Affiliate Marketing Guide

How to Build a Long-Term Whitehat Lead Generation Machine

There are a lot of paths you can take as an affiliate marketer in terms of what you promote.

Most affiliates are into typical CPA affiliate marketing—where many times they're promoting "offers" that, in my opinion, are largely useless to the end consumer.

The good news is that those offers are only some of what you can promote while getting paid on a CPA basis.

Another less talked about vertical is whitehat lead generation, where you're getting paid to generate leads for legitimate businesses (for the most part). Think home improvement services, financial services, mortgages, senior services, insurance, etc.

Typical Promotion of Whitehat Offers

Most "whitehat" offers can be promoted on any traffic source, including on the ban-happy Google Ads and Facebook. However, with that being said, you can still get banned because of the aggressive tactics other affiliates use for the same offers, shady tactics the business deploys on the backend, etc.

By being able to advertise on the biggest traffic sources in the world, you have a lot of scale potential. 🤑

Many affiliates advertise these offers like any other CPA offer:

Typical funnel flow that most affiliates use to run affiliate offers
Typical funnel flow that most affiliates use to run affiliate offers

And... it still works (even today), but there's so much more you can do with these offers to build something longer-term with multiple streams of revenue.

How Lead Generation Offers Work

Before I get into that, let's first quickly cover how many whitehat lead generation offers work.

Typically the offers have a lead capture form. Sometimes the entire form will be on the offer page, and other times the form will be split into multiple steps, kind of like a quiz.

Example of a multi-step and regular lead generation form for whitehat affiliate offers
Example of a multi-step and regular lead generation form for whitehat affiliate offers

After the user submits their data, you should get paid. Payouts range a lot depending on the type of business you're generating leads for. Pay attention to the offer details, though, as some offers may not pay immediately for the lead, but only after they've been able to monetize it successfully.

After the lead data reaches the business providing the service, they're likely going to contact them by phone to book an appointment or sign them up for the service.

That brings me to my first point— a phone call. There are affiliate offers where you're paid for sending qualified phone calls to businesses exactly as you do for these whitehat lead generation affiliate offers.

These types of offers are called pay-per-call offers. I won't go into detail about how all that works, but it's enough that you know there's a connection between pay per call and white hat lead generation.

Essentially pay per call is the 2nd step of the whitehat lead gen offer since the business calls the leads anyways. Because with a direct phone call, the business can talk to the potential customer right away, you generally get paid significantly more per phone call than you do per form submission. 😍

Building the Machine

Knowing what I've mentioned above, you can put that all together to make your own lead generation machine.

On a high level, you're going to want to build a "brand" website that looks almost like the end service provider but subtly doesn't actually claim to be an end service provider. After quickly scanning or reading the page, many people may think your "brand" is the service provider.

Your website doesn't have to be huge or even have amazing graphics. Think simple... with pages like:

  • Home
  • Contact
  • About
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Landing Page and/or Advertorial
  • The lead form or multi-step quiz to collect data
  • Thank you
Pro Tip: Spy on the actual service providers for the type of offer(s) you're making the website for. Most of your design inspiration should come from this because, in the end, you want to appear to be like them on the surface. They have a phone number on every page in the header? So do you... routing the calls to the actual service providers through your call tracking platform with your "branded" IVR. 😉

I apologize for not showing an actual example site like this with screenshots; I'm sure you can probably understand.

After you've built your website, you'll need to install analytics and your other tracking scripts. I like to use Google Tag Manager for this because it makes things easy.

Then you're ready to run some traffic from your favorite traffic source(s). Here's an example of how the traffic can flow through your site:

Mindmap of an example whitehat lead generation funnel affiliates can build
Mindmap of an example whitehat lead generation funnel affiliates can build

Depending on the traffic source you're using, you might need different pre-landing pages. Sometimes you won't need a pre-lander and can direct traffic straight to your lead collection quiz.

The quiz aims to gather data about the user (and it can also help increase the conversion rate 😉). This data you collect can be used to pre-qualify users before they even see the affiliate offer(s), which IMO is invaluable. There's no point in sending users to offers they can't convert on or will cause your quality to be so low you get booted from the offer(s).

After the quiz, you can show them a pre-thank you page with a complementary offer to your main offer or direct them straight to a thank you page that shows them their "results." The thank-you page will then have links to the offers they "qualify" for.

The same type of thank you page setup can also be applied for the users that aren't qualified.

Don't forget to tag/pixel users throughout your site at the various stages. 😃

Monetization Options

Monetizing your machine generates can be done in many different ways:

  • Sell phone calls
  • Sending users to affiliate offers
  • Display ads on your website
  • Your own products/services that complement the vertical
  • Etc.

And the data your machine generates can also be monetized in many ways (as always, follow the FTC rules and other laws around this):

  • Sell the real-time lead data once or multiple times
  • Sell the aged data
  • Create email sequences to convert people who didn't sign up immediately for your offer or send them to other similar offers
  • SMS the leads for the same or similar offers
  • Call the leads and connect them to pay per call affiliate offers
  • JV with people on a RevShare basis that are better at monetizing the data than you are
  • Etc.

The end.

That's a high-level overview of how you build a long-term lead generation machine for whitehat affiliate offers. There's a lot of work involved, but in the end, it'll be worth it.

It's obviously not impossible for someone to rip off what you build, but it's not going to be an easy task since there can be many pieces to the puzzle.

With a lead gen machine like this, you have multiple revenue streams to make you more bulletproof. And the affiliate offers are positioned in a way that makes them very easily replaceable. It's not just a machine now; it's an asset.

Nick Lenihan the Affiliate Marketing Wizard

Nick Lenihan

Performance marketer, consultant, and affiliate marketing wizard. Hire me or subscribe to my YouTube channel.