Step #7: Catch More Fraud & Automate Prevention
This is the seventh step of the 7 Steps To Upgrade Your Affiliate Program For 2021 series.
Check out the first six steps in the series:
- Step #1: Monitor and Stop Coupon Poaching
- Step #2: Use First Touch Attribution for Content Publishers
- Step #3: Track Both Purchases And Events
- Step #4: Track Influencers Through Coupons and Coupon Site URLs
- Step #5: Use QR Codes to Track Offline Affiliates & Partners
- Step #6: Drill Down Into Affiliate Placement Reporting
No matter the niche, vertical, or geo, fraud isn’t going away. Fraud losses are surging, amounting to 3.3 billion dollars in losses in 2020 (a massive jump from 1.8 billion in 2019).
Beyond directly cutting into monthly revenue, fraud erodes profits further by wasting team resources on daily maintenance tasks:
- Analyzing performance reports
- Sending emails to partners
- Internal conversations and meetings
- Checking third-party data
- Reviewing partner accounts
- Studying offer terms and conditions
Talk about wasting valuable time. Imagine what your team could do with all of these hours freed up?
Unfortunately, fraud isn’t going away anytime soon. Everflow’s reporting and automation tools, however, are here to help mitigate your risk.
Featuring reporting that helps you spot fraud quicker, and technology that makes it massively easier to fight back, the Everflow platform is built to help you automate your fraud prevention processes and save valuable team time.
The first step in automating more of your fraud prevention processes starts with two of Everflow’s strongest reports for identifying campaign fraud. Let’s jump in!
Catch More Fraud By Drilling Down With Placement Reports:
Your campaigns can be promoted via a ton of different methods, including email, paid search, social, and content sites. These campaigns are further promoted using a variety of landing pages and creative types, too.
All of the campaign promotion possibilities listed above are known as placements, which essentially define the location of where a specific campaign is being promoted and how it’s being promoted.
Placement data can yield strong insights into your campaign traffic, including which placements are driving conversions, and which placements may be hurting performance due to fraudulent promotion.
Diving into placement data can seem like a massive undertaking.
After all, you’re analyzing the promotional methods of each of your partners, which means looking at thousands of placements.
With Everflow, however, this process takes about a minute via Everflow’s Dimensional Analytics report (shown below).
Executing these powerful reports only requires choosing a date range, a few key metrics, and dimensions (partner, offer, geo target, etc).
Once your report is ready, you’ll gain access to a robust set of data that helps you quickly catch any potential bad actors in your program.
Here are just a few of the potential fraud indicators that you can quickly discover via dimensional analytics:
- Incentivized placements
- Placements with unnaturally high conversion rates
- Placements with traffic in non-allowed geos
- Placements with prohibited promotional methods
Not too shabby from a single report!
When you’re ready to get started, I recommend checking out the previous post in this series, Step #6: Drill Down Into Affiliate Placement Reporting, which provides more background, and step-by-step instructions (with pictures!).
Dimensional Analytics reports aren’t the only type of report from Everflow, however, that give you instant insight into potential fraud issues on your campaigns.,
Everflow’s Click To Conversion Time reports are just as effective in helping identify fraud, but these reports focus on a different type of fraud red flag: rapidly-quick conversion times.
Spot Bad Traffic By Monitoring How Fast Conversions Occur:
Say you’re in the mood to join an online wine club (I believe everyone should be in at least four).
Once you find a club with an appealing offering, you’ll likely click on a link to learn more. You may skim the first few paragraphs of the page you land on, check out their wines, or even cross-reference reviews of the club on other sites.
However you end up moving forward, it will take at least a few minutes to take action. You wouldn’t click on the wine club’s link and sign up, in say, under ten seconds?
That seems a bit unnatural, right?
This is where monitoring conversion times can help you catch more fraud in your program.
With Everflow’s Click to Conversion Time Reports, you can generate a report of all conversions via desired date range, along with how quickly each conversion occurred (once a consumer reached your site or campaign landing page).
A normal sales cycle requires a consumer to spend at least thirty seconds to complete their actions. Thus, conversions happening quicker than this time frame could signal bots or other types of fraud.
No matter the campaign type, you definitely don’t want bots or other unnatural traffic hitting your offers.
The good news is that it’s quite easy to set up your campaigns to monitor for this.
Once you’re ready to drill into conversion times, you can find easy-to-follow setup instructions here.
Quick Fun Fact: Campaign conversion times can not only provide huge clues into potentially fraudulent activity by signaling unnatural consumer behavior, but can help you attribute conversions more accurately to deserving affiliates too (check out our post coupon poaching to learn more).
If you’re excited about spotting more fraud via reports like Click To Conversion Time, you’ll love SmartSwitch -- as this powerful technology goes one step further and automatically helps mitigate fraud threats to your campaigns.
You’re now ready to automatically stop those trends, give a heads up to partners about their traffic quality, and even repurpose bad traffic with Everflow’s SmartSwitch automation technology.
Identification + Automation + Notification = Smarter Fraud Prevention Processes
Whoo. There are a lot of words that end with “ion” in that title.
Besides being fun to write, “ion” words also denote action. With SmartSwitch, you’re able to quickly put into action practices to automatically strengthen your fraud prevention efforts.
SmartSwitch technology allows you to set conditions for the types of traffic that you will allow on a particular offer, multiple offers, or on offers from a specific advertiser.
Known as rules, if any traffic fails to meet any of these conditions that you set, SmartSwitch technology will automatically do the following:
- Send a notification to your team to allow you to take action.
- Send a notification to the partner with the non-allowed traffic, alerting that traffic will soon be paused.
- Block future traffic from the partner with non-allowed traffic on a specific offer, multiple offers, or offers from a specific advertiser.
The laundry list above that can be achieved via SmartSwitch stems from rules. The ability to set rules that matter most to your campaigns is key to using SmartSwitch.
Luckily, it takes just a few dropdowns to set your rules.
Once rules are in place, traffic that violates any of your defined rules will be automatically sent to the next step in your fraud prevention process -- which is totally up to your unique campaign needs.
For some campaigns, you may want to simply let partners know to change their promotional methods.
For others, you may want to re-route the traffic to allowed campaigns by setting fail traffic rules, or you may even want to automatically block any partners who break the rules.
It really is up to the specific requirements of each campaign, and your relationship with any partners who don’t meet those requirements (note: you can also whitelist specific partners for any rules that you set).
There’s a ton of directions you can go with using SmartSwitch, so we’d recommend you check out this video first to get your fraud-fighting ideas flowing:
There’s also a step-by-step guide to setting up SmartSwitch on your campaigns, to allow you to see just how easy it is.
Get Started With Smarter Fraud Prevention Today:
Once you’ve fully dialed in the reports listed above and SmartSwitch, you’ll not only notice a reduction in fraudulent traffic, but also a reduction in the time and resources spent fighting it.
Want to share your successes? Leave a comment on this post below and let me know what your team is doing with the time that you’re saving each day by fighting fraud more efficiently.
If you need any assistance, feel free to book a demo and we’ll be happy to walk you through all aspects of Everflow’s Dimensional Analytics reports, placement reports, SmartSwitch, and the many ways that Everflow can help you fight fraud more efficiently.