Can pay-per-sale leads grow your business?

If your business needs customers to survive, lead generation is the backbone of your business. 

Leads do not fall out of thin air, and with plenty of competition on the market, you need to consistently prospect for leads on a daily basis.

While you are most likely passionate about the business you are in, odds are you are less passionate about lead generation. What if you could pay someone else to do it?

Leads and lead generation explained

Lead generation is exactly what the words say it is – the generation of leads for your business. 

Simply put, it is the process of getting people interested in your business and guiding them to the point where they become paying customers.

A lead is a consumer who is interested in what your company has to offer. Consistent leads keep your sales funnel moving, and ensure the profitability of your business.

Different types of leads

There is no such thing as a bad lead. All and any leads are good leads, and what your business needs. We can distinguish between the following types of leads:

  • Marketing qualified leads. This is someone who is interested in your product based on the way you have marketed to them.
    They may have filled out a contact form on your website, used a product demo or have visited your website a few times.
    They might still want to hear your sales pitch, but they are very close to purchasing.
  • Sales-qualified lead. This type of lead has moved through the sales pipeline, and is ready to be converted into a customer.
  • A product-qualified lead is a potential customer who used your product in the past. They didn’t necessarily purchase it themselves – they could have received it as a gift or sampled it in a shopping mall.
  • Service-qualified lead. This type of lead will contact your company to let you know they are ready to buy your product.
Pay-Per-Sale Leads

What is pay-per-sale lead generation?

When it comes to lead generation, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Some lead generation strategies that you could employ with great success include:

  • A website designed for lead generation
  • Online networking via social media
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Hosting webinars
  • Marketing videos
  • E-books and e-newsletters

And then there is pay-per-sale lead generation. This is a type of online marketing where advertisers only pay for leads that result in a sale. 

A commission rate will be agreed upon by the advertiser and the destination site, and the advertiser only pays for sales generated by the destination site.

The pay-per-sale model can be of benefit for your business for a few reasons. 

Firstly, not a cent is wasted. If, for example, you decide to print 1 000 flyers and hand them out at the nearest traffic light, it’s highly unlikely that everyone who receives a flyer will become a paying customer.

This makes no difference to the amount you spent on this marketing exercise – you had to still pay for the printing of every single flyer. 

Now, if this was an online pay-per-sale campaign, you only would have paid for the flyers that brought you actual new customers.

There is another way that pay-per-sale increases your return on investment. Your risk of bots inflating your clickthrough rate is eliminated. As only sales are paid for, you can’t be charged for fake clicks.

Pay-per-sale lead generation is not only cost effective, but also easy to apply. All you need is a contractual agreement between the business and the platform that will be doing the marketing.

The contract will stipulate what the agreed commission per sale will be, the duration of the campaign and the ad volume. The advertiser then supplies the creative ads to be posted on the publisher’s platform.

While pay per sale can increase your revenue in a cost-effective manner, it is easy and beneficial for publishers as well.

In order to get paid, these affiliate publishers/website owners have to have your company’s advertisement on their platform, and sales must be done via these ads.

This means that income can be generated without there being any startup costs. Affiliate marketers can join free affiliate network programs which connect them to advertisers.

Creating sales for multiple advertisers offer publishers the opportunity to increase their earnings.

Pay-per-sale vs pay-per-lead vs pay-per-click

Paying an outside party to generate leads for you comes in different forms, not to be confused with one another. Here’s the breakdown:


According to Forbes pay per lead is an advertising service provided by ad and marketing agencies. The agency is then responsible for everything up to the initial follow up during the pay-per-lead campaign.

This is a useful option for business owners whose own attempts failed and wasted money, or those who simply have no interest in marketing.

Using pay-per-lead allows the business owner access to their chosen agency’s skill and experience in marketing.


Pay-per-click is a form of advertising that allows you to pay to have your website on the search engine result page when someone types specific phrases into the search engine.

Pay-per-click is effective to drive traffic to your website or to generate sales or enquiries from your target audience. 

In-depth targeting is usually possible for pay-per-click, meaning that you can aim your ads directly at your specific target market. 

You pay when someone clicks on your ad, so these leads don’t necessarily convert to sales. This makes it a good option especially for new businesses who want to direct traffic to their websites.


With the above two options you pay for leads, but there hasn’t yet been a concluded sale, and that’s how they differ from pay-per-sale.

Case study: Amazon

E-commerce site needs no introduction. One of the most recognisable brands in the world, they brought in a revenue of $386 billion in 2020. 

One of the ingredients that comprises Amazon’s success recipe is pay-per-sale via Amazon’s Affiliate Program, also known as Amazon Associates.

This is one of the biggest global examples of pay-per-sale lead generation.

All bloggers, publishers or content creators with a qualifying website or mobile app can participate in this program. 

They then share Amazon products through customised linking tools, directing traffic back to Amazon. When a purchase is made, they earn a referral fee.

In this way, Amazon gets a large chunk of online society to help them sell their products. The monetary reward makes it an attractive option for anyone with a qualifying platform, and it’s easy.

A few simple steps make you an Amazon Associate out of you:

  1. Content creators can create an Amazon Affiliate account on
  1. Amazon then provides them with a unique Associate ID.
  1. Once the application has been approved, associates can begin creating affiliate links in their Amazon portal.
  1. Associates then place the links in blog posts or other parts of their website.
  1. When someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase, the associate earns a commission.

No doubt, this is a smart approach to sales with minimum risks. 

The biggest factor to be aware of as a business owner is that you choose a platform that can deliver high quality leads that are relevant to your business.

Simply put, this means that if you, for example, sell dog food, a blog about dogs will be a good place to advertise your product as that is where your target market will be.


Pay-per-sale leads are a valuable tool for businesses who want to acquire new customers at a predictable cost, while minimising risk.

By only paying for leads that result in actual sales, businesses can more effectively manage their marketing budgets and maximise their return on investment.

Know someone that can benefit & would thank you for the share?


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