How To Detect and Fight Affiliate Fraud

Over the past few days I’ve been talking with a new client whose affiliate program’s budget (let me stress: one of the top programs on a popular affiliate network) is being routinely cannibalized by trademark violators, pseudocouponers, and other types of unethical affiliates. In close to 5 years of the existence of this affiliate program they haven’t done much to prevent unwanted affiliate activity, and as a result, they’re now losing money (big money, I should add).

It doesn’t have to be that way! There are both good tools (see some examples here) and methods that help affiliate program managers detect and fight affiliate fraud, and coincidentally my newest FeedFront Magazine article is devoted to this very topic:

This particular issue of FeedFront (issue #15) is going to be distributed at Affiliate Summit East 2011 (that’s happening in less than 3 weeks in New York City), but you may already read (and download) it online here. My article on affiliate fraud prevention may be found on page 32.

8 thoughts on “How To Detect and Fight Affiliate Fraud”

  1. It seems like it doesn’t matter how much the message is repeated, that businesses start affiliate programs without bothering to find out what one is, and learning their role in the success (or failure) of their program before opening it up. Too many merchants seem to think that the network is monitoring the affiliates that use the network until their program becomes a liability. Unfortunately there are always going to be affiliates willing to take advantage of poorly managed programs – and why not? It is profitable. Both sides of the equation need to choose their partners with care.

  2. Fraud is one of those things that must not not be taken for granted, advertisers, merchant, affiliate networks all need to actively monitor fraud. Networks should not only say they have zero tolerance for fraud but act on it, take action and most importantly be proactive.

  3. Fraud can really hurt affiliate marketing. I’s a must that everyone involved in this business is aware of it to prevent it from happening. I’ve downloaded the feedfront article regarding fraud and find it an interesting read.

  4. Justin, ecomleads, thank you both for chiming in. Glad you’re sharing my viewpoint; and hope you will enjoy the article. Should you have any thoughts on it after reading it do post them here.

  5. Hi Geno,
    I have 2 your books and the information you give your readers in virtually priceless!
    It’s time for a new book from you, sharing your experience in finding and fighting the affiliate fraud!!! 🙂 Are you currently working on something?

    1. Anna, I am, but it’s not a book. It’s Affiliate Management Days, blogging, article writing, and some affiliate program management… I wish I had the time! Serious book writing requires an enormous time commitment. Maybe one day I will write something more detailed on this topic. In the meantime, consider attending AM Days San Francisco which will have at least 3 sessions devoted to the topic of affiliate fraud.

      1. Oh Geno, I have already registered for the SF summit 🙂 Are you attending it as well? I just went to ASW and learned a lot!
        I know how busy you are, yet hope to see some fresh publishing material from you very soon!

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