September 20, 2021

Lead Aggregators

Lead aggregators are marketing firms that act as middlemen between the client (school) and the affiliates.  They negotiate a fixed price per lead with their client and then contract with third parties at lower prices to generate the leads.  Many of these aggregators also generate leads themselves too.  It is important whenever possible to determine how they generate the leads and what rules they maintain for their affiliates.  Leads come in varied quality, with great leads converting upwards of 5X what lower quality leads will convert. 

The advantage of dealing with lead aggregators is that you can have a single point of contact with the aggregator who will then handle the minutia involved with managing the many smaller firms who are generating the leads.   Many of the affiliates don’t generate enough volume to warrant a direct relationship with a school, thus their only opportunity to generate a lead is through the aggregators.  These aggregators vary greatly in quality and business practices, be careful to choose one with a strong track record and only after speaking to a number of references.

Mark-up conundrum

When working with an aggregator you should make sure that you only allow them to manage the smaller lead providers so as not to fall into the trap of paying too much for your leads.  Since these firms take what you are paying them (base rate) then payout a lesser sum to the firm actually generating the leads, you don’t want them to do this for the larger lead providers.  You should look to manage those providers yourself, thus saving the mark up and potentially being able to generate more leads based on the savings you made from cutting out the middle man.  In addition, often you could generate even more volume of leads by increasing the cost per lead (CPL) to the top converting providers and still not exceed the price you were paying the aggregator.