1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why do all these networks shave?

Discussion in 'Affiliate Programs' started by dirtdevil, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. dirtdevil

    dirtdevil Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    Why have networks become so intent on shaving, then claiming that they don't?

    I push traffic to an offer and I can consistently get better that 1:10 conversion rate (its very highly targeted traffic). That will work for a day or two, then all of a sudden I look at stats and I'm at 1:50, 1:100 or even worse. At this point I choose the same offer from another "network" and I'm immediately back to better than 1:10.

    Ideas? Discussion? What have you seen?
     
  2. Professor12

    Professor12 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    18
    Occupation:
    Affiliate manager
    Home Page:
    Yep that is normal in this industry. Lots of companies shave. You have to go for some of the little guys. they are the ones that don't shave since they are trying to build a name for themselves and don't want any bad feed back.

    the ones that shave are the ones that have the higher payouts as well. they say you get $80 a sale but really they wait till you get 4 or 5 sales then give you one. so really their payout is like $16 a sale. so why not go for the guys that pay out a little lower and give you all of your sales and you end up making more money.

    Just my 2 cents from my experience being in the IM industry for 3 years
     
  3. dirtdevil

    dirtdevil Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    Interesting, my experience has actually been the opposite. The one network that I seemed to have the fewest shaving issues with (actually, I can't say that I ever did) had the upper edge on payout amounts.

    The ethics (shaving) and greed (smaller payouts) seem to go hand in hand.
     
  4. chipmunk951

    chipmunk951 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    443
    Occupation:
    IM
    Location:
    Zimbabwe
    I first found out about this the hard way just like you! I was confused why this would happen and why when a new offer came out, EPC's would be super high and then become like the rest of the offers earlier. I emailed the owner of the CPA Network and he basically told me this which helped change the way I promote CPA Offers!

    "the advertiser scrubs by performance. sine we have an excellent relationship with them and tons of profitable long term campaigns with them, they give new campaigns the highest possible EPC until they can determine the traffic's quality. If the traffic is not backing out for them, they will adjust the EPC to a level where the offer is profitable for them. We allow content locking on these deals but if your users are not backing out, your method may be too aggressive and is causing users to not fill out the offers in the back end where the advertiser makes their money from. i hope this makes sense. "
     
  5. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,197
    Likes Received:
    3,041
    Occupation:
    I figure out ways to make money online and then au
    Location:
    Spamville
    This is the one. Basically your traffic sucks for your advertisers. It may convert well for you on the front end, but it's not traffic that is very productive for the advertisers. Therefore, for the first few days you get to see your "true" conversion rate of 1:10, ie lots of people are joyously filling in the form and hitting submit. However when the traffic fails to make money for the advertiser, they crank up the scrub to keep profitable and so your conversion ratio appears to fall. It hasn't really fallen in reality, it's just that they're not crediting you with all your leads to keep things profitable for themselves.

    This is "scrubbing" not "shaving." Scrubbing is an accepted practice in the CPA world whereas shaving (outright theft of valid leads and particularly credit card sales) is not. All networks do both to a certain extent and the end result is ultimately the same - less money in your pocket.

    The answer for your predicament is to either:
    1) get some better traffic, eg. if you've got a lot of Twitter traffic (ie crap traffic) then get some better traffic that will convert better for the advertisers
    2) blast your traffic to one offer for a few days, then when the conversions drop you immediately switch to a new offer at a new network.
    3) keep on trying offers until you find an advertiser that can convert your traffic and pay you what you think the traffic is worth.

    The situation you're describing is one of the main reasons that CPA is a shitty way to make money compared to getting paid per sale.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. chipmunk951

    chipmunk951 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    443
    Occupation:
    IM
    Location:
    Zimbabwe
    It's this thing in CPA that separates those who will make it big with CPA later on. The best thing you can/should take away from this is that you need to adjust your method of promotion. Whether it be a landing page, split test different landing pages. There are many variables involved that can all alter your EPC. Test, test test, and some day you will find a method that keeps YOU and the ADVERTISER both happy :)

    CPA Networks are USUALLY not the enemy here. They WANT you to get conversions, they WANT your business. CPA Networks that excessively SHAVE will get complaints and will go down in flames. They are trying to make money for the long term.
     
  7. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,197
    Likes Received:
    3,041
    Occupation:
    I figure out ways to make money online and then au
    Location:
    Spamville
    I'd say in this particular scenario, the three main things that affect conversions are:

    1) Traffic source - some traffic is shit and just doesn't really convert, eg. Twitter. There's a reason that all the networks are saying "No Twitter," because it sucks and the value of a Twitter surfer is about 1/10 the value of a targetted SE surfer (or less). There's not a great deal you can do about it if you want to work with some traffic sources. Even if you hide your traffic sources (fake referrers etc), the numbers don't lie and you'll end up getting scrubbed.

    2) The advertiser, how good their backend is and how good they are at converting surfers into cash. Some advertisers are just total idiots or have major technical problems in the backend and they couldn't make money with the most golden traffic in the world. If you send traffic to companies like this, they will surely scrub you... the only way to find out if they suck or not is to send some traffic to test them out. Again, largely out of your hands.

    3) The surfer's expectations and how you presell them. However, all you can really advertise is the stuff on the first page of the offer that affects your front end conversions (get a free ipad etc), whereas what makes the advertiser their money is, by definition, the stuff on the subsequent internal pages after the surfer has already filled in their email address. So, once again you have a situation where the factor that determines how profitable the traffic is for the advertiser is largely out of your control.

    Moral: CPA sucks, keep on testing :D
     
  8. dirtdevil

    dirtdevil Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    OK, since everyone seems to think its crap traffic, I did a little experimenting.

    I continue to believe that I am generating and sending very high quality and highly targeted traffic for this particular offer.

    I went straight to the program I was pushing and signed up as an affiliate directly under them, eliminating the "networks" in between.

    Here is what I did, I did NOT change how I obtain the traffic, how I market, nothing, the ONLY think I changed was going through a network vs straight to the program, even took care to make sure the surfer landed on the exact same page.

    From a user/surfer experience, you can't see any difference in how the traffic comes in and goes out and lands on the programs page.

    Here is what happened, my conversion ratios went UP, and more important the stats remained consistent, no more "bad days".

    After two weeks, the manager from the program emailed me and asked if I could generate more traffic, so obviously they think its quality traffic if they are asking for more.

    At this point I don't believe I can generate more without sacrificing the quality of the traffic, which I refuse to do.

    Now, with these facts, can anyone still argue that its not the "networks"?

    Whats your experience?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. demongerbil

    demongerbil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    513
    In my experience CJ is guilty as hell of shaving, tons of traffic isn't credited for conversions, which actually do occur.

    I know this because I was doing marketing for a company that had an offer in CJ, and we had a ton of affiliate complaining about not getting credit for sales.

    What we actually ended up doing in many cases was verifying sales they were claiming didn't register in our own system and crediting those affiliates independently (and some in cases switching them to our own in-house affiliate program).
     
  10. Ibeefaaa

    Ibeefaaa Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    683
    Occupation:
    Part time IM and part time unemployed :))
    Location:
    Chasing the Smoosh !
    I am in the exact same situation as the OP is.


    I want to try that too but the offer that I push doesn't have a link for affiliates on the landing page. They only have Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
    Do you think contacting them through e-mail (the address is on the Privacy Policy page) would work ?
     
  11. Raulies

    Raulies Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    27
    I know that in the casino/gaming industry shaving happens quite a lot. The reason I believe is that the stakes are relatively high because some players that are signed up via affiliates earn them up to tens of thousands per month. Apparently, some programs think shaving is worth the risk of losing their name in that case. Some guys I know have even set up some kind of testing site to detect shaving (affiliatesecure.com), so hopefully that will stop some of those bastards.
     
  12. lonny41

    lonny41 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    343
    All networks that shave fail in the long term all the time. You can take joy in this. I've been in this business longer than most networks and affiliate managers. I know my numbers so well I can see a picture almost.

    If you know your numbers and you think you're being shaved, you probably are. I've seen so many networks die over the years. The reasons they die seem to vary, but they really don't, it's because of shaving. All networks I've seen die over the years have died because they shaved, no matter what other reason they gave......it was because of shaving.

    People ask why they shave? Because they think your stupid. They are greedy. And they think they are smarter than you. Those are always the reasons they shave.

    Now the main reason they shave.....and they're not aware of this.....it's because they're stupid. They're short sighted, short sighted people are stupid.

    It doesn't take a genius to make money online, anyone can do it, and anyone can start a network if they learn the business and work at it.

    The end result of all the shaving is that affiliates just leave one by one, and the last ones on the ship get screwed out of any commissions they had coming the last month before the network goes belly up.

    The network finally crashes and burns, then they come up with some silly excuse to justify it and open a new one....

    And the old "scrubbing" excuse is a bunch of bullshit, if the traffic was that bad why would they continue letting you send it? Because it is converting and they're shaving your bag off.

    Just leave when you suspect shaving.

    Like was previously said, test test test

    Before sending to a new network do a little research and see if they're just an offshoot of a network that went belly up or if there are any people involved in the new network that were in previous networks that died and burned anyone. If they are I can assure you nothings changed.....because they're stupid, and stupid people keep doing stupid shit. And yet affiliates will continue to send to the supposedly new network that's run by the same idiots that destroyed the previous one.

    I personally send to a private network.

    Just take joy in the fact that the network that's shaving you will die sooner or later anyway, get out early and stay away.








     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  13. greatpvas

    greatpvas BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    69
    It could be the advertiser. They don't shave, but they scrub. They do this to stay profitable.
     
  14. WayneInc

    WayneInc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    1,099

    I agree with this..they always Scrub.