Pay Per Lead

What Does Pay Per Lead Mean?

Pay per lead (PPL) is a type of affiliate marketing program where a marketer or advertiser pays an affiliate according to the number of converted leads that they produce for the advertiser. A converted lead is akin to a potential customer, for example someone who has signed up for a service or downloaded software, but has not made actual purchases.


Techopedia Explains Pay Per Lead

Pay per lead is a payment scheme for online marketing where the affiliate or agent is paid for each generated lead which meets the criteria, known as the affiliate agreement, which is set by the advertiser. The lead is rated according to its quality or closeness to becoming a paying customer. The criteria is often something along the lines of the lead or potential customer completing a required action such as completing the signup process for an account in a website or newsletter, trial offer signup or downloading of software.

PPL is often seen in a negative light because its design inherently promotes dishonesty among the affiliates who engage in questionable methods of finding and reporting leads so that they are paid more, resulting in weak or fabricated leads. Unlike other affiliate marketing strategies which pay for bulk traffic, PPL can often be abused, which can cause negative results for both advertiser and affiliate.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…