Question: I just launched an education portal and am having trouble finding edu offers to promote. It’s not that the offers aren’t there, it’s that I keep getting all these questions about what kind of traffic I drive and how I get my leads. I thought schools were in need of affiliates like me to get them students. But, it seems like a lot of the networks are making it really hard to send them traffic. Why is this?
According to the 2012 Education Advertising and Marketing survey, many schools are not satisfied with the level of transparency in the leads they receive. This is a challenge that is industry-wide. In recent years, schools have been pushing for additional transparency from their lead vendors as a result of new policies/legislation handed down by various levels of US government. Transparency, accountability and good communication between schools, lead aggregators, agencies and affiliates are now mandatory for optimizing the online education lead gen area and allowing this vertical to flourish.
Lead buyers and lead aggregators have strict advertising guidelines and require affiliates like yourself to adhere to them. In order stay compliant it’s important that you’re transparent in the way that you’re generating leads. This means informing your affiliate manager or lead buyer how you generate leads. For example, what creative you are using, where the ads are being placed, the exact source of every lead (were they organically generated using SEO, PPC, email marketing), what keywords are being bid on, etc. Many lead buyers define “proof” of compliance as full transparency of their lead sources. Compliance will continue to be an ongoing battle to avoid legal hurdles, and the downsides of non-compliance can be a huge expense for all parties, including the affiliates.
My advice to you and any affiliate with an online education website would be to make sure you clearly outline to affiliate managers and networks the methods you’re using to generate your traffic. You should also do your best to get as much demographic information about your traffic as possible. This type of data is key for you to know so that you fine tune your promotional methods to attract the right visitors who are your potential students. The better traffic you generate, the better the leads you acquire, and the better the leads, the more affiliate managers and networks will want to work more closely with you.
Today, at almost every organization large and small who spends money online, you will find a lead quality officer if not an entire compliance team dedicated to monitoring lead gen practices especially at companies whose main source of revenue comes from either the generation or purchase of leads. By implementing these and other transparency guidelines, affiliates can generate ROI while conducting campaigns in a simple, ethical and effective way.
How do you ensure that you comply with guidelines and regulations in the education lead gen space? Would you like to ask an affiliate manager a question? Let us know by leaving your comments below!
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