“We’re sorry, but the advertiser has asked us to pull you from running this offer. They said that the traffic was fraudulent or low quality, and will be returning the leads you have sent so far this month.”
This is an excerpt of an email I received from a network that I was running an auto insurance lead generation offer on. Many of you will be very familiar with emails like this if you frequently promote lead generation offers. Most of the affiliates I have worked with will usually throw their hands up and move on to another offer or network when they get an email like this. That reaction can be a serious mistake, and if I would have followed that behavior I would be missing out on an extremely profitable campaign, as well as the nearly 5 figures in commissions I had earned that month.
How I Turned This Problem Into Profit
After receiving this email, I knew that I needed to respond right away. They were claiming fraudulent or low quality leads, and I knew that neither of these could possibly be true according to my standards for fraud and/or quality.
First, I wanted to deal with the fraud issue and make sure that was taken care of. I knew that I wasn’t running any type of fraudulent traffic; it was completely legit paid traffic from a huge ad network.
Fraud simply wasn’t possible, so in my response I made sure to let the affiliate manager know how I was promoting the offer and told her that there was no possible way there was any fraud involved. I then asked for any data or proof of fraud if they were going to claim this.
Second, I wanted to address the claimed low lead quality problem. I knew that by the very nature of the traffic, from feedback from other advertisers, and from past experience the leads were not low quality to any standard I was aware of. I mean, these were leads coming from paid traffic, straight to a very clean and compliant data collection lander of my own, and after name/email/phone submit on my page, they were passed directly to the offer lander. I couldn’t see how this could possibly be a bad lead for them, or at least a lead of any different quality than any other affiliate’s paid traffic.
So, in my response I made sure to ask if it was just a quality issue, what EXACTLY about my leads was the problem? If I know what problems they have with the leads, I may or may not be able to correct that from my side by tweaking landers, targeting differently, etc.
Lastly, I made sure to say that I was not willing to accept non-payment for the leads I had sent thus far. They were not fraudulent, and were not of any different quality than any other affiliate would be sending with the same type of paid traffic. On top of that, my quality seemed to be acceptable until it was very close to payout time, and then suddenly the traffic and leads were bad.
Here is how I crafted the email to the affiliate manager:
“[Name], I just received your email about campaign XXXX. I wanted to address the points brought up by the advertiser in hopes that we can come to an agreement and possibly continue to run the campaign for the benefit of us both. I think this is possible, we just need some communication.
As far as the fraudulent traffic claim, this is simply not possible. I am running paid traffic through [network name], which is of course not fraudulent in any way. Could you please provide me with more detail on exactly what they are saying is fraudulent about my traffic? I’m not sure what it could possibly be, but think if they are going to claim fraud I should get some kind of data to back this up.
As far as low lead quality, I have not had any other complaints from this exact same traffic source and sending the leads to other similar offers. Could you find out from the advertiser what EXACTLY they are claiming is low quality about my leads? This would benefit me greatly if there is in fact a quality problem that I can fix, it can turn into a win-win for both sides.
Also [name], I’m not willing to accept 100% lead returns from this advertiser on this campaign. I have been running the offer now for an entire payment cycle with no complaints until mysteriously I get this email when it’s time to payout.
I know that it isn’t you or your network that is holding out on payment, it’s the advertiser. However, I do expect payment for the leads I have generated unless they can provide documentation on their fraud claim or on how my leads are of low quality.
2 days later I receive a response:
“Hey Luke, here is what I found out from the advertiser. They said that they don’t see evidence of fraud, that email is just the standard email they send to networks when the leads aren’t working for them.
They said that the quality issue was because there were a large number of leads that were not in a geographic region that they could sell the leads, some were leads that were currently uninsured, and there were some leads with false information.
Also, you will be getting paid for the leads generated this month.”
After a few more emails, I figured out exactly which geographic regions they were not interested in and combined that with the other information they provided on exactly what they considered a high quality lead. I was then able to: geo-target my ads, redirect uninsured leads to another offer, and use lead data validation before sending the lead to their offer page
After explaining this to the advertiser they agreed to let me send them some new test traffic and leads. This resulted in the advertiser getting the EXACT lead type they wanted, and I not only got paid and kept a very high converting offer, but I was also able to get a payout bump. The offer went on to make a significant amount of profit which I never would have seen without taking a communicative approach to the situation.
Points to Take Away
- Always ask the network to dig a little deeper for you to find out exactly what problems the advertiser may have with your traffic and leads. Many times what they initially say is the problem, isnt’ the problem at all.
- Don’t settle for generic answers from your network or the advertiser, especially if they are attempting to hold your payouts.
- A little communication can go a long way to help both sides get exactly what they want.
- Be pro-active with networks and advertisers and ask them what the ideal leads is that they are looking for and try to give it to them.
- In light of new information on what the advertiser is looking for, offer to send them some test leads, or if it’s worth it, take a small payout reduction to prove your adjustments and save the offer.