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Staying ahead of the curve is the key to sustained success in today’s ultra-competitive digital marketing sphere.

In particular, marketers striving to steer the ever-changing landscape with finesse and precision require a strategically planned roadmap for mastering the dynamic world of pay-per-lead (PPL) marketing.

Phonexa’s recent Amplify webinar, “Mastering the Dynamics of Pay Per Lead” brought together seasoned industry veterans Evan Weber (Founder, Publisher Finders), Sevada Markosyan (CEO at Zero Parallel and Profitise), and David Pickard (CEO at Phonexa UK) to dissect the latest trends and strategies in PPL marketing.

No stone was left unturned as the conversation delved into the intricacies of lead optimization, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between publishers, advertisers, and the lead optimization platform.

Here’s a recap of the key insights shared during the enlightening discussion.

Regulatory Changes Impacting the Pay-Per-Call Industry

Weber kicked off the conversation with a discussion on new rules adopted by the FCC designed to close a TCPA loophole that previously allowed single consent from a consumer to apply to multiple marketing partners automatically. Markosyan and Pickard continued the talk by illustrating the ripple effect these changes will have on the leadgen space moving forward.

"It will create changes within the industry - whether you're a ping-tree model with direct post or a ping-post model, it will affect the way you gather consent and process leads," said Markosyan. "We're working on creating something ourselves to provide to our affiliates...we know a lot of people are looking at Zero Parallel, Profitise, and Phonexa to [create] a model that everybody can use...and help people navigate through a challenging time."

"We're pretty much used to regulation changes here in the UK with GDPR coming in 2018...what it gives us is a rulebook, essentially," said Pickard. "We're looking at this as a consultancy thing. We're sitting down and coming up with strategies to launch something that can solve this problem."

Lead Optimization, CPC, CPL, and CPA

Weber highlighted the critical role of lead optimization platforms, stressing, "It's really important to emphasize how an actual algorithm is involved in distributing leads and how that benefits both the publishers and the advertisers on the front end driving the traffic."

Pickard echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of visibility and tracking throughout the lead generation journey.

"Something that we encourage at Phonexa is visibility...from start to finish, first impression all the way through to final conversion," said Pickard. "Essentially, the key use case for Phonexa is building an automation system to distribute those [leads]. Then, when they are distributed, and they've converted, automating your communications back to the media buying platforms - back to Facebook, back to Google - using all of their tips and tricks as well in terms of their automation tools."

Pickard also emphasized the importance of first-party data for marketers to thrive in the post-cookie landscape.

"We're encouraging people to take control of their data - use that data to influence their advertising - even if you're just buying leads from your publishers," said Pickard. "Feed that information back to your publishers so they know which campaigns are working and which customers are converting, and go and do more of what works. That's Phonexa in a nutshell."

Optimizing on a Niche by Niche Scale

Markosyan underscored the importance of flexibility in lead generation models, stating, "It's important that you have software that allows you to use whichever model you need to."

He also highlighted Phonexa's capability to support various payout structures within a single platform, enabling networks to cater to diverse advertiser and affiliate preferences.

"As a network, when we're working with affiliates, we also have to be flexible [with] how we're going to pay our affiliates - some affiliates will only work with you if you're able to pay on a cost-per-click [basis], and some advertisers will only pay you based on a cost per acquisition," said Markosyan.

"Phonexa allows us [to mostly] do cost-per-lead, which is the model we're generating, and we're paying our affiliates on earnings per lead...but we also have affiliates that we test with cost-per-click [and] cost-per-acquisition, and we have that logic built in, too. So, within one platform within the same niche and the same ping tree, we can operate all three different models and allow ourselves to be flexible to get the most volume and quality from our affiliates [while also] servicing our advertisers."

Markosyan stressed that the right platform could efficiently handle all those payout models.

"If you're interested in a platform that can take care of all those payout structures with the right ping-tree model and do it all within one niche, Phonexa can definitely satisfy all of that."

Strategies for Lowering Cost-Per-Lead & Cost-Per-Acquisition

The in-depth conversation shifted toward actionable tactics for reducing costs and increasing profitability.

Affiliates strategically target consumers and optimize lead generation by focusing on specific days and times, cutting costs during off-peak periods for increased profitability. By analyzing the detailed analytics networks provide, affiliates identify the most lucrative states and parameters, such as pay frequency and zip codes, to refine their targeting efforts. These tactics enable affiliates to maintain volume while reducing expenses, offering valuable insights applicable to new and existing affiliates looking to enhance cost-effectiveness in lead generation.

"A good way to do it is to collaborate with the networks that you're working with to see what type of tools they have available to increase your click-through rate," said Markosyan.

He also emphasized the importance of leveraging technology and data to optimize campaigns, citing Phonexa's lookup functionality feature that allows consumers to avoid repeatedly filling out long, tedious forms.

"Consumers will be able to provide our form to our affiliate and still use it on their website, or they can use one of our offers, and the consumer can [enter] three bits of information - date of birth, social security number, and email address - and we'll be able to do a lookup within our database to see if we have that consumer's information already," said Markosyan. "If we do, we can provide a verification page for the consumer to click through and verify it is the same information. Then we can process that lead without necessarily having them complete the entire application from start to finish."

The end result, according to Markosyan, is a streamlined process that ensures a smooth customer experience and ultimately allows affiliate networks to track certain campaign metrics to ensure they allocate the right amount of funds for the best-performing campaigns.

Suggestions for New Publishers and Advertisers

The trio wrapped up the discussion by advising newcomers to the lead generation space to establish their identity and leverage existing platforms for optimal results. The key is specialization and collaboration.

Markosyan affirmed that there are two things to consider when entering the leadgen space. The first is to determine your identity by establishing your role in the affiliate network ecosystem. Are you a publisher or an advertiser? Are you an affiliate manager?

"When you try to be everything for everybody, you end up being mediocre in all of those areas," said Markosyan.

Markosyan encouraged new affiliates to focus on their strengths and leverage established platforms like Phonexa for streamlined operations.

"I agree...we give our clients access to all of the data and allow them to split test things and do what the numbers tell them. [By doing so] every day, you're going to get incrementally better and incrementally closer to taking up margin or market share away from your competitors," said Pickard. "Make sure you're reporting on first impression all the way through to final conversion as a way of identifying each traffic type, split test it -- source by source, campaign by campaign - and do more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff and you're going to end up in a better place."

Stay tuned for more in our ongoing Amplify webinar series, and stay connected for the latest updates.

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