The false conversion

Sometimes, when i decide to test a CPS offer (sometimes happens with CPA offers too) i get an impressive conversion rate, but only on the 1st day.

This happened to me with

– BustedTees $7
– Neutrogena SkiniD $26.25
– IMVU (CPA) $1.40

After the 1st day the conversion rate was really poor.

Now i’m wondering if some advertisers are simply pushing affiliates to send them tons of targeted traffic..

User Comment:
Well there’s no one answer for every advertiser, but just about every merchant CPS or CPL are inflating their profits with real time scrub these days. I’ve never seen the level of real time scrub there is today, and most affiliates who do any decent numbers see the same thing, it’s really a matter of how much a merchant can get away with and still get shitloads of traffic.

If they can scrub 25% and still hit their cap everyday with all their publishers, why the fuck wouldn’t they?

Smart merchants generally have a low scrub or even no scrub for any new publisher id’s and sometimes even by sub id so your first day/few days will generally always be your highest EPC.

Every advertisers setup is a little different, some are automated so that regardless of your traffic quality, the scrub comes in certain increments per day and your EPC will drop and level off somewhere, others are actually based on lead quality which is a little more forgivable but still in my mind fraudulent, where your scrub is based solely on how your leads/sales are backing out for the advertiser. If your traffic sucks, big scrub, usually leading to you being paused entirely anyway but only after they sucked some free sales from you first, if it’s good traffic, less scrub to encourage you to send more and more.

The advertised "payout" has always been kind of a joke, but now more than ever. Email submits are the easiest example since at this point just about everyone has realized that there is no such thing as $1.50 payout, it generally always averages out to about 9 cents per lead if your full conversions were actually being counted.

Most advertisers heavily factor the scrub into their business model before the offer is even launched. Email submits are obviously run on a shady model so no one was ever surprised to learn the truth however big brands like neutrogena are no different, they maximize profits just like everyone else.

Real time scrub, partials, tracking cookie/pixel malfunction, phone sales, etc, are all tools used by pretty much everyone out there to cut that advertised "payout" by in some cases a huge percentage.

There are certainly advertisers that don’t scrub even though most of them run offers that don’t convert anyway but then of course we all know that many networks add their own scrub in on the party to take a little extra piece of the cake for themselves and inflate their own earnings and just by using a network and adding another layer of tracking cookies and pixels, that only adds more lead droppage to the equation.

In the end, as an affiliate you’re only real choice is whether it’s still profitable to run the campaign or not, but oh wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if we got paid for every single lead and sale we’ve ever sent.

The reality is this business is pretty shady on just about every front but as much as we can all complain about all the bullshit, most affiliates would do the same thing as advertisers and they certainly do as more and more new advertisers are former affiliates.

There is also the argument that "merchants have to scrub" because of all the affiliate fraud and low quality advertising/false claims. This of course isn’t true at all but it makes a great false justification for shady business practices.

I guess the moral of the story for anyone just getting started is always watch your numbers consistently and never place a huge bet on an initial EPC or advertiser you’ve never worked with prior. It’s easy to see stars with a big EPC and jack a campaign way up thinking you’ve found the gravy train, only to wake up the next morning hundreds or thousands of dollars poorer.

User Comment:
I will add to this……you can def try to clear things up front with the network/advertiser …..with things like segmenting out your traffic with additional tracking variables at the network level…if the network has the offer direct and they have set the offer up right you can get very good feedback….such as…

subid2=xxxx ….that traffic is shit…..don’t run that….

I find that taking the time to make these connections with the network/advertiser can be the dif between a successful camp or one that dies out in a week…..course this isn’t gonna happen on a email submit most cases….but on most other lead gen it can work wonders……

and networks love the fact your transparent….atleast thats what I have found….

every case is diff…..

User Comment:
Honestly i’m feeling a little demotivated atm
I’ve run and optimized 2 FB campaigns in the last 7 days
Both had nice CR but low CTR in the first 3 days, so ‘ve optimized them (improved CTR of images) in order to get cheaper clicks
Now that i have less expensive clicks (0.13 for dating in france and 0.12 for a Pet related offer in US) i get no conversion,
so i’ve had to paused both instead of reducing the initial loss and trying to get a positive ROI

Yesterday i got approved in Peerfly,
don’t know if their conversion rate (generally speaking) is better than Neverblue, but i doubt it.

User Comment:
there is a reason that in this industry there is the term "lead carrot"

User Comment:
@ Dario work with networks you trust. The kind where you know if they rip you off you can kick your rep in the nuts at the next show.

At the same time its sometimes the advertiser that fucks you over, so if you’re doing serious volume GO DIRECT.

Moral of the story:
1. work with networks you trust
2. kick them in the balls
3. all else fails go direct

The Article Published IN 10-06-2011 09:54 AM

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