Resource Guide

How Unlock & Vibrant Performance Agency Achieved 740% Growth In Qualified Leads

Uncover the powerful affiliate marketing strategies that transformed Unlock and Vibrant Performance Agency's lead generation.

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Proven Success with Unlock & Vibrant Performance Agency

Explosive Lead Growth Through Affiliates

Unlock and Vibrant Performance Agency drove a 740% increase in qualified leads by utilizing innovative affiliate marketing strategies and publisher collaboration.

Precision Tracking and Reporting

The use of Everflow's platform enabled full lead journey tracking and optimized publisher payouts, enhancing transparency and motivation.

Learn About Strategic Partnerships

Vibrant's strong relationships with major finance publishers and the ability to scale through their premium network drove substantial reach and high-quality lead generation.

How Unlock & Vibrant Performance Agency Achieved 740% Growth  In Qualified Leads

Unlock is a pioneer in the Home Equity Agreement (HEA) space, which is a new way to obtain cash financing using the equity in your home. This convenient lifeline for homeowners has been rising in popularity, but as a new financing solution, it wasn’t fully understood by major finance publishers. When these major finance publishers were writing about Unlock, they lumped Unlock’s solution alongside debt-based home loans that weren’t comparable.

Unlock knew that they needed a direct line of communication with these major finance publishers to help guide the conversation around the unique value of a HEA and why it was different from debt-based home loans. They decided to work with Vibrant Performance agency, which has direct relationships to educate these publishers through a key publisher monetization channel: affiliate marketing.

Vibrant had the relationships in place to onboard these publishers into the affiliate marketing program and work with them to write about the value of HEA the right way. Scaling the affiliate program beyond article updates is harder for fintech solutions like Unlock as publishers and affiliates need to overcome unique challenges – the complex sales cycle can take over a month from the start to customers receiving financing.

To set up Unlock’s affiliates for success, Vibrant prioritized full lead attribution and visibility. They migrated their program from Impact to Everflow, so they could track and provide affiliates with reporting on the full lead journey, from account creation through the financial underwriting process. Vibrant Performance massively scaled Unlock’s affiliate program after switching to Everflow:

  • Direct relationships with major finance publishers & longtail affiliates.
  • Tracking lead journeys and aligning publisher payouts to successful financing events.

In this case study, we will break down how Unlock and Vibrant Performance employed these tactics to achieve 740% growth in qualified leads YoY.

Direct Relationships With Major Finance Publishers & Longtail Affiliates

The reason Unlock chose Vibrant was their specialty in the finance vertical. Affiliate management agencies particularly benefit from specialization as the more clients in a vertical they manage, the more they pay out to top affiliates, and the deeper those relationships become.

Since Vibrant already had tight relationships with top publishers that Unlock wanted to reach, they were able to get several publishers quickly launched with the Unlock affiliate program, including: Benzinga, Forbes Advisor, and Consumer Affairs.

When activating these publishers as affiliates in Unlock’s program, Vibrant provides them with both education on the offering and relevant content for guiding publishers to update existing articles and craft new content.

With a clear understanding of the earning opportunities from Unlock, publishers were directly incentivized to update the existing content and highlight the benefit of Unlock’s HEA offering in contrast to the existing interest-based home equity loan offerings they were already promoting.

Now that the essential brand and product marketing awareness goals were achieved with major finance publishers, Vibrant could focus on the other goal of scaling qualified leads that drive revenue growth.

Vibrant had three secret weapons for achieving this 740% lead growth:

1. Tested & Refined Creatives On Their O&O Financial Website, The Money Manual

Vibrant needed to make sure their content and creatives were landing with Unlock’s multi-stage offering & target audiences. Vibrant used their own website as a testing ground to experiment with messaging and find what drove the highest conversion rates. Only after creatives were proven, were they rolled out to their affiliates, which need to see success quickly to scale promotions.

2. Scaled To 1000s Of Influencers & Media Buyers With Their Network, Aragon Premium

As mentioned, agency vertical specialization is uniquely valuable in affiliate marketing because the more existing managed brands are already paying out to affiliates, the easier it is to convince those affiliates to try out a new client’s offer.

Vibrant takes this a step further by establishing their own network of influencers and media buyers who have previously demonstrated success with financial offerings. With their premium network, Vibrant was able to provide massive reach, as well as the benefits of full transparency and accountability for sources.

3. Expanded To Non-Traditional Offline Affiliates

Everflow’s platform capability to track the full lifecycle journey of leads and pay their partners at any stage opens up whole new worlds of partnerships. This detailed and customizable setup allows Vibrant to grow unconventional affiliates, like licensed real estate brokers.

By using an all-in-one partner marketing platform like Everflow, Vibrant can continue to find new avenues of growth for Unlock and provide substantial value across all of them.

Tracking Lead Journeys & Aligning Publisher Payouts To Successful Financing Events

Long sales cycles make affiliate programs particularly tricky, as affiliates need to get paid quickly and the brand needs to make sure those leads are actually generating revenue to back it up. Vibrant tackled this issue head on by educating their affiliates, tracking full lead journeys using Everflow, and reviewing rejected leads with affiliates.

Education drives better performance

To make sure the payout structure is fully understood, Vibrant does education sessions with all newly-onboarded affiliates on the product, the full lead flow, and the opportunity of an $8 average EPC (Earnings Per Click) for sending good traffic.

Transparency into user journey leads to more engagement

Vibrant provides transparency with Everflow’s tracking and reporting on the user journey from start to finish. Affiliates can see the progression from the clicks they send through reported events, including: Account Created, Application Completed, Documents Delivered, and Underwriting Submitted. This allows Unlock’s affiliates to earn more revenue by seeing the effectiveness of their traffic sources and optimizing towards the placements/articles that consistently deliver high-quality leads.

Event tracking increases motivation and aligns payouts

This transparency into the user journey gives Vibrant the ability to pay out based on different events. For example, they can speed up payouts for high-quality media buyer affiliates by paying on the first stage of the user journey, or pay out large sums to their licensed realtor partners at the completion of the financing process.

The nature of the affiliate business is that affiliates take on the risk of time, effort, and cost to promote a brand. If they don’t see earnings quickly, they won’t keep promoting an offer. Using deep reporting from Everflow, Vibrant shares the exact reasons why leads were disqualified to help their affiliates understand why they may not be earning as much as they would expect and where to optimize their traffic to earn more.

Direct Communication ensures future success

Vibrant doesn’t only rely on affiliates reviewing their own reporting. Vibrant regularly hops on calls with their affiliates to walk through the good leads, disqualified leads, and help the affiliate understand where their traffic sources can earn them more revenue, and what sources they should stop sending. Rather than the binary of an offer performing or not performing, Vibrant keeps the affiliate clued in on how they can focus on traffic sources that boost their earnings, ensuring partners remain active and Unlock gets the highest-quality leads. 

Cementing Affiliate Marketing As Essential For FinTech

Vibrant Performance and Unlock’s work together showcases the effectiveness of affiliate marketing for finance solutions – harnessing relationships with major publishers and leveraging Everflow's deep platform data to drive significant growth. The 740% increase in qualified leads year-over-year for Unlock is not just a number—it's a narrative of using visible insights to grow the right partners.

Vibrant’s acute understanding of the finance vertical, relationships with high-quality affiliates, and ability to meticulously track the full user journey using Everflow created a conducive environment for growth. This environment enabled more effective affiliate engagement and an aligned payout structure, enhancing the quality and volume of leads flowing to Unlock.

With results like these, it’s a call to brands and marketers to build meaningful partnerships, track the user’s journey for data-driven strategies, and continually develop new channels for both engagement and expansion.

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