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The best advertiser is one that can take leads from anywhere in the world.

An example of this advertiser would be one that offers online courses, software, or eBooks.

You should send your first 50 leads to yourself to determine if they're qualified leads that would turn into business for your advertisers.

Then personally send these leads to your advertisers.

If the first 5 leads turn into business for them, and the next few don't, it won't matter to them if they pay for some referrals that don't work out. They know that overall your referral program works.

They will be loyal advertisers forever.

Talking to your first 50 visitors also gives you the added advantage to tweak your content and referral forms to provide the best kind of qualified leads to send to your advertisers.

Your Income Activator referral program also allows you to filter your leads geographically, and by trigger questions.

For example, if you're sending leads to dentists in Toronto and Burlington, offering different services, your visitor could select which location, and which service they're looking for; i.e. a Toronto dentist specializing in teeth whitening or Toronto dentist specializing in dentures.

No Coverage

You can also set your referral form to capture a lead even if it's not an area you can send a lead to.

You can set your referral form to ask your visitor for their location and what they're looking for. When this visitor enters in their info into your referral form, you can send them to a page saying "Sorry we couldn't help you this time" or tell them "You'll Be In Touch With Them."

You can set it up so that you're emailed this lead and you can contact that visitor and help them try to find what they're looking for. This gives you an opportunity to send this lead to a potential advertiser, while expanding your referral network based on your visitor traffic.

Never Send A Lead An Advertiser They Can't Use

For local advertisers you need to be extremely careful that you send them leads inside their geographical area.

Sending a visitor referral to your advertiser that's hundreds of miles away from them,
that they can’t service, will upset both your visitor and your advertiser.

A Good Example - Of A Bad Referral

Let’s say a painter in Toronto agreed to pay you $10 per lead.

Day 1  The 1st visitor lead you send them is from Windsor. Your advertiser has to take their time to explain to that person that they can't help them because it’s a 5 hour drive to Windsor. The visitor is thinking that this is a useless referral program and will never use it again, and will certainly NOT recommend it.

Day 2  The next day you send another visitor lead from Montreal to your Toronto painter. Your visitor speaks French, your painter doesn’t, and it’s a big mess.

Day 3  The 3rd day your advertiser gets a lead from India, now they’re really mad and they’re calling you because they know you've billed them $30 for what they now consider harassment.

You apologize and take the leads off their invoice.

Day 4  The 4th day you send a 'Toronto' lead to your 'Toronto' painter, but they don’t get the business. You can be sure that they'll be on the phone to you, knowing you can take this lead off their billing. Of course you do, because you don’t want to lose your advertiser.

If you had 20 advertisers, all getting leads they can’t service, that’s 20 mad calls to you, 80 leads you’ve had to delete, and 80 unsatisfied visitors bad mouthing your service.

You have now trained your advertisers to know that all they have to do to get out of paying their bill is to complain to you, and that they’re only going to pay you when your lead turns into business for them.

Your lead program has just turned into a sales based revenue stream, where you’re dependent on your advertiser’s ability to sell, and their level of interest in reporting their sales to you for billing. 

I once sent 5,000 leads to an advertiser based on a split of commission, and they reporter zero, none, natta… sales to me. When I put them back on my pay per lead program, I was shocked they stayed on, and I went back to billing them $1,000's of dollars a month for my leads. I was even more taken back when they made a play to buy my referral business!  

When your advertisers are local, they will know each other, and will talk about their bad experience and your referral program will begin to crumble.

In the meantime, someone seeing what a good idea you had, and knowing what you’re doing wrong, might decide to start their own referral business.

They then begin to send leads to businesses in their geographical area, they even approach your advertisers! As their business takes off, yours dies off. 

Know Your Visitor Traffic - Then Get Your Advertisers

Too Many people starting a referral business spend too much time getting advertisers, and then blindingly sending visitor leads to them.

When I started InsuranceHotline.com, sending leads to brokers, I began with one broker in Toronto that I worked with closely, and built my referral business with good qualified leads. It wasn’t until I was billing that broker over $30,000 a month that I decided to get more brokers to take my leads. By that time brokers were calling me!  

To Begin  

You’re far better off creating your lead program for your local area, and begin by sending your leads to yourself first. Then contact an advertiser you want to have on your referral program and only send them leads of people you've talked to.

Only then will you know the kind of visitors you’re getting, what they're most interested in, and if they would be good leads to send to advertisers. Now you have a business.

With InsuranceHotline.com I found that 90% of my visitors wanted a car insurance quote and that 80% of these people were from Toronto and the GTA. From just that visitor traffic I was able to generate $50,000 to $100,000 a month.

I also provided referrals for home, tenant, life, travel, boat, and commercial insurance for all of Canada, the US and the UK. And all this work was a complete waste of time and distracted me from what the majority of my visitors really wanted, and where I was making money from.

You need to test your referral website by getting your own leads, understand what your visitor traffic wants, and geographically where they're coming from. Only then will you know what advertisers you will need to build your referral revenue on.

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