When running a large-scale partnership program, knowing who to trust can be complicated. The Attribution Risk report helps you protect the quality of your partners’ traffic by uncovering partners in your program that may be participating in attribution fraud.
Attribution fraud happens when a partner uses malicious tactics to steal credit from another partner or source. They involve legitimate conversion events with an illegitimate source. You can look at Attribution Risk reports like an early-warning system for these events, spotting the signs and alerting you to the issues before they can take root and spread.
Weighing the risks
In 2013, Attribution fraud vaulted to the forefront of industry consciousness when one man used the technique to defraud eBay out of $28 million using a technique called “cookie stuffing.” While this rare and spectacular example led to criminal convictions, most cases are smaller scale. However, the practice can still cause many problems for your partnership program, such as:
- Wasting money paying fraudulent partners for organic conversions
- Disincentivizing real, high-value partners while incentivizing criminal activity
- Worsening the customer experience and damaging your brand
Your digital detective
Like a security sleuth who never sleeps, you’ll find impact.com’s Attribution Risk Protection system is always on the lookout to keep your program safe. The report provides a transparent view into the quality of traffic your partners generate.
The system analyzes partner activity and determines a risk score for every partner. That score quantifies the potential for fraud based on data collected by impact.com’s Universal Tracking Tag (UTT) and includes the characteristics and behavior of both partners and customers.
The report displays all the information you need to navigate these risks, starting with a graph of how your overall risk has changed over time. Below that, you’ll find a quick breakdown of each partner’s risk profile, including the number of potentially fraudulent actions, their cost to you, the reason they got flagged, a recommended response, and the overall attribution risk score for the partner.
However, it can be hard to see what action the risky behavior warrants without a deeper understanding of what’s happening. Clicking on the row allows you to dive into a detailed report showing the specifics of an individual partner’s flagged behavior. Doing this lets you view every action flagged by the system and why they were flagged.
Turning information into action
Tolerance for attribution fraud risk varies between brands. For large-scale programs, growth often takes precedence over perfection. So, expect a few weeds to slip into the garden. Tools like the Attribution Risk report can help you remove the most egregious risks without slowing down your program.
You can use the risk score to guide whether or not to take action. False positives crop up from time to time, so scores below 5 percent tend to be considered acceptable. However, risk percents above 20 percent should be taken seriously. On the high end of the spectrum, appropriate action may range from disincentivizing the behavior by adjusting payment terms to terminating your business relations with the partner. We also provide a Recommended Action on the report, so instead of looking at the help guides for what the risk score means, you can also receive a simple recommendation on what action to take.
By equipping you with all the information you need to make vital decisions, impact.com helps remove the barriers keeping your partnership program from being the best it can be. Ready to see all that impact.com has to offer? Reach out to the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or request a demo to see the platform in action.