I received this question over the weekend in a email and thought I would just post my answer incase anyone else was curious 😉
Shoe I hear the term scrubbing leads all the time what does it mean?
Ahh the dark side of Affiliate Marketing. To put it bluntly scrubbing leads is basically when a affiliate company/CPA Network decides they are going to steal from their Affiliates. Its generally a percentage. Like say 3-5% of your leads that come in they just drop and keep for themselves. This used to be done a lot more in the past. Also its not only just your affiliate company to blame. Sometimes its the actual advertiser that could be scrubbing leads or in the worse case BOTH! Fortunately the problem today is not nearly as bad as it was but its still there.
Flycell Ringtones for an example has been rumored for a LONG time to scrub leads. They offer the highest payouts.. seriously. I will just give you my experience with Flycell. In the past with our volume we have gotten up to $19 per lead from them. YET we only averaged $1.75 EPC (earnings per click) from them but with a $15 Blinko offer we are getting $2.10 EPC. This does not compute eh? and this is across the board on all carriers so either they are scrubbing leads or they just have tracking issues… either way its not good. Now in this situation I am pretty sure its not the CPA networks I think its just a Flycell scrubbing/tracking issue as the poor conversion seems to be with various networks.
Where you will see it is when you run the exact same offer with the exact same payouts and one Affiliate Network consistently pays lower. It does not take a rocket scientist to see someone is scrubbing leads. I am not going to name names… just know scrubbing does happen.
So how does this improve? Well the Affiliate companies are becoming more and more transparent with their statistics. Some are offering white label or generic offers in various competitive markets. These offers allow you to host the offer on your site and you can see exactly what the response codes are coming back from the advertisers. You are seeing these pop up in the mobile and dating industry probably the most but I strongly feel that we will see them popup for lots more in the future. Not only does this give you complete transparency but it also gives you amazing tracking features….. and also takes away fears of giving keywords and other competitive data to the affiliate companies themselves.
Again I am not a super affiliate but I have learned a few things along the way.