7 Ways To Guard Against Affiliate Call Fraud – Part 1

By Anna JefferisFebruary 23, 2015

Advertisers are no strangers to fraud. Since the beginning of affiliate marketing, advertisers – especially in the lead generation space, have had to work hard to avoid wasting money on leads with no chance of becoming customers. With the rise of smartphone adoption and subsequently inbound phone calls, pay-per-call programs have been booming. And as a result, advertisers are benefitting from significantly higher lead quality and a much lower risk of fraud. Inbound phone calls inherently have less chance of fraud because they require the consumer to take an action that takes effort and are an exclusive human-to-human conversation that can be qualified and filtered. But still, there are those who want to cheat the system, and sadly call fraud does exist.

The good news is that you can safely guard yourself first and foremost, by just being aware.  Additionally, you can protect yourself from fraud with smart strategies and the use of powerful tools through pay-per-call platforms and inbound call intelligence solutions. Here are seven things you can do to make sure you won’t ruin your performance marketing ROI with fraudulent leads.


1. Vet publishers before allowing them to run campaigns

This goes without saying… but don’t work with just anyone. It’s important to work with publishers and agencies that you can depend on and trust. Developing relationships with publishers helps prevent you from accepting publishers that drive fraudulent traffic. You depend on publishers to provide quality traffic just as much as publishers depend on you to set up fair campaigns. This takes a lof of active communication, ongoing testing and yield optimization for all parties. This is especially important when you are just getting started with call-based campaigns.


2. Know your demographic

One of the most important things to keep in mind when attempting to minimize call fraud is to have a good understanding of the audience you are trying to attract. Once you know your audience, you can build your inbound call campaign around their needs. For example, if you are promoting a subscription based product that requires a high credit score, you should work with affiliates that can suppress teenagers and pre-paid phones. Or if you are selling car insurance in California, you are going to want to work with affiliates that can only send you inbound calls from within your defined locations. A clear understanding of the audience you are trying to attract will help to set campaigns up for success.


3. Define call success

To avoid getting low quality calls, analyze all the internal elements that signal a successful call outcome.  For example, was an appointment, reservation, or consultation scheduled?  Was there a billable event or a credit card number taken? Was the consumer quoted or entered into a database? Once you define what success looks like for a call, you can set up your call treatment, IVR, and payout structure to cater towards generating successful calls.


4. Always test small with new campaigns

Just like with any marketing campaign, you want to start by testing small and then optimize to get the most bang for your buck. You may want to ask affiliates a few questions before testing your new campaigns, like:  Who do they send calls to currently? What marketing tactics do they use to generate inbound calls? Do they focus on any specific vertical(s)? How many qualified calls can they generate on a daily basis? Once you establish the small, trusted group of publishers, you can begin testing your campaigns.

These are the first steps to take in setting up performance marketing campaigns that help you safeguard against affiliate call fraud. Read part 2[AM1] , to learn more about how a call intelligence solution will give you additional tools to successfully combat fraud. You can also learn more at the Affiliate Call Fraud panel on March 3 at LeadsCon. Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2015.


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