Aside from the fact that affiliate marketing can be a profitable business, it can also be a lucrative source of fraud. With this in mind, it’s essential that affiliates have a strong protection system. While there are a number of methods to combat fraud, the most effective are the ones that utilize raw data. This is because fraudsters are adept at coming up with new schemes that can work around your fraud-prevention measures. In addition, affiliates can develop in-house tools to fight fraud.
Identifying fraud is not an easy task. If you have a solid system in place, a small team of employees can quickly detect and report fraud. It may take a while to identify the actual perpetrator, however. Therefore, it is important to monitor the performance of your ad campaigns for unusual changes.
For instance, an affiliate’s conversion rate can tell you a lot about whether or not the campaign is successful. Affiliates who convert at a higher rate raise a red flag. Similarly, a sudden spike in traffic can indicate that the affiliate is using fraud.
Some fraudsters use bots to generate ad views and clicks. They can use a stolen credit card to install an app, or they can falsify customer information. Using fraudulent traffic in pay per click campaigns can be a devastating way to sabotage an advertiser’s ROI.
When determining the origin of the lead, it’s important to check referring URLs. Checking your affiliate’s brand alignment is also a good idea. Look for sites that are scraping content from legitimate publishers. Then, review the sites’ metrics and Alexa rankings. Also, ask your affiliate to send you screenshots of their promoting sites. These types of data can be incredibly useful when it comes to recognizing suspicious affiliates.
Depending on the type of affiliate program you use, your provider should provide fraud prevention features. Such features include fraud detection tools that analyze activity logs in advance. This affiliate marketing fraud protection allows the program administrator to catch suspicious activities.
Fraud detection tools can also help prevent click-level fraud. These techniques reduce bot traffic and filter non-earmarked traffic. Other features include geolocation and device fingerprinting. You should also look for links that redirect to a site that does not promote your brand.
In order to protect your program, it’s also important to ensure that your affiliates comply with the terms and conditions of your program. In the event that an affiliate breaks any of the terms, you must terminate the program immediately. Additionally, you should set a due date for compliance. Keeping these details in place will ensure that your honest affiliates are on the right track.
Finally, be sure that your affiliates are aware of any changes to your program’s terms. Whether it’s a change in the ad campaign’s terms, a new platform or a change in the payout, it’s always important to communicate these changes to your affiliates. This is especially true if your affiliates are located in an emerging market.