How to set up pay per lead affiliate program in wordpress

How to Set Up a Pay Per Lead Affiliate Program in WordPress

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Are you wondering how to set up a pay per lead affiliate program?

Affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be focused on sales only. It can also be used effectively to generate leads and broaden your audience. Plus, the success of your affiliate program depends on how motivated your affiliates are. Choosing a system that rewards them fairly is smart.

So how do you set up a pay per lead affiliate program in WordPress? We’ll be answering that question in this article, with all the steps covered. Ready? Let’s get started!

What Are The Best Pay Per Lead Affiliate Program Apps?

There are lots of good pay per lead affiliate program apps to choose from. These include tools like AffiliateWP, Post Affiliate Pro, Tapfiliate, Tune, LeadDyno, and so on.

For WordPress websites, AffiliateWP is the best pay per lead affiliate program management tool. The plugin is highly flexible and gives you all the features you need to manage your entire affiliate management program directly from your WordPress dashboard.

One of these features is AffiliateWP’s smart commission rules that allow you to set up pay per lead affiliate programs. We’ll be showing you how to set this up, next.

How to Set Up a Pay Per Lead Affiliate Program

Step 1: Install WPForms

The WPForms homepage

If you’re planning on a pay per lead affiliate system, you’ll need a way to collect leads, and the most effective way to collect leads on your site is by using forms.

WPForms is the top-rated WordPress form plugin with 13+ thousand 5-star reviews on With WPForms, you can easily create lead gen forms for email signups, booking appointments, and more. Plus, it integrates with AffiliateWP so you can track each affiliate lead that submits a form.

For access to the best WPForms features, such as Custom Captcha that helps you fight form spam efficiently and optimized Lead Forms, we’d recommend getting the WPForms Pro plan.

The WPForms pricing page

Once you’ve purchased it, go ahead and install and activate WPForms.

For this tutorial, we’re also going to install the Lead Forms addon, which will help us create an optimized Lead Form that walks end users through the form step by step.

To install an addon, go to WPForms » Addons in your WordPress admin dashboard. Then find the Lead Forms addon and click on Install Addon.

Installing the Lead Forms addon

Once WPForms is ready to go, we’ll install AfilliateWP in the next step.

Step 2: Install AffiliateWP

AffiliateWP home

AffiliateWP is a popular affiliate marketing plugin for WordPress, and you can use it to create a flexible and easy-to-use affiliate program.

In particular, AffiliateWP’s smart commission rules allow you to structure your affiliate program in the way that best suits your needs. You’ll be able to set per affiliate rates, tiered rates, lifetime commissions, recurring commissions, and so on.

Just as we did with WPForms, install, and activate the plugin to get started. For instructions, see this general guide on installing any WordPress plugin.

Step 3: Connect AffiliateWP With WPForms

At this point, you should have WPForms and AffiliateWP installed and activated on your website. We’re off to a good start!

Now, we’re going to dive into the AffiliateWP settings to launch the setup wizard. To get there, click on AffiliateWP » Settings.

AffiliateWP settings

Scroll down till you see Setup Wizard, then click Launch Setup Wizard to get things started here.

Setup Wizard

You’ll need to enter your AffiliateWP license key, which you can find in your AffiliateWP account.

affiliatewp license key field

When you click Continue, you’ll then be prompted to choose an integration type.

AffiliateWP integrates with quite a few WordPress plugins so there’ll be a long list of options. Since we’ll be working with WPForms in this guide, we’ll need a form integration.

So choose Form Integrations.

affiliatewp form integrations

Select WPForms and click Continue.

affiliatewp wpforms integration

At this point, you’ll be prompted to set the basic terms for your pay per lead commissions. This is also called the global referral rate which will apply to all affiliates signed up on your program.

As we’ll show, next, you can override the global referral rate in specific cases. For example, you can set up specific rates for selected affiliates irrespective of the site default rates.

Step 4: Set the Site Default Affiliate Rate

After connecting WPForms with AffiliateWP, the next step in the setup wizard is to set a referral amount.

In the Referral Amount section, you can set the default affiliate commissions on a percentage basis or a flat rate.

Since we’re paying affiliates for leads rather than purchases, we’ll be using a flat commission structure here. So click on Percentage to open a dropdown with Flat USD as an option.

Then enter the referral amount.

referral amount Flat USD

Note: Sometimes, AffiliateWP doesn’t accept a decimal value in the referral amount field from the setup wizard. If you’re getting an error, you can set up an amount with a decimal value from general settings.

Choosing Flat USD will open up a third field. This field is where you can choose between paying a commission Per Product or Per Order. Because we’re not paying for product purchases in this pay per lead program, we’ll select Per Order.

referral amount per order

Click Save and Continue to move to the final stage of the setup wizard.

On this page, you can change the affiliate link structure and determine the validity period for referral cookies.

Both of these come preconfigured and should be fine if left unchanged. So hit Save and continue to wrap things up here.

finish affiliatewp setup

Click Finish the setup and exit the wizard.

finish setup affiliatewp

At this point, you can create a WPForms form that will generate a fixed commission for an affiliate once you receive a referral.

Before we show you how to do this,  here’s one more step you might be interested in.

Step 5: Set a Per Affiliate Rate for Each Lead

Apart from the global referral rate that applies to all affiliates, you can also set referral rates for each affiliate that bypass the global rules.

An example of when you might use this would be with affiliates who have a strong influence within a niche community. Their referrals are likely to be high quality and worth higher rates.

To do this, open your WordPress dashboard and click through AffiliateWP » Affiliates.

affiliatewp affiliates

Find the specific affiliate you would like to add a unique referral rate for, then click on their name to open their profile.

affiliates page

NB: don’t click on edit user, as this will take you to the WordPress user profile page which is different from the AffiliateWP affiliate profile we’re looking for.

Look for the option labeled Referral Rate Type. For a pay per lead commissions model, the appropriate referral rate type would be Flat USD. Select Flat USD to continue.

Referral rate type

Next, scroll down to the section labeled Flat Rate Referral Basis. Here, choose Flat Rate Commission Per Order. This is because we want to pay commissions per lead rather than on a product sold.

Flat rate referral

Finally, in the Referral Rate section, enter the figure you would like to pay this particular affiliate, per referral. This can be a whole value or a decimal number.

Referral rate

Scroll down and click Save Changes, and that would be it! In the next step, we’re going to add referral tracking to a form.

Step 6: Create a New Lead Form

We’ll create a new form and add referral tracking to it. To do this, head over to WPForms » Add New, from the WordPress dashboard.

Adding a new form in WPForms

This will open up the template library where you can choose from the 1,800+ form templates. You can also build your form from scratch by choosing Blank Form.

WPForms blank form

For this guide, we’ll choose the Opt-In Form template. Hover your mouse over the button then choose Use Template.

Selecting the Opt-In Form template

You can customize the form template as much as you need. The Opt-In Form template is quite short, with just a Name and Email field.

The Opt-In Form template

But, if you’re using a longer form to collect leads, they can optimize it by turning on Lead Form mode in Settings » Lead Forms.

Enabling Lead Form Mode

This will break the form up into pages to make it easier to fill out and increase conversions.

Lead form container styles

Once you’re happy with your lead generation form, click Save at the top of the form builder.

Step 7: Add Referral Tracking to a WPForms Form

Next, we’ll add referral tracking to the form. Navigate to the left sidebar and click on Settings » General.

Navigating to the general settings in the WPForms form builder

And then, click on Advanced to reveal more options on the page.

Expanding the advanced options in the general settings

Toggle the Enable referrals button and choose Lead from the Referral type dropdown.

referral lead

Your new form will now be set up to track referrals. Save the form and publish it on a page and that will be it!

Step 8: Launch Your Pay Per Lead Affiliate Program

We’ve done all the hard work, and now, all that’s left is to publish our affiliate program.

AffiliateWP will create a dedicated Affiliate Area by default. This is the page where your affiliates will log in to manage their accounts on the frontend of your website.

Affiliate area

You’ll find the affiliate area URL in the pages overview section of your website. You can then add the link to the frontend menu, or provide it to affiliates privately.

affiliate area

AffiliateWP will generate a unique referral link for each affiliate. Once a user clicks on that link and submits your referral-enabled form, the affiliate will earn a commission, and you’ll automatically get a new referral on the backend.

Viewing a referral in the AffiliateWP settings

All you need now is to ready yourself to collect leads from new referral sources.

Bonus: Create Smart Commission Rules

Setting up a pay-per-lead affiliate reward program is just one of the ways to use AffiliateWP’s smart commission rules.

Here are some more smart commission rules you can create using AffiliateWP:

  • Per Product Affiliate Rates – AffiliateWP allows you to set specific rates for each different product you’re selling using its Affiliate Product Rates addon.
  • Tiered Rates – With the Tiered Affiliate Rates pro addon, you can create an affiliate structure that pays affiliates progressively higher commissions the more they send referrals your way.
  • Lifetime and Recurring Commission Rates – The lifetime Commissions addon allows affiliates to earn a commission on every subsequent purchase by a referral.

And that’s it!

We’ve shown you how to create a per-lead affiliate program in WordPress, using AffiliateWP and WPForms.

Next, Stop Contact Form Spam

Contact form spam can be a troublesome issue with WordPress websites. If you’re running a pay-per-lead affiliate scheme, you’ll have extra cause for concern since form spam can be used for affiliate fraud.

Google reCAPTCHA is one of the most popular tools for fighting form spam, but there are some options that offer better ease of use. If you’d like to try another tool, here are the top alternatives to Google reCAPTCHA.

Remember that nulled WPForms plugins often lack the latest updates and can expose your forms to security threats. Only get the WPForms Pro version from our official site.

Create Your WordPress Form Now

Are you ready to build forms with powerful referral-tracking features? Get started today with the easiest WordPress form builder plugin. WPForms Pro includes lots of free templates and integrations with popular email marketing services and CRMs. It also offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.

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