Every dollar you spend on online advertising must produce maximal returns.

The Pay-per-click pricing model is unfriendly to advertisers trying to grow their businesses during a recession. Why should you have to pay for people that never sign up on your landing page?

Through pay-per-lead (PPL) advertising, marketers only pay when an interested visitor signs up for their offers. PPL advertising is the most cost-effective way of getting leads to grow your customer database, newsletter list or community site. You may be in wonder, the fact is, that with 71% year-to-year growth, online lead generation is the fastest growing segment in internet advertising.

However, even in a PPL campaign, advertisers need to do everything possible to ensure that they receive only qualified leads at the lowest possible cost. There are four necessary elements that form a successful PPL campaign.

First, openness - you should be able to work with publishers from one place to simplify your campaign setup and management. Doing more with less is critical during a downturn.

Next is transparency - know exactly where your offers run, to allow you to optimize your campaign by lead source and boost returns.

Uniqueness is also key element. To ensure high relevancy, leads must be unique to your brand and not resold to multiple advertisers.

Last, follow up on your leads in real time to reach interested consumers as soon as possible.

Marketing in a recession requires a sharp focus on maximizing returns. Don't pay for unseen advertising, wasted clicks or deleted e-mails. PPL pricing models allows you get returns on every advertising dollar you spend.