Complete Guide for Pay Per Sale Marketing in 2024

pay per sale marketing

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Whether you’re already running pay per lead campaigns or just dipping your toes into the water….

There’s something you need to know; Pay per sale is a staple for a lot of marketers.

It is a pay per lead model, where you earn a commission only when a sale is made (i.e., you only get paid when your client receives the money in their bank account)

It’s a daring game. But certainly not impossible.

To succeed in the world of PPS marketing, you need to master the art of presenting an irresistible offer to the right audience.

And this guide will help you do just that. We’ll walk you through the entire process of becoming a successful PPS marketer, whether you’re aiming for the highest ticket commission or volume.

But first… let’s start with the basics so we’re on the same page.

What is pay per sale marketing?

Pay Per Sale is more commonly known as Cost Per Sale. But for the purpose of this post, we’ll be using the term pay per sale only.

Pay-per-sale marketing is basically a type of performance based marketing.

For marketers, this means business owners will only pay for successful results.

And for your clients, this means low financial risk. They do not have to pay anything upfront, and they’ll get an R.O.I. for every penny spent.

This is why pay-per-sale is loved by business owners. But it’s not a go-to route for most marketers. They only make money IF and only IF they deliver results….

….which, of course, is a tough job. But you need not worry. We’ve enclosed a success magnet for PPS marketing in this very guide.

Keep reading; we’ll share it with you in just a bit. 🙂

How does Pay Per Sale work?

When pay-per-sale is in action, two parties are involved:

  • Advertiser (The client)
  • Publisher (You)

The advertiser is the business owner or merchant who is selling a product or service. They are the ones who are willing to pay a commission per sale.

The publisher has an established audience or a platform they use to promote products/services. If their followers or readers make a purchase, they successfully make a sale. And consequently, earn a commission on the sold product/service.

Some examples of publishers include Google, bloggers, influencers, affiliate marketers, content creators, and media companies.

Pay Per Sale Example

Now, let’s go through a detailed illustration of pay per sale advertising and make things crystal clear.

Consider a solar panel installation company that aims to grow its sales and customer base. To achieve this, they team up with a blogger who focuses on promoting green living, sustainability, and energy-efficient home solutions. The blogger will develop and publish content centered on solar panels, covering topics like:

  • Benefits of solar panels
  • Installation tips for solar panels
  • Best solar panel installation services

Within this context, the blogger will include hyperlinks that direct readers to the solar panel company’s website – where the readers learn more about their installation services. Ideally, the link should lead to a sales page or offer. If the reader decides to purchase solar panel services, the blogger will receive a commission from the company.

This commission can either be a percentage of the total product/service price or a fixed fee that both parties can mutually settle beforehand. Business owners must also predefine what counts as a qualified sale.

Also, in this setting, the blogger is acting as an affiliate marketer for the solar panel company or a lead generator.

Does that mean pay-per-sale is a lead-generation model? And is there a difference between PPS marketing and affiliate marketing? Read below!

How much can you charge for pay-per-sale leads?

The pricing for pay-per-sale leads depends on the industry, lead quality, price of product/service, and the commission offered.

But for an idea, generally, you can charge anywhere between from few dollars per lead up to hundreds, depending on the niche. Or you can charge a percentage of the total product/service cost. On average, PPS marketers charge 5% to 30% of the total sales.

Pay Per Lead VS Pay Per Sale

Pay per lead is a business model wherein you convert a prospect into a potential customer. This can be done by having the prospect perform a specific action that helps drive them deeper into the sales funnel.

On the contrary, pay-per-sale is a business model wherein you convert a prospect into a paying customer. This means they make a purchase right there and then.

You can say pay-per-sale leads are ripe leads, while leads from PPL campaigns are ready to ripe. They’ll take some work before they convert.

💡 Is pay per sale a lead generation model?

No. Pay-per-sale is not a lead generation model. The goal is to generate sales, not leads.

But despite the prominent difference, the lead-gen industry often lists PPS alongside other lead generation models, and ‘pay per sale leads’ is a common term.

Here are some more differences between the two:

Difficulty Level

For a lead generator, pay per lead is much easier as compared to pay per sale. That’s because all you have to do is make the prospect complete a specific action. Here are a few of these actions, along with their examples:

Action  Example 
Filling out a form A car dealership has a form on their website where visitors can fill out their name, email address, and phone number to request a test drive of a specific vehicle. Lead generators only have to get people to fill out this form to get paid.
Signing up for an email list A clothing retailer has a newsletter sign-up section at the bottom of their website. If this is the agreed-upon action for generating leads, the lead generator has to have people sign up for the newsletter. A good way to do this successfully is to incentivize the sign-up, such as by offering a discount coupon or a reward.
Scheduling an appointment The customer may contact the business through various channels, such as phone, email, or online booking systems, to inquire about availability and schedule an appointment. Or a lead generator can do cold outreach and get paid per appointment.
Making an account Some companies require visitors to create an account in order to access certain resources or information. For example, LinkedIn requires users to create a free account to access their platform. Once a user has signed up, LinkedIn has a lead. They can then market their premium accounts to these users.
Complete a quiz A beauty salon can embed a quiz on their website where they ask a few questions and recommend relevant services to the website visitor. But instead of directly sharing the results of the quiz, they can ask for their email and send the results to their inbox. In this way, the beauty salon acquires a lead.

Since no buying decision is involved, prospects are likely to complete this action.

Once this action is completed, you pass these leads on to the business owner and earn your fees. But there is no guarantee whether the lead will convert or not.

As for pay per sale, leads are basically paying customers. Although they have a shorter sales cycle, they’re difficult to acquire. They demand a lot of commitment.

You’ll have to hone your targeting skills, reach out to the right audience, and craft irresistibly good marketing messages. You have to make them hit the buy now button to earn anything at all.

Suggested Read: How to make money selling leads?

From a business owner’s perspective, pay-per-sale leads may take time to generate. But they bring you a guaranteed return on investment. PPL is quicker, but there’s a possibility of zero or minimal ROI. So, if you’ve got the benefit of time, PPS is the way.

Payment Structure

In PPL, the publisher or lead generator is paid for every lead or potential customer. Explore what a ‘lead’ looks like here in our complete guide to Pay Per Lead Marketing.

Plus, the payment is usually in the form of a fixed fee, which ranges from $20 – $500+ per lead.

In PPS, the publisher or lead generator is only paid for a converted lead. The advertiser does not pay the publisher until there’s a successful purchase.

The payment for pay-per-sale leads is usually commission-based. This could range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars per sale, depending on the product/service price.

Quality of Leads

The leads generated via PPS campaigns are better qualified as compared to PPL campaigns. This is because the intent of purchase is not as strong in PPL as in PPS.

Also, pay-per-lead is not as profitable as pay-per-sale for lead generators. So, they focus on maximizing the volume of leads they generate. This, in turn, depletes the quality of leads generated.

Except, of course, if they’re using a systematic approach to lead generation like that of LeadsHook.

Check out how you can use LeadsHook to set up automated systems for intimate conversational experiences and generate quality leads at scale.

Pay Per Sale VS Affiliate Marketing

By definition, affiliate marketing is when someone promotes a company’s product or service on their platform. If anyone from their audience buys the promoted product or service (through their unique link or code), the affiliate earns a commission.

Now, how does this work? Let’s understand this with an example.

Say you run a blog about home improvement. On the basis of this blog, you can partner with pay-per-click or pay-per-sale affiliate programs, such as Amazon’s. You’ll earn a commission for each sale made via your unique affiliate link.

Once you’ve signed up for this affiliate program, you’ll start creating content to promote specific home improvement products listed on If your follower reads your content, clicks on the link for this product, and makes a purchase, you’ll successfully earn a commission.

There are, of course, other conditions for the Amazon Affiliate Program. But the idea of affiliate marketing is to push the prospect to a definite purchase.

With that said, pay-per-sale is only a compensation model for affiliate marketing. As an affiliate marketer, you could get paid for visitors following the link, signing up, or as mentioned above, a sale.

In the case of pay per sale affiliate marketing, it’s always a sale.

However, there are some pointable differences between the two. Here’s a summary:

Differences  Pay Per Sale Affiliate Marketing
Payout Commission-based Commission-based, flat fee, or a hybrid of both.
Relationship between advertiser & publisher Direct Mostly indirect (the advertiser is linked to the publisher via an affiliate network or an affiliate program)

Best Niches for Pay Per Sale Marketing

The best niches for pay per sale marketing are as follows:

  • Travel
  • Fashion
  • Food
  • Education
  • Gardening
  • Health & Fitness
  • Personal care
  • Home Decor
  • Finance
  • Technology
  • Gaming / Esports
  • Beauty & cosmetics
  • Pets
  • Luxury items

Note that the best niches for any form of marketing are those that have a high potential for sales – which means they have a high demand.

If a niche is in high demand, it’s likely to be highly competitive as well. For that very reason, we recommend finding a profitable niche for affiliate marketing before you settle for any.

Also, here are some unpopular but high-potential niches that beginner pay-per-sale marketers can start with:

  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Travel car seats
  • Hotels with jacuzzis
  • Headphones
  • Golf equipment
  • Sustainable or zero-waste products

What Pay Per Sale Network is best for you?

One of the big benefits of the pay per sale business model is that your location does not hold you back from doing business.

You have the freedom to choose what type of ‘network’ best suits you.

This is why even though a typical pay-per-sale marketing company can generate PPS leads for two types:

  1. International businesses
  2. Local businesses

They will usually concentrate on the one that makes the most sense for them and their business.

It’s also important to know the mechanism of pay per sale marketing is similar for both, except when it comes to:

  • Target audience
  • Commission rate
  • Payment method

Hence, affiliate programs that pay per sale are more suitable for international businesses, while pay per sale marketing can be best executed for local businesses via pay-per-call.

Let’s check out the differences between both in deeper detail.

Pay Per Sale Affiliate Programs

As mentioned earlier, pay per sale affiliate programs are suitable for international businesses. These may include online eCommerce stores, SaaS companies, digital product marketplaces, online education platforms, travel booking websites, or subscription-based websites.

Typically, these businesses have a global audience and hire a pay-per-sale marketer to expand their online reach and sales.

They do so by promoting the products via online channels, including:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media
  • Paid advertising
  • SEO

Using these, they are able to expand the customer base beyond the local market.

With that said, most products sold via affiliate programs are high-ticket. Hence, the commission offered in this pay per sale network is higher.

But the payment method may not be suitable for all. All affiliate programs have rules and regulations of their own on how and when the payment will be processed.

For example, affiliates earning via Amazon Associates Program receive their earned commissions after every 60 days via direct deposit or check.

So, make sure you consider the scope of business, your commission rate, and the payment method when choosing a pay per sale network.

Here’s a quick rundown of pay per sale affiliate programs’ pros and cons:

Pros  Cons
Accessibility to a global customer base Increased competition
Easy scalability Difficulty in payment processing owing to currency conversion
Cost-effective marketing strategies Language/cultural barriers make it difficult to create marketing material that resonates with the local audience

Local Business Pay Per Sale Campaigns

Local businesses may include home improvement services, personal care services, restaurants, brick-and-mortar retail stores, gyms, etc. These businesses focus on serving customers in a specific geographic area. Hence, their audience is limited.

Pay per sale marketers for these businesses usually get lower commission rates, and the payment methods range from cash, check, bank transfer, or online payment systems like PayPal or Stripe.

What’s more, pay per sale marketers for local businesses are often inclined to secure sales via calls – merging pay-per-call with pay-per-sale. This is where pay per sale telemarketing comes into play.

Local business advertisers would be more willing to pay a commission per call, rather than a commission per ad or sale. They’d like you to find a high-quality lead and transfer it to them to close the deal.

Plus, local businesses count more on traditional marketing to generate leads.

Billboards, flyers, TV, and local newspapers may bring them better results as compared to online marketing.

How to start a pay per sale agency?

Let’s set up your pay per sale marketing agency now.

1. Research, Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning

As a pay per sale marketer, you’ve to do two types of research;

  1. To find your clients
  2. To find your clients’ clients (i.e., pay per sale leads)

The first type of research – you’ll have to do it only once and continue to improve it. The second type of research might be a new journey every time – until 2 to 5 years down the lane when you’ve got ample first-hand experience in most industries.

However, the process of both types of research is more or less the same.

1. Find a niche that:

  • Resonates with you (either you’re passionate about it and you’re willing to do the required research or have enough work experience in the industry)
  • Its numbers are promising enough. Use Google Trends, keyword research tools, industry news, and relevant social media platforms to assess the current demand and upcoming demand.

2. Research your customer by:

  1. Creating an inventory of interesting facts about your customers. Google terms like benefits of X, mistakes of X, why X, who should buy X, or who shouldn’t buy X. Replace X with your market/niche. This will give you solid insights about selling opportunities in your niche.
  2. Create a map of the customer journey, starting from first visit to purchase. It should include details as precise as visiting landing page X or receiving an email, or reacting to X’s social media post. 
  3. Study your own product/service to find your unique selling points and how they are useful for the customer.
  4. Create a Customer Magnet. This is a set of data that represents your customer’s emotional needs and circumstances. It helps you figure out the job you have to perform. And it will become the basis of your marketing material.

You can find downloadable templates and a detailed step-by-step guide for each of these steps in: How to get a strategic marketing edge

3. Determine your positioning

Reuse the research done in the previous step to decide where you want to stand in one year’s time and ten years’ time.

Ideally, have realistic estimates for 365 days. Expect less from yourself. Marketing is all about experience. You’re going to fail a lot, and you’re going to improve a lot. And this is going to take time.

But we highly recommend setting up BIG GOALS for 10 years down the lane.

To give you an idea, As a pay per sale marketing company, you can aim to position your business as a PPS agency in X niche that generates 100 sales per day per client.

4. Create a funnel

Now, you need to create a funnel. For this, you will need to develop an offer that not only resonates with your target audience but also prompts them to take action. This means that your offer should be compelling enough to move potential customers from the awareness stage to the consideration stage of the funnel.

The offer here typically refers to your marketing message, which initiates the customer journey. It could be an email, landing page, social media copy, SMS, or any other media.

As a pay per sale marketer, it will most likely be a blog post, landing page, or ad copy. Regardless of the form, the magic of your offer lies in its ability to:

  • Trigger interest in the customer
  • Highlight a pain point
  • Offer a solution
  • Build emotional momentum and include a clear call-to-action (CTA)

By doing so, you can compel potential customers to take action, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, scheduling a consultation, or making a purchase.

For example, if you’re a lead generator in the real estate niche, you can create an offer that highlights the pain point of not having enough leads to close a deal.

Then present your solution of generating high volumes of leads.

And finally, build emotional momentum by emphasizing how much money your clients can save by using your service. Your CTA could be to schedule a consultation or sign up for a free trial.

After crafting your offer, you need to target your customers based on your research. This means understanding your audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviors to effectively reach them. If your product or service solves a problem in more than one way, split-test your offers to see which one resonates better with your audience.

Split testing can help you optimize your funnel by identifying which offer is more effective, which audience segment responds best to which offer, and what changes you can make to improve the funnel’s performance.

5. Refine your audience

By this time, you will have ample data and a clear idea of what kind of customers you really want to come to you and stay.

Note that we do not have your business in full swing yet. We’re still doing the homework.

So, once you have that data and a clearer vision, segment your audience. Create sub-groups within your target audience. Clearly list what problems each group has and how exactly you solve their problems. Also, list the profitability of each group.

This will help you successfully personalize marketing campaigns on a 1:1 level for each customer that comes to you.

They’ll feel understood and heard, and you can run to the rescue! (read: secure sales) 🙂

6. Repeat to achieve the desired positioning

Repeat steps 1-5 to reach your positioning goals. Ideally, you want to laser focus your efforts on understanding who you are currently speaking to and who would you like to speak to.

Make changes to your offer and targeting to be able to speak to your golden candidates. More info on how to do this below!

💡Good to know

Initially, it’s best to focus on just one niche as a pay per sale marketer.

Once you master this niche and develop a sound understanding of how to go about customer acquisition, you can expand to more industries.

You can treat it like reverse market research.

2. Get traffic – Choose your Channel

You have the basic framework of your pay-per-sale marketing agency all figured out.

It’s time to scale and get more eyes👀

Choose an appropriate marketing channel to acquire traffic. A channel that can get you as many pay-per-sale leads as possible.

You can find this channel by figuring out where your audience is looking for you. For example, a real estate agent will be looking for a real estate pay-per-sale marketer on Google or LinkedIn. They won’t be searching for you on Pinterest or TikTok.

So, find that perfect channel for your business and adopt a pay-per-model that will back your pay-per-sale model.

For example, if you want to generate pay-per-sale leads from search engines, opt for pay-per-lead SEO.

If you want to generate PPS leads from ads on social media or search engine marketing, opt for pay-per-lead advertising.

Here are our detailed guides on both:

Browse these guides to lay the stepping stone to your major game; pay per sale marketing. These pay-per-models will lay the base and bring you traffic relevant to your business. You can present the offer as soon as this traffic comes to you and convert them to make a sale!

💰Tip: Work on at least two marketing channels simultaneously. It keeps you from losing your entire reach in case one channel crashes.

🚨 Problem: None of my web visitors show any signs of becoming potential customers. What should I do?✅ Solution: You need to figure out the problem in your marketing messages or your understanding of your ideal customer. Incorporate a LeadsHook quiz to extract this information from your current web visitor. Shoot us a message and we’ll guide you more on how to do that.

3. Capture Qualified Leads

Okay, so you have the framework. You know how to go about your business and build it.

And you have an established source of traffic. You’re getting lots of visits. Now, what? Where do you start?

You start where the visitor lands.

Are they landing on your homepage? Sales page? A blog post?

Wherever it is, you need to hold them enough on this page to get some answers from them. These answers will help you:

  1. Tally whether they belong to the type of customers you seek (i.e., qualify)
  2. Figure out where they are in the customer journey
  3. Figure out if they’re ready to buy or not

If the visitor appears ready to buy, send this lead to your client. Or direct them to the sales page where they make a purchase.

But the question is; how will you get these answers from your web visitors? A LeadsHook quiz.

Scroll down to learn how (and why) you must add it to your marketing funnel.

Now, it is true this adds an additional step to the short sales cycle of pay-per-sale marketing. But it’s the most efficient way for beginner pay-per-sale marketers.

In a perfect pay-per-sale marketing model, you will NOT have to put the prospect through a lead capture quiz or collect any information. The visitor will directly click a link or respond to a call and make a purchase.

But that happens rarely.

The truth is you will have to convince them a bit.

And in case the visitor doesn’t seem to be interested in an immediate purchase, you shouldn’t lose them just like that. You can gather their data, nurture them further, and convert them at a later point. They’re still a valuable asset to your lead generation business.

4. Use Pay Per Sale Software and Services

The last step is all about increasing the efficiency of your business. Increasing efficiency means you save time and make more profits.

To do so, you need two tools:

  • Pay Per Sale software
  • Payment processing service

There are several pay-per-sale software like Tune (formerly known as HasOffers), Cake, ClickBank, ShareASale, Everflow, and Post Affiliate Pro. These offer virtual office spaces for your PPS business, where you can:

  • Track sales and commissions in real-time
  • CRM integration to manage each customer
  • Study performance analytics and generate detailed reports
  • Customize commission structure
  • Fraud detection
  • Integrations for payment processing systems like PayPal, Stripe, and Skrill.

Of course, each software has different strengths and weaknesses. Choose one with an established positive reputation, robust tracking capabilities, reasonable payment threshold, and excellent customer service.

Having a good toolkit means you’ll have to worry less about manual tasks, increase the accuracy of your performance and data, and conveniently focus more on business activity.

There’s another tool that you can use to automate your personalized marketing efforts and THAT is the success magnet we mentioned earlier.

Let us now disclose its crazy good potential to you.

Win Pay Per Sale with LeadsHook: Refine, Test, Succeed

Okay so here’s the deal: it’s LeadsHook.

LeadsHook is the success magnet you NEED in pay-per-sale marketing.

Why exactly?

Well, the thing is LeadsHook is the ONLY lead generation tool that allows you to practice super personalized marketing at scale.

It does so by allowing you to create fun quizzes for your target audience. These quizzes are fun on the surface but strategic on the backend.

So, when you run them, you secure leads AND test your understanding of your ideal market. Once you have the responses, you can refine your messaging (at all points of the customer journey) and improve your marketing efforts for definite results.vbcvbvc

The best part is: the tool does not use any GENERIC template to build a decision tree for you. Instead, it uses human-fed knowledge. Now, where does that come from?


Or Team LeadsHook.

Feed the data once, and build a basic decision tree based on your understanding of your target audience, their pain points, interests, and desired solutions.

This, in turn, will draft a fun quiz based on your understanding of the customer journey. You can embed this quiz on sites where the prospect lands (sales page, blog posts, emails, etc.)

But if you’re short on time to execute the research process yourself or don’t find yourself very confident about your understanding of the market, you can leave the research process to us. We offer marketing services as well, where you only have to let us know what you want, and we’ll build a system for you using LeadsHook.

Incorporate it into your business and enjoy VISIBLE growth in profits every month. In return, you’ll be paying us only a small fee.

The best part? Sign up on LeadsHook right now, and your journey to success will START for FREE. 🙂

Get Higher Quality Leads

Article By

Romaisa Abbas

I’m a technical writer specializing in B2B SaaS. Other than tea, I’m mostly driven by my passion for innovation — if I’m not writing or studying, you’d most likely find me researching different industry subjects or on LinkedIn.

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