So how do you set up a pay per lead affiliate program in WordPress? We’ll be answering that question in this article, with all the steps covered. Ready? Let’s get started!
What Are The Best Pay Per Lead Affiliate Program Apps?
There are lots of good pay per lead affiliate program apps to choose from. These include tools like AffiliateWP, Post Affiliate Pro, Tapfiliate, Tune, LeadDyno, and so on.
For WordPress websites, AffiliateWP is the best pay per lead affiliate program management tool. The plugin is highly flexible and gives you all the features you need to manage your entire affiliate management program directly from your WordPress dashboard.
One of these features is AffiliateWP’s smart commission rules that allow you to set up pay per lead affiliate programs. We’ll be showing you how to set this up, next.
How to Set Up a Pay Per Lead Affiliate Program
In This Article
- Step 1: Install WPForms
- Step 2: Install AffiliateWP
- Step 3: Connect AffiliateWP With WPForms
- Step 4: Set the Site Default Affiliate Rate
- Step 5: Set a Per Affiliate Rate for Each Lead
- Step 6: Create a New Lead Form
- Step 7: Add Referral Tracking to a WPForms Form
- Step 8: Launch Your Pay Per Lead Affiliate Program
- Bonus: Create Smart Commission Rules
Step 1: Install WPForms
If you’re planning on a pay per lead affiliate system, you’ll need a way to collect leads, and the most effective way to collect leads on your site is by using forms.
WPForms is the top-rated WordPress form plugin with over 12,000 5-star reviews on WP.org. With WPForms, you can easily create lead gen forms for email signups, booking appointments, and more. Plus, it integrates with AffiliateWP so you can track each affiliate lead that submits a form.
Once you’ve purchased it, go ahead and install and activate WPForms.
For this tutorial, we’re also going to install the Lead Forms addon, which will help us create an optimized Lead Form that walks end users through the form step by step.
To install an addon, go to WPForms » Addons in your WordPress admin dashboard. Then find the Lead Forms addon and click on Install Addon.
Once WPForms is ready to go, we’ll install AfilliateWP in the next step.
Step 2: Install AffiliateWP
In particular, AffiliateWP’s smart commission rules allow you to structure your affiliate program in the way that best suits your needs. You’ll be able to set per affiliate rates, tiered rates, lifetime commissions, recurring commissions, and so on.
Just as we did with WPForms, install, and activate the plugin to get started. For instructions, see this general guide on installing any WordPress plugin.
Step 3: Connect AffiliateWP With WPForms
At this point, you should have WPForms and AffiliateWP installed and activated on your website. We’re off to a good start!
Now, we’re going to dive into the AffiliateWP settings to launch the setup wizard. To get there, click on AffiliateWP » Settings.
Scroll down till you see Setup Wizard, then click Launch Setup Wizard to get things started here.
You’ll need to enter your AffiliateWP license key, which you can find in your AffiliateWP account.
When you click Continue, you’ll then be prompted to choose an integration type.
AffiliateWP integrates with quite a few WordPress plugins so there’ll be a long list of options. Since we’ll be working with WPForms in this guide, we’ll need a form integration.
So choose Form Integrations.
Select WPForms and click Continue.
At this point, you’ll be prompted to set the basic terms for your pay per lead commissions. This is also called the global referral rate which will apply to all affiliates signed up on your program.
As we’ll show, next, you can override the global referral rate in specific cases. For example, you can set up specific rates for selected affiliates irrespective of the site default rates.
Step 4: Set the Site Default Affiliate Rate
After connecting WPForms with AffiliateWP, the next step in the setup wizard is to set a referral amount.
In the Referral Amount section, you can set the default affiliate commissions on a percentage basis or a flat rate.
Since we’re paying affiliates for leads rather than purchases, we’ll be using a flat commission structure here. So click on Percentage to open a dropdown with Flat USD as an option.
Then enter the referral amount.
Note: Sometimes, AffiliateWP doesn’t accept a decimal value in the referral amount field from the setup wizard. If you’re getting an error, you can set up an amount with a decimal value from general settings.
Choosing Flat USD will open up a third field. This field is where you can choose between paying a commission Per Product or Per Order. Because we’re not paying for product purchases in this pay per lead program, we’ll select Per Order.
Click Save and Continue to move to the final stage of the setup wizard.
On this page, you can change the affiliate link structure and determine the validity period for referral cookies.
Both of these come preconfigured and should be fine if left unchanged. So hit Save and continue to wrap things up here.
At this point, you can create a WPForms form that will generate a fixed commission for an affiliate once you receive a referral.
Before we show you how to do this, here’s one more step you might be interested in.
Step 5: Set a Per Affiliate Rate for Each Lead
Apart from the global referral rate that applies to all affiliates, you can also set referral rates for each affiliate that bypass the global rules.
An example of when you might use this would be with affiliates who have a strong influence within a niche community. Their referrals are likely to be high quality and worth higher rates.
To do this, open your WordPress dashboard and click through AffiliateWP » Affiliates.
NB: don’t click on edit user, as this will take you to the WordPress user profile page which is different from the AffiliateWP affiliate profile we’re looking for.
Look for the option labeled Referral Rate Type. For a pay per lead commissions model, the appropriate referral rate type would be Flat USD. Select Flat USD to continue.
Next, scroll down to the section labeled Flat Rate Referral Basis. Here, choose Flat Rate Commission Per Order. This is because we want to pay commissions per lead rather than on a product sold.
Finally, in the Referral Rate section, enter the figure you would like to pay this particular affiliate, per referral. This can be a whole value or a decimal number.
Scroll down and click Save Changes, and that would be it! In the next step, we’re going to add referral tracking to a form.
Step 6: Create a New Lead Form
We’ll create a new form and add referral tracking to it. To do this, head over to WPForms » Add New, from the WordPress dashboard.
This will open up the template library where you can choose from the 500+ prebuilt form templates. You can also build your form from scratch by choosing Blank Form.
For this guide, we’ll choose the Opt-In Form template. Hover your mouse over the button then choose Use Template.
You can customize the form template as much as you need. The Opt-In Form template is quite short, with just a Name and Email field.
But, if you’re using a longer form to collect leads, they can optimize it by turning on Lead Form mode in Settings » Lead Forms.
This will break the form up into pages to make it easier to fill out and increase conversions.
Once you’re happy with your lead generation form, click Save at the top of the form builder.
Step 7: Add Referral Tracking to a WPForms Form
Next, we’ll add referral tracking to the form. Navigate to the left sidebar and click on Settings » General.
Toggle the Enable referrals button and choose Lead from the Referral type dropdown.
Your new form will now be set up to track referrals. Save the form and publish it on a page and that will be it!
Step 8: Launch Your Pay Per Lead Affiliate Program
We’ve done all the hard work, and now, all that’s left is to publish our affiliate program.
AffiliateWP will create a dedicated Affiliate Area by default. This is the page where your affiliates will log in to manage their accounts on the frontend of your website.
You’ll find the affiliate area URL in the pages overview section of your website. You can then add the link to the frontend menu, or provide it to affiliates privately.
AffiliateWP will generate a unique referral link for each affiliate. Once a user clicks on that link and submits your referral-enabled form, the affiliate will earn a commission, and you’ll automatically get a new referral on the backend.
All you need now is to ready yourself to collect leads from new referral sources.
Bonus: Create Smart Commission Rules
Setting up a pay per lead affiliate reward program is just one of the ways to use AffiliateWP’s smart commission rules.
Here are some more smart commission rules you can create using AffiliateWP:
- Per Product Affiliate Rates – AffiliateWP allows you to set specific rates for each different product you’re selling using its Affiliate Product Rates addon.
- Tiered Rates – With the Tiered Affiliate Rates pro addon, you can create an affiliate structure that pays affiliates progressively higher commissions the more they send referrals your way.
- Lifetime and Recurring Commission Rates – The lifetime Commissions addon allows affiliates to earn a commission on every subsequent purchase by a referral.
And that’s it!