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Advertise on Sites Like NerdWallet as a Fintech or Bank: How to Get Started

Danielle Lauzon

Danielle Lauzon

Client Services Director
  • Last Updated: February 12, 2024

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If you’re a financial services company doing research on how to advertise on large comparison sites like NerdWallet, then you may be:

  • Trying to understand how NerdWallet works and how to get your foot in the door.
  • Setting up your affiliate marketing program and exploring a potential partnership with NerdWallet. 

The NerdWallet website gets 21 million monthly visitors looking for financial advice and ranks for key consumer phrases such as “best credit cards” and “top bank accounts.”


If you’re a financial services company selling to consumers, the exposure from NerdWallet’s website can be transformational for the growth of your company and brand awareness. 

But what’s the best way to partner with NerdWallet? Is it easy to get on their website? And is it even the right publisher for your company to partner with?

As an affiliate marketing agency, platform and network specializing in the fintech and banking space, we’ve helped many of our financial services clients get exposure and work with NerdWallet (and the many other sites out there like theirs).

In this article, we’ll be answering those questions and covering topics such as: 

  1. When does it make sense to work with NerdWallet? 
  2. What are the different ways to work with NerdWallet?
  3. How to start working with NerdWallet
  4. Why and when it makes sense to work with a platform and agency like Fintel Connect
  5. How we helped Live Oak Bank grow approved accounts by 420% through partnerships with sites like NerdWallet

Want to get started working with affiliates like NerdWallet right away? Reach out to us and discover how we can help you.

When does it make sense to work with NerdWallet?

If you’re exploring affiliate marketing for the first time, it’s important to first consider whether you’re actually ready to take on a partner like NerdWallet. 

NerdWallet is selective and has hundreds of brands that approach it for partnerships and to get featured. But there are a few things to look out for to know if it’s the right time to partner with NerdWallet:

1. Do you have the budget? 

Sites like NerdWallet can drive considerable volumes, which means you need to be able to handle the volume and the spend that come with it. Committing to that kind of substantive and extended spending is the first aspect you need to ensure before approaching them.

2. Do you have a product they’re already talking about? 

You need a compelling, competitive product to succeed on NerdWallet.

If you’re still building up your product or haven’t yet found product-market fit, then wait until your offering is stronger before reaching out to them. They may not even consider you until you have a stronger product.

But, if you notice that NerdWallet is already talking about your product, this will most likely make approaching them easier. Though how they present your product may not be entirely to your liking.

3. Does your product convert well?

Sites like NerdWallet want to recommend good quality products they believe in to their audiences.

When they send their audiences to your site, they want to know that it’s a quality experience where there won’t be a lot of drop off.

If you’re seeing a low conversion rate, maybe fix up your experience before engaging a site like NerdWallet.

4. Can you handle large volumes? 

It’s important to make sure you can sustain the volumes that a larger publisher like NerdWallet can drive.

This means having the right funnels and workflows (and sales team capacity where relevant) to make sure no leads are being left to go cold or drop off in the funnel. 

Before approaching NerdWallet, ensure your sales funnel can handle the traffic, capture new leads and turn visitors into clients. 

 

If your brand gets the opportunity to work with a site like  NerdWallet, it means you’ve really nailed your “why us”.

If your product isn’t powerful enough to feature among top competitors, then you may not be ready to work with NerdWallet.

You may want to work with up-and-coming or more niche affiliate partners or even an agency that can help guide you (as you continue to find product-market fit) to know not just when the time is right but even if they’re the right partner. 

However, if you can say yes to the above questions, then read on to see how to partner with NerdWallet. 

What are the different ways to work with affiliates like NerdWallet?

In our experience, there are various ways to partner with publishers like NerdWallet so you’ll want to be strategic in your approach. Here are a few examples of possible campaigns you can inquire about. 

Sponsor a newsletter or content piece

With this approach, you pay NerdWallet a specific upfront fee, and in exchange, the NerdWallet team will send out an email or publish an article promoting your product. 

NerdWallet sponsored email example
Image source: NerdWallet

The benefit of this approach is that for a fixed, reliable fee you know you’ll get in front of a certain number of prospects. It’s also very easy to set up, since it’s just a section in an email.

The downside is that this email marketing or content approach can be quite expensive without guaranteed results. You’re only paying for exposure and are not paying per CPA (Cost Per Acquisition).

As we’ll see below, other approaches like affiliate marketing are a lot more cost effective since you only pay on a performance basis. 

Form a strategic partnership

This approach is not available for all financial services companies or startups, and is reserved for a select number of financial products.

With a strategic partnership, NerdWallet can embed your product or user flow into their website powered by your financial institution, if it benefits their users.

The benefit of such integrations is that the user experience is smoother and more congruent for customers, decreasing drop off rates or increasing deposit sizes. 

The downside is that this is a lot more complex to integrate.

You’ll need an internal product team that can dedicate resources to setting this up. And of course, this is a partnership that has to make sense for NerdWallet as well.

 

Advertise on NerdWallet - Credit score example
Image source: NerdWallet

Pay per customer acquired with affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the most common form of partnership with affiliate sites like NerdWallet.

Affiliate marketing is a practice whereby publishers (like NerdWallet) partner with companies and promote their products in exchange for a cost per acquisition (CPA) for referred customers.

For example, if a customer clicks from an article on NerdWallet and goes on to apply and get approved for your product, you’ll pay NerdWallet a cost per action (typically an approved account) for that successful referral.

Read more: The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing for Your Bank: Expanding Reach and Maximizing Results

Since you’re only paying based on results and performance, affiliate marketing can be a powerful channel for financial institutions and banks to scale. 

The benefit of working with NerdWallet with an affiliate marketing model is that their sheer high number of traffic and leads can quickly scale your product and get you a huge number of customers and deposits.

The downside is that it can still get expensive. In some cases, certain affiliates may ask to work on a higher CPA (because they can) or a cost per click (CPC) basis instead of CPA if that’s their preferred model or if they aren’t familiar with your brand. 

This can get expensive if you don’t see sufficient volume of conversions come through from the campaign. 

As we’ll see below, many smaller or more niche publishers may often be a much better fit for your company if you don’t have the budget or ability to scale.

How to start advertising on NerdWallet

If you’ve done some research already, you’ll know there isn’t always a straightforward way to know how to initiate a partnership with publishers like NerdWallet, since there often isn’t much information on partnerships on their website.

The best way to get started is to reach the right people on the NerdWallet team and start a conversation.

Before you reach out, you want to make sure you have in mind which approach  you want to lead with, how you want to work with them, and also have a solid understanding of your own product and numbers. 

Or, maybe NerdWallet is already writing about you. Now what do you do? Here are a few options for both scenarios.

1. Send a PR pitch to an editor

NerdWallet is editorially driven, which means the company has a team of editors whose job is to search the market for interesting financial products for customers and write a review on them.

Therefore, one approach to advertise on NerdWallet is to send press releases to their editors with the hope that they’ll pick up your product and write about it.

However, keep in mind that editorial teams do not manage business partnerships. So, while they may be a good way to get on NerdWallet’s radar, it doesn’t mean they’ll be the right team to help with facilitating links and promotions.

If you send a well crafted PR pitch to their editors, your product may get picked up. However, there’s no denying that you’re not guaranteed to get their attention.

This is assuming you aren’t organically mentioned on their site. If you are, congratulations! If you want to amplify your exposure, read on to number two.

2. Reach out to key contacts on LinkedIn

If you are set on having a business relationship with NerdWallet, then you’ll need to reach out to the person who is responsible for partnerships.

In this case, the best is to do some research on NerdWallet’s website and LinkedIn, and reach out to them in the hopes they’ll be open to having a discussion.

Again, it could take a while before you find the right person.

3. Work with an affiliate agency

Another option is to not go directly to NerdWallet, and instead work with them via a third party affiliate platform and agency.

You can join a platform like Impact, which is a platform that lists thousands of publishers for you to partner with, including NerdWallet.

The issue with this approach is that you are one of thousands of brands on the platform, which means you may not be able to get their attention and then build the trust to work with them.

Affiliate platforms like Impact won’t do PR pitches for brands, so you’ll still have to do all the outreach yourself. It can also take a while to get through all the hoops to get onboarded as a partner.

Why and when it makes sense to work with a specialized affiliate platform and agency like Fintel Connect

None of the options above guarantee that you’ll be able to partner with a publisher like NerdWallet.

Most importantly, you may spend time and resources in the pursuit, and then realize they might not be the right partner for you due to budget or product reasons.

This is part of the reason we set up Fintel Connect: we’re an agency, network, platform and compliance tool all in one, and we specialize in helping financial services companies grow with affiliate marketing.

We power the affiliate programs of banks, such as Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank and CIBC, and fintechs, like Ramp and Neo Financial.

We’ve helped many of our clients get onto NerdWallet, and we have a very good relationship with the company.

In fact, we work hard to achieve  preferable rates or potential exclusive opportunities with sites like NerdWallet Canada as their preferred partner.

Here are a few reasons it makes sense to partner with a specialized agency like Fintel Connect to advertise on publisher sites like NerdWallet:

We can get you set up on NerdWallet a lot more quickly

The first benefit is the most obvious: we know what needs to get done to be on NerdWallet and your brand’s odds of qualifying.

By working with us, you won’t have to waste time looking for contacts, emailing the wrong people and doing endless follow-ups, especially if your brand is not the right fit for NerdWallet (and vice versa).

When we work with a financial services company, we navigate the whole process : we’ll advise you on which product you should promote with NerdWallet and we’ll tell you what the likely prerequisites for minimum monthly spend are before you commit to it.

This means you’ll get a sense of what budget you need to commit to before taking any steps with the team. If you do decide to go ahead, we will know which route is best to take depending on the situation.

If your product is not editorially picked up by NerdWallet already, we’ll do the PR pitches for you.

If you have a strong product, we’ll be able to go through our business contacts that can help make the case to editors. And if not, we can help you capture editors’ attention and get a conversation started.

Our eventual goal with clients is to get you on the NerdWallet list of partners. That way NerdWallet considers you holistically and not for the one product we’ve pitched, which accelerates the value you get when working with them as a publisher.

We’ll advise you on the best way forward (even if that means not working with NerdWallet)

NerdWallet is one of the best known personal finance websites, so it’s natural for you to want to advertise on their website.

But the truth is, NerdWallet may not be the right fit for your company, based on your budget, product and stage in your marketing journey.

As we’ve mentioned, to work with this giant in the personal finance space, you need to have the budget for their higher commission rates and minimum monthly spend, as well as have a large customer acquisition team to handle the volume.

You also need to have a competitive product and a strong digital onboarding journey that minimizes drop-offs. 

Depending on your situation, it’s very possible we’ll recommend you to look for other high-quality strategic publisher partners where you’ll still be able to see great results.

Think of sites like Millennial Money, Finance Buzz and Moneywise to name a few. There are thousands of partners out there, and if you find one you’re interested in, there’s a very likely chance they’ll be on our platform. 

When we work with you, we’ll take a holistic look at your product, marketing and budget and give you guidance on the best way forward.

If we know that it’ll be too difficult to work with NerdWallet, we’ll let you know and point you in the right direction, saving you time and effort as we work on your behalf behind the scenes to increase your odds.

We’ll help you get your whole affiliate marketing program up and running

As mentioned earlier, we specialize in helping financial services companies set up and scale their affiliate marketing programs from start to finish. 

If you’re looking into NerdWallet, chances are you’re looking to partner with other publications as well. Finding and managing affiliate partners like NerdWallet can take up a lot of time and resources.

When you start to have more than 5-10 affiliate partners, managing it all from a spreadsheet can be a nightmare (not to mention making sure they’re all performing and staying compliant).

You might also want to use a well-known platform like Impact, but then you’ll still need to hire an external agency to manage those relationships, which can add complexity and also increase costs.

With Fintel, you only need to work with one partner for all your affiliate marketing needs: we’ll assess your product, needs and goals, and help you build an affiliate marketing program and marketing strategy that is a good fit for your company and product.

We’re also an affiliate network platform that only works in the financial services industry, which means you’ll be able to find thousands of publishers on our platform that have experience with financial services products and that may be more likely to be open to working with you.

Finally, we have marketing compliance tools focused on financial services to help you monitor your affiliate partners and ensure they are adhering to your messaging.

Since our platform focuses on financial services, we have unique features and functionalities, such as being able to filter publishers by credit score:

publisher invitations fintech affiliate program
You can filter publishers by financial attributes such as credit score rating.

 

performance report fintech affiliate program
You can easily see a breakdown of your publishers and their results.

How we helped Live Oak Bank get on affiliate sites like NerdWallet and grow their approved accounts by 420%

Live Oak Bank is a digitally focused, FDIC insured bank that serves retail and small business customers in the US.

They offer high-yield savings and CD products for retail and business customers as well as small business loans.

In 2022, we worked with the Live Oak team to put together an engaged mix of partners to uncover the top performing affiliates, all while ensuring that campaigns are compliant. One of those was NerdWallet.

Live oak bank review on NerdWallet
Image source: NerdWallet

By partnering with large publishers like NerdWallet, Live Oak Bank saw conversions from affiliate marketing grow month over month by 68% and 95% after their launch.

Within the first 6 months, they worked with 30+ partners and had:

  • An 80% lower direct average acquisition spend for deposits 
  • A 420% increase in approved account volumes 
  • Much higher quality accounts and account balances compared to other paid channels. 

Now, affiliate marketing is a core contributor to Live Oak Bank’s growth strategy.

Read the case study in more detail here: Driving 420% growth via new accounts – uncover Live Oak Bank’s winning formula

Advertising on NerdWallet: Pick the right option for your budget

In this article, we’ve covered the different ways to partner and reach out to sites like NerdWallet.

We’ve also explained how we at Fintel help financial services companies get on NerdWallet, and why we also advise when it may or may not make sense for the company.

Although NerdWallet is one of the biggest top tier publishers in financial services, it doesn’t mean it’s the right publisher for your company, as it depends on your product, budget and the stage you’re at with affiliate marketing.

If you’re not sure what would work best for you, feel free to reach out and set up a call with us.

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