LeadDyno has a pretty classic origin story. No, not the one about the garage—the other one. The one where a founder was trying to start one business, ran into a problem which the free market couldn’t solve, and so developed some solution to the problem. And what do you know? That invention turned out to be so valuable, plans for the original idea were scrapped in favor of this quasi-accidental discovery.
A variation of that is the story of LeadDyno’s beginnings. Two of its founders, Carson Gross and Brett Owens, needed a way to do affiliate marketing at scale for another of their startups but were unable to find any tools that suited their needs. Carson knew Mike Machado, who he’d also been talking with about doing some kind of project together. With stars and their motivations aligned, the three bootstrapped their way to launching LeadDyno into a successful SaaS business.
Since its launch in 2014, LeadDyno has grown steadily. By 2020, the company has more than 2,000 customers whose affiliates have made over 78 million referrals, generating more than $200 million in sales. Probably the biggest sale LeadDyno has generated, though, was the one of itself to SureSwift Capital. SureSwift specializes in buying up-and-coming promising SaaS companies, with the intention of growing them—not flipping them for a quick profit or tax write-off—so this sale is an indication of LeadDyno’s enviable position in the market.
A large part of their success comes from the platform’s ability to go beyond simple affiliate management and tracking. LeadDyno goes a step further, treating affiliates as extensions of your marketing team and keeping them up to date on new products and other news. For affiliates, they may view their referrals as passive income: set it up and let it do its thing. LeadDyno gives e-commerce brands the tools to help affiliates understand otherwise, a simple yet mighty difference from its competitors.
Part of LeadDyno’s success can be attributed to the fact it’s a tool that can be used by businesses of any size. All features are available at all levels—the different subscription plans are tiered by the traffic to your site (measured in unique visitors). There are four different options:
- Starter, $49/mo — For websites with up to 3,000 unique visitors per month; visitor, lead, and conversion tracking; unlimited affiliates; e-mail and live chat support
- Plus, $129/mo — Same as above for up to 15,000 unique visitors
- Pro, $349/mo — Same as above for up to 100,000 unique visitors, plus custom domain and the LeadDyno branding removed from the site.
- Premium, $749/mo — Same as above for up to 500,000 unique visitors, plus concierge setup, an account manager and priority support.
Looking at what you can do with LeadDyno, you can see what a well thought out piece of software it is. It’s very thorough, with every aspect of affiliate marketing management considered, from setting up a recruiting/signup portal to managing commissions to bulk payouts to true marketing initiatives. It’s those marketing tools, along with a couple dozen integrations, that really make the difference.
First things first, you’ll need to connect your account to whichever e-commerce platform you’re using. Maybe not “whichever,” but LeadDyno covers all the big ones so chances are you’re using one of them: Shopify, Stripe, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, Paypal, and Ecwid. Next is to configure your affiliate portal, and this is where you start to see the extra lengths LeadDyno went to. As far as the aesthetic of the portal, you have the option of choosing from color templates, entering the hex codes of your specific brand colors, or even dropping custom CSS in.
The portal is where your affiliates log in, get their custom links, and track their conversions and commissions. With LeadDyno, you can also create a repository of resources for them: shareable content that they can post to social media, as well different banners ads for their websites, which are deployed with copy-and-pasteable HTML that already include their individual referral links. This is one of a few touches where you can see LeadDyno really focusing on the “marketing” part of “affiliate marketing.”
Elsewhere on the platform, there are tools for creating automated email drip campaigns—for both affiliates and customers—as well as newsletters for affiliates keeping them informed of the latest news, product launches, and promotions. These emails can be kicked off according to triggers you define—like a new affiliate signup—or simply on a scheduled basis. For all of them, there’s a WYSIWYG editor that allows you to create your own custom templates with variables (like someone’s name or a link to their dashboard) for a truly set-it-and-forget-it experience. For affiliate newsletters, LeadDyno will keep an archive of them, all of which will be available in the affiliate portal—so new affiliates will have access to older issues as soon as their logged in.
At setup time, you’ll also create commission structures (though you can also update and add new ones at any time later). Payouts aren’t just limited to a commission of sales. They can be, if that’s all you want to pay on, but you’ll also have the option to offer incentives to your affiliates for sending you leads, increasing traffic to your website, converting new customers, as well as product-specific commissions and bonuses. There’s also a multilevel marketing feature which makes it very easy to manage payouts to your affiliates’ affiliates.
The options continue, allowing you to set payments as sales percentages or flat-fees; in the case of percentages LeadDyno calculates it based on the product sales, leaving taxes and shipping out of the equation. You’re also given a lot of flexibility over the pay schedule, and setting the minimum amount of time that must pass between a sale and commission eligibility. This is to ensure that you’re not paying commissions on returned items or cancelled sales. And for all of these, you can place your affiliates into different categories so that they’re paid appropriate to their role.
LeadDyno doesn’t just track individual performance. You can also set up tracking campaigns. Whether it’s for a sale or just fishing for email signups, the platform creates a trackable link for each campaign, which you can use to understand which channels are working for you. And it’s also giving analytics about all your site traffic—where your visitors are coming from, what page they’re looking at, and when they looked at it, for example. Whenever your site collects an email address without a purchase, they’re added into LeadDyno as a lead and can be added to one of your automated email campaigns.
Apart from the supported commerce platforms mentioned e-commerce platforms, LeadDyno developed several other integrations with popular apps and Saas solutions.
On the marketing side of things, if you’ve already got email campaigns going with Mailchimp or Aweber, LeadDyno’s integrations will sync the contact information of any new leads and affiliates to them automatically. If you want those contacts to push over to another CRM tool, this can be done with the integrations with Hubspot, ZohoCRM, and Infusionsoft by Keap.
You don’t just need your affiliates pushing customers to an online shop. LeadDyno also works with platforms that manage subscription services and subscription boxes. As such, you can track all your affiliate activity with Chargebee, Chargify, Cratejoy, Recharge, and Recurly.
And, not landing in a specific category are these miscellaneous integrations.
- Klaviyo — Captures leads and affiliates from LeadDyno into Kalviyo and market via SMS
- Slack — Configure notifications of events to appear in Slack
- Coinbase — If you want to pay your affiliates in crypto instead of cash, you’ll do it with this integration
- Zapier — Don’t see an integration with whatever other software you’re using? You can probably do it with Zapier as the go-between.
- JotForm — You can create affiliate signups with JotForm instead, if you like, and have the work with LeadDyno
Having been at it for nearly eight years, it’s no surprise that LeadDyno is among the leaders of the affiliate marketing platforms. It goes beyond the basics to be nearly a full scale e-commerce marketing platform. The way customers can upload all sorts of content and marketing collateral, and involve their affiliates beyond simply giving them tracking links takes the software up a notch. With a thorough setup and configuration, users can just let LeadDyno do its thing without intervention. And with its automated recruiting of affiliates—inviting customers after a purchase—combined with automated marketing, e-commerce sellers can sit back and see their affiliate network and sales continue to grow.