Why Scrubbing is a Necessary Evil – By Kim S. Bengtsen

by Jenae Reid on May 7, 2018

Scrubbing: the process of removing non-legitimate leads, directly resulting in lowering the expected revenue… or is it?
Fraudulent, fake, dublicate, and spam will be considered as ‘scrubbing triggers’ by most advertisers, and will be discarded as such.
A general misconception in regards to scrubbing is that ‘shaving’ and ‘scrubbing’ are definitions of the same… they are not.
Shaving leads relates to a very unethical business practice of either an advertiser or network, not paying for the leads generated in an effort to get as much traffic and/or for as little cost possible. This often correlates with overpricing, and in the end, not paying the actual increased payouts nor volume.
Whether scrubbing occurs pre- or post signup and/or sale is irrelevant – a lead is a lead, a scrub is scrub, and lead shaving is lead shaving.


It All Comes Down to Quality

With the increase of fraud, scam, and other negative connotations related to ‘online advertising’, integrity for both the advertiser, as well as the publisher, is a much needed addition for this ‘eat or be eaten’ business. Scrubbing leads is a way of securing integrity between the parties, as well as organically increasing quality through control, even if the controlling party is more or less one sided (the advertiser).
It makes for a more dynamic market for both advertisers and publishers. It opens up for differentiating pricing/payouts, depending on the network where the offer is hosted; a win for the advertiser.
At the same time, publishers might be willing to take a chance by pushing the offer with the high-payout network, in the hopes of increased revenue. This despite a lower conversion rate, but with a possible reward for delivering quality traffic.

Overall this creates a very dynamic and more safe workflow in the market, where all parties are getting paid equally.


Lowering Your Scrub-Rate

Securing a low scrub-rate and, in turn, a higher conversion and revenue, is primarily in the hands of the publisher. Some examples include pre-scrubbing (XX %) by setting up a funnel, survey, or any other method you can think of, sorting out the low quality leads and generally getting to know your own quality of traffic. And you as a publisher have to adhere to this ‘universal rule’, before pushing it to the advertiser and potentially losing a lot of money. There is no other way around it.
Safeguarding as a publisher will always be to spread your business across multiple networks / direct advertisers, making sure that you don’t put “all your eggs in one basket”. That way you can also A/B split your own traffic, the networks you are working with, and possibly the advertisers themselves.
Looking objectively, this isn’t just a matter of integrity and getting settled in your own market. It is a way of securing both parties in a continued and indeed valuable collaboration for years to come.
Being predictable is often more profitable than the alternative.




Kim Bengtsen, a multiple founder and CEO of gaming, gambling, dating and affiliate companies

This article appeared in issue 42 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2018. https://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-42

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