Review of MarketLeverage
Updated - 28/08/2008
Go to www.marketleverage.com
As many people start to discover the countless alternatives to Google AdSense, their eyes are also opened up to the possibilities and potential profitability of CPA-based advertising networks. Although publishers are not paid based on ad impressions or ad clicks under the CPA (cost per action) model, affiliate ad networks like MarketLeverage can prove to be incredibly lucrative.
With rising competition in affiliate marketing, MarketLeverage appears to be doing a great job reaching out to its publishers and providing them with affiliate deals that not only convert well, but also pay very well. With the endorsement of well-known online entrepreneurs like Zac Johnson and John Chow, MarketLeverage is quickly becoming a top contender in the CPA realm of online advertising.
The single greatest advantage to joining a CPA-based network like MarketLeverage is that publishers are able to choose from a large number of different affiliate deals without having to fill out a separate application to each individual advertiser. This also means that the payments are aggregated, issuing a single payment from MarketLeverage instead of several separate payments from several separate sources. This streamlines the affiliate marketing process considerably, especially since all the statistics can be accessed from within the MarketLeverage control panel as well.
MarketLeverage says that it takes a smaller margin on each advertisement (they don’t specify any precise numbers). In this way, publishers are able to earn a larger payout from every lead or sale generated through the system. Also, because there are literally hundreds of different ads to choose from within the MarketLeverage inventory, there is a good chance that just about any publisher will find at least a few offers that fit their niche or area of expertise. Among this large inventory are a number of unique affiliate offers that available exclusively to MarketLeverage members.
There is also the industry’s first affiliate Internet TV program. MarketLeverage runs a weekly webcast -- called MLTV -- that highlights some of the top offers in the network, reports on industry news and trends, and provides tips to help publishers make more money.
To further help improve profitability for its publishers, MarketLeverage offers a number of tools as well. There is a banner rotation tool, for instance, that automatically cycles through multiple creatives within a website, newsletter, or email. This is designed to combat a phenomenon known as ad blindness. When a web user comes to a website and sees the same ad banner every time, eventually he will become “blind” to that ad. By rotating the banners, the website looks fresh each time. Beyond the basic banner rotation tool, MarketLeverage also allows for banner rotation by category and provides optimized rotators too.
Upon logging into the MarketLeverage control panel, publishers are presented with a homepage that displays money earned to date, money earned in the current month, money earned yesterday, and money earned today.
Below this, the homepage is split into two columns. The left column lists news and updates, like the introduction of new affiliate offers. The right column highlights a series of featured affiliate deals for the day. For each of these, the payout level is also shown right from the main page.
Navigating through the control panel is done through the nine tabs near the top of the page:
- Home : This is the main page as described above.
- Top 20 : A list of 20 best offers in the MarketLeverage network. It is unclear how MarketLeverage decides which offers appear on this page. It is not based on the payout level for each lead/sale generated, so it could be popularity among publishers, highest total payouts made over a certain period of time, best eCPM, or best conversion rate. For each offer, publishers are shown a sample ad banner, the ad name, a description, the available media types, the expiration date, and the payout per lead or sale. Interestingly, the list extends beyond the top 20, going right through the rest of the offers in the MarketLeverage network.
- All Offers : This page is seemingly identical to Top 20.
- Find Offers : Publishers can search for specific offers based on a number of criteria. These include category, type of banner, countries, campaign ID, and keyword. There are nearly 50 categories and over 100 banner types in all.
- Your Stats : Statistics can be shown for individual campaigns or for all campaigns, based on any date range, and can be broken down on a cumulative basis or on a daily basis. For each offer, the affiliate statistics recorded and reported include number of impressions, clicks, leads, click thru ratio (CTR), number of sales, total sales (in dollars), EPC, payout level, and total money earned. Furthermore, these individual stats can be further broken down based on each individual banner, helping publishers gauge which ad creatives are the most effective.
- Your Account : This tab contains all basic account management information. It is here that a publisher can edit account details, change his or her password, specify what notifications to receive, submit electronic tax forms, and read the terms of agreement.
- Tools : As described in the Features section above, it is here that a publisher can find the banner rotation tools. Also found here are tools for popup/popunder campaign creatives, subID privacy, and webpage checkboxes. The last set of tools is related to the MarketLeverage referral program.
The top three affiliate offers in the MarketLeverage network at the time this review was written were the following:
- Government Funding Solutions : An offer that gives users a free CD on possible grant opportunities. They pay $2.29 shipping for the CD. Publishers earn $25.00 CPA.
- Grant Research Guide : Similar to the first, except it is a free Grant Research Guide and the shipping cost is $2.95. Publishers earn $27.00 CPA.
- First Plus Platinum : A guaranteed approval for a $7500 credit line. Users pay a $2.78 processing fee. Publishers earn $22.00 CPA.
There are over 400 affiliate offers in the MarketLeverage network in total.
The registration process with MarketLeverage is two-fold:
The first step involves filling out a simple registration form online. This form requires a mailing address, phone number, email address, payment information, and site information.
The second step usually takes place within the next one or two days of application submission. A MarketLeverage representative will call the applicant and during this five-minute phone call, the applicant is asked about his/her experience with other affiliate networks, how they will be using MarketLeverage, and if there are any specific offers desired.
Approval comes a few minutes after the conclusion of this phone call. MarketLeverage does not have any explicit minimum requirements for publishers.
Each publisher is assigned an affiliate manager. Upon logging into the control panel, a virtual business card of this affiliate manager is shown in the top-right corner. On this card, a publisher can see his affiliate manager’s name, phone number, email address, and AIM. Turnaround time will likely vary from manager to manager, but if the manager is online, the response via AIM is instant. Email communication is also very timely.
When it comes to payment from MarketLeverage, publishers will find themself pleasantly spoiled.
Payment is issued in the form of a check delivered by the express courier service FedEx.
Payments are on a Net-15 schedule and are typically sent out on the 13th of the month to ensure receipt by the publisher by the 15th.
For international publishers (non-US), MarketLeverage sends payment out via bank wire as international FedEx shipping is very expensive. Payment is usually wired out on the 18th of the following month (Net-18).
Additionally, US affiliates who generate $1,000 or more per week also get the benefit of being paid via bank wire.
There is a $25 minimum payment treshold for US publishers and $100 for international publishers since their payment it sent out by wire.
With payments sent out via FedEx, bank wires for larger affiliates and international publishers, MarketLeverage offers one of the best payment options out of any affiliate network.
MarketLeverage offers a pretty good referral system for a large and popular affiliate network.
Referrers earn a 5% commission on every approved publisher that they refer to MarketLeverage for the lifetime of the referred publisher. However, it is important to note that each referred publisher must continue to generate commissions without a lapse of six (6) calendar months in order for the referrer to continue receiving the 5% commission from that publisher each month.
This means that if a referral generates $4,000 in sales each month, the referrer will earn $200 from that publisher each month, or $1,200 a year (as long as they don't become inactive a period of 6 months or longer).
The referral system is tracked via a unique referral link and a number of banners are available as well. Publishers are also able to set up URLs with SubID's for their referral program.
While the 5% commission rate is certainly one of the highest referral payouts for an affiliate network, the "6-month lapse" stipulation takes some of it's value away. Since affiliate marketers often switch back and forth between affiliate networks, it would be recommended that MarketLeverage consider lengthening their lapse period to 12-months or longer. If it was removed completely, it would put MarketLeverage's referral system far above and beyond the majority of other affiliate networks.
Nevertheless, MarketLeverage's referral program can still be lucrative if marketed to the right audience.
In order to reward and encourage affiliates, MarketLeverage offers a reward system.
Instead of gifts or a point-system that some other affiliate networks use, MarketLeverage gifts out pure cash in the form of prepaid American Express cards sent out vie FedEx.
Rewards are paid each month based upon a publisher's commissions for the previous month. The American Express rewards card can be used virtually everywhere American Express is accepted.
The reward payout starts at 1% then increases to 2% the higher the tier. The current payout tiers for the rewards program are as follows:
- Commissions - Rewards
- $1,000 - $10
- $2,500 - $25
- $5,000 - $50
- $10,000 - $100
- $15,000 - $150
- $20,000 - $200
- $25,000 - $250
- $30,000 - $300
- $50,000 - $500
- $100,000 - $1,250
- $150,000 - $2,000
- $200,000 - $3,000
- $500,000 - $10,000
- $1,000,000 - $20,000
- $1,250,000 - $25,000
With a very personal approach to publisher support, working with MarketLeverage is a very pleasant experience. The eager-to-please company is very open to its publishers and they richly reward the publishers who perform the best. It is not out of the ordinary for MarketLeverage to deliver a box filled with gifts to some of their publishers.
The control panel is very easy to navigate and it is easy to browse through the available affiliate offers. While MarketLeverage may not offer the thousands of merchant affiliate programs that some other networks may offer, choosing from over 400 offers (and growing) is plenty. Exact figures are not provided, but MarketLeverage also claims that it takes a smaller margin, ensuring that publishers receive the top payouts in the industry. Many affiliate deals in the MarketLeverage network offer a double-digit CPA. The net-15 payment schedule is also appealing.
With great affiliate managers, high payouts, a growing number of offers, a strong referral program, and a decent rewards program, MarketLeverage is a resourceful and potentially very lucrative affiliate network. Most publishers will find a significant level of value here.