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List Building & Lead Generation for Affiliates

Posted on 3.18.2012


In order to achieve any level of success, affiliates must understand that their role in the performance marketing space is that of list builder and lead generator. Those that master these processes for the merchants they ultimately work for are in a better position to earn some nice payouts, but those mastering the processes for their own Web enterprises are the ones who will generate the most revenue over the long term.

List building and lead generation have been discussed in the pages of previous issues of Website Magazine, but rarely has the conversation focused on a single method that can be used to achieve both of these ends. Fortunately, a method does exist. It’s time to ramp up our affiliate marketing with the power of presentations.

With social media’s surge in popularity, and with search marketing (both paid and organic) firmly established as means to drive users to a website, it’s not uncommon for affiliates to look past more traditional forms of gaining attention — and new business — on the Web. Presentations provide such a way and are something the performance marketing community should spend more time developing.

There are few more effective ways to establish credibility, showcase creativity and build community than through presentations. Blog posts get lost in the virtual sea of content and infographics can be cumbersome to create, but all that a presentation requires is interesting content (facts or opinions will suffice) and some software that you likely already have on your computer. A few suggested resources include Microsoft’s PowerPoint, Google Docs Presentation capabilities or Zoho Show.

When it comes to what should be included, the sky is really the limit. One way might be to transform a “list of ten” into a presentation. For example, say that you produce an article about ten ways to increase time on site. Transforming that content into a presentation is rather simple. What it requires are strong headlines and well defined synopses of the key takeaways.

For example, if you suggest that one way to increase time is to encourage users to complete a survey, the headline might be “Incorporate Surveys and Solicit Responses” with the synopsis being something along the lines of “Research shows that users stay 34 percent longer on a website that includes surveys.” Adding some additional value might come in the form of resources (in the case of the presentation outlined here, that might come in the form of Web-based survey tools).

Once you have content for a presentation and a reliable tool for production and development, spend some time crafting that content for the presentation format specifically. Presentations often vary in size, scope and detail, but restricting the number of slides to 10 or 15 with no more than 30 seconds of reading material on each will bring the timed user experience to around three minutes on the low end. That’s just enough to keep a user engaged without risking their departure.

Perhaps most important in developing presentations for building a list and generating leads is making the pitch. The means by which you do this in a presentation, much like within a formal speech, is through what I and others refer to as “signposts.” As the name implies, signposts indicate to users that something important is happening or that the portion of the presentation they are viewing needs attention paid to it. Since our aim is to build our list and generate leads, the signpost for the example presentation might be to sign up for a newsletter or explore additional resources (on the website) to learn more about the subject.

Finally, you’ll need somewhere to upload the presentations you create and there are many excellent destinations to explore including,,, and It’s not uncommon to see presentations on these destinations routinely reach into the thousands of views.

While many won’t be invited to share their insights and wisdom in the hallowed halls of industry conferences, every website owner — regardless of the industry they work within — does have such an opportunity.

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