Wednesday, February 06, 2008

LendingTree Affiliate Program To be Shut Down

LendingTree Affiliate Program participants got the below email today announcing (for most) an end of the CJ Affiate program. Although the email states that the program's cancellation may be temporary it speaks volumes about the current status of the mortgage lead marketplace: Strong consumer demand matched with tepid lender appetite.

Dear Publishers,
Due to the recent Federal Reserve rate reduction
announcements, the mortgage market has dramatically changed and a surge in the
volume of mortgage requests have caused LendingTree to reach its capacity.
As a result of this change, the LendingTree affiliate program will continue to
exist as an “invitation only” program. This means we will be contacting specific
affiliates to remain in the program. Unless you are personally contacted,
your LendingTree account will expire on February 13, 2008.
We hope to welcome you back into the program in the coming months once market conditions improve. Thank you for working diligently to promote the LendingTree brand and I hope you will consider LendingTree again.

Meanwhile, as of today LeadMarketWatch shows LendingTree having one of the worst conversion rates. For certain, at a 5.69% average 30 day application rate, LendingTree network lenders can't be making much money. Blame affiliates? Outpacing LendingTree are short-form affiliate fueled vendors such as LeadPoint, LowerMyBills and Quinstreet. Blame market conditions? LeadMarketWatch data shows only the individual conversion rates on leads sold to lenders, and in a refinance fueled market conversion rates should be shooting upwards, not drifting down. Something is wrong at LendingTree. One can hope that with Lebda back keeping shop, there is a plan behind all of this.


Anonymous said...

Crazy. So now a bunch of affiliates may stop their operations, and in 12-24 months when the market dries up again perhaps we'll see a premium on lead prices? Almost makes me want to jump in as a mortgage affiliate now while every bails out, in order to be on time to the party next go round!

Anonymous said...

Looks like some potential extra income if you do your advertising right