So, You're working with a good network but your conversion rates have decreased ?
Are you no more making as much you used to make few days back ?
ARE you getting ROBBED?
So What is SCRUB and Why you should care/know about it ?
Basically a SCRUB means: When an advertiser take's your info and compare it with his existing database, If the leads you're giving him is already in their database, then the advertiser won't give you credit for that lead. You don't get paid for that particular lead because advertiser already has that person/email in his database.
What you read above was a fair thing done by advertisers. BUT.. Its not the END!
Sometimes Advertisers scrub your leads without any specific reason!
Shocking eh? Yes, It's true!
Many Advertisers will scrub your leads because they love money so much that they dont feel like giving it away! Some Advertisers will tell you some sort of fairy tale making you look like you did all the Cr@p to them and you are responsible for that and lot more.....
How you can protect yourself from this?
Well, Honestly till now I have not found any concrete method to save myself from the "SCRUB". Tho, You can do a few basic things to protect yourself:
- Always split test your offers
- Maintain good relationship with your manager so that If you smell something suspicious you can talk with him/her and sometimes your manager will himself give you hints that you are being robbed
- If you get $10 for an offer from "X" network and the same offer you see on "Y" network for $15 then there are high chances that you'll see scrub because Advertiser will maintain their budget by scrubbing your leads. So, If you see 10 conversions on "X" network then you will probably see 3-4 Conversions on "Y" network!
- FINALLY! If you feel like you are being scrubbed without any proper REASON!... Then its time to MOVE ON!
A Few More Great Points/Suggestions Given By Warriors:
Yep. The comments above make the point pretty well that it's the advertisers that scrub, not the networks.
But how do we as affiliates, protect ourselves from scrubbing?
Well, let's just assume for the sake of argument that advertisers don't scrub anyone for less than honorable reasons. The quality of the leads from every affiliate and every network will be different. Some will back out better than others. If an advertiser gets leads from a network that don't back out as well as others, they may place a higher scrub rate on that network. This can be one big reason why conversion rates differ between networks.
Generally speaking, the affiliates with less experience will produce lower quality leads. Affiliates using shady techniques will produce even lower quality leads. It goes to reason that networks that are more stringent in their approval process will attract better quality affiliates. Better affiliates will produce better leads. Better leads will make the advertiser less likely to scrub.
So, in short, to avoid scrubbing, run traffic to the higher tier networks and keep quality high! It's worked well in my experience.
Some advertisers also scrub leads that don't fit the requirements of the offer. For example, if a dating site pays only for female leads, any male leads will be scrubbed.
When the advertiser scrubs a lead there usually is a good reason for that (duplicate lead, invalid lead, etc). However, when the advertiser or network doesn't record a lead without any decent reason, it's what we call of shaving and is a unfair practice that damages the affiliates.