Shave in affiliate marketing: who, where, how?
Katrina L

Is Shave alive today in affiliate marketing? Certainly!

But not often. And yet, it is worth knowing what it is. How to recognize and protect yourself. About this in the article below.

What is Shave
“Shave" - "cut off, shave off." That is, an affiliate network or an advertiser “cut off” part of the profit from conversions before paying out, in their favor.
For example, the affiliate network will process the received leads, but will not register them. So that they do not appear in the statistics. Or the affiliate network will say that the conditions of the offer were observed incorrectly. Leads from the wrong GEO. If there is a desire to hide leads, they will find a way to do it.
Who trades?
  • New unscrupulous affiliate networks, fly-by-night companies. They don't care about reviews, reputation etc. They offer “tasty” working conditions. Such as, “we are newbies, we are attracting customers”.
  • Advertisers who deceive an affiliate network or an affiliate marketer. They will say “we didn't mean to, we didn’t notice, sorry.”
The idea is simple. “Saving” on payments in favor of their own profit.
Reputation is more precious than gold
For most affiliate networks and advertisers, Shaving, alongside campaign theft - shooting yourself in the foot.
Self-respecting affiliate networks who plan to work long-term will not deceive others.
The affiliate community is small. If one webmaster catches an affiliate network on a Shave, then this is the end. Word of mouth will spread the news to all colleagues and acquaintances. Reputation will be ruined. They will stop working with an affiliate network or an advertiser.
How to identify Shave?
  • A sharp decrease in approval is a sign that requires other confirmation. Just a decrease in approval may be due to unsuccessful creatives or changes in target settings.
  • The statistics of the affiliate network tracker and your third-party tracker do not match.
  • Sharp drop in conversion. But some offers are launched in different affiliate networks in different ways. Try to compare the statistics of different grids. If in one it is stable, and in the second it is in a sharp decline, perhaps this is a Shave.
  • Transitions - the same, leads - much less. Where do they go?
  • Problems with the transfer of payment or changes in the terms of payments. Tales are a sign of Shave.
Not everything is a shave, but a drawdown of statistics
Often the reason for the drawdown of the approval is not in Shave. Sometimes this has nothing to do with the dishonesty of the affiliate network.
Statistics are slow, users have adblock, technical problems - these are the probable reasons. Or the conditions of the offer are really fulfilled incorrectly, the landing does not convert, the creo does not fit the landing, the targeting was unsuccessfully selected, long conversions, etc. A lot affects the conversions of your campaign. Not only Shave.
How to avoid?
The most reliable and banal is to work with trusted affiliate networks who will not Shave. Choose your affiliate network wisely, especially if you are a beginner. How to do so was written here. You can also create your own landing pages to avoid double redirects. In addition to the affiliate tracker, use “your own”. Here you will definitely see the difference in numbers. And you can keep track of possible changes to the offer while you work. You can also use the “test lead method”. This is a working scheme for checking what product the advertiser sends, how quickly the lead is taken in and whether it is counted at all. There is a minus - the method is not always convenient and beneficial for the affiliate. Working directly with advertisers, without the participation of an affiliate network, has more risks, including Shave. We wrote about the features, prospects and difficulties of working directly with advertisers here.
Stop, it's time to be afraid!
After such articles, it may seem that fraud is everywhere. But not every lead that is not approved by an affiliate network or an advertiser is a Shave. If Shave was not a thing, then there would be no such concept. So it is real. But don't get paranoid.
"To be afraid of wolves - do not go into the forest"
“Keep your eyes open” because intentionally or by accident / ignorance of the affiliate network/ advertisers, Shave brings losses. Was there anything similar on your affiliate marketing path?