While most marketers blame bots for discrepancies, the truth is that there are many factors that can cause this. Which is why having a 20% discrepancy rate is considered a normal value.
Defining a Discrepancy
Affiliate marketing campaign data is stored in many different places, like your CPA network, ad network, and individual tracker. When the data (such as impressions, clicks, conversions, etc.) on these records don’t match, it’s called a discrepancy.
Where Do Discrepancies Come From?
Conversions are tracked using server-to-server technology, which increases the accuracy of the results obtained. Clicks and impressions, however, are monitored using different techniques that involve multiple redirects between the ad and the landing page.
This leaves the door open for discrepancies to occur more often given the different relay points.
However, when it comes to redirects, you should keep in mind that a little discrepancy is normal and it won’t affect the process much. And, as we will explain below, we also have a solution to avoid discrepancy when you’re working with redirects – our JS code.
Do External Trackers Affect Discrepancy Detection?
When you add a landing page link to your tracker, you’re giving it additional attributes that make the link bigger. As the chain of links becomes longer, discrepancies become more likely.
Here are some elements to consider:
Your tracker affects data integrity on two fronts. First, the actual tracker must be accurate. Secondly, it should be installed on a server powerful enough to support it. So, if you choose a complex tracker, you’ll need to pair it with robust servers.
Affiliates Should Apply Caution When Using Google Analytics
Google Analytics (GA) may be a great tracker for a lot of campaigns, but not so much for affiliate marketing. The reason is that GA’s technology doesn’t always register accurate traffic and it can sometimes get blocked by privacy solutions.
Our Conversion Tracker
As we’re aware of the challenges that affiliates face, we’ve put together a tracking platform adequate for all our stakeholders.
Hence, our tracker is compatible even with major ad networks. Moreover, our monitoring solution can accurately check the performance of affiliate marketing campaigns (in terms of impressions).
However, based on the setting options that you use with the ADEX tracker (JS tag on a single page, only tracking registered users, via redirect or iFrame, etc), you might get different results than with a CPA network, or third-party tracker.
But, as you know us, we work on providing you with solutions for all your potential issues.
When using the iFrame check that you’re allowed to operate this way, otherwise users might encounter issues getting to your offer. Alternatively, go with our JS Tag
Redirects plus Smartlinks might lead to partial data loss, due to extra redirects. But you can avoid this as well by using our JS Tag as the integration method
Working with CPA offers can also be a cause for a discrepancy, and you can solve this by working with direct offers
And above all, if you use ADEX you won’t run into the same types of issues as with GA or any other tracker. Instead, you’ll have accurate information after installing the postback links to your landing pages.
Obstacles that Can Arise on the Advertiser’s Side
Discrepancies can be caused by a variety of different factors, These include:
Issues Loading Ads
If there are some technical issues from the side of the user (like poor internet connection), or if they’re navigating from outdated gadgets, they might have trouble loading heavy ads.
The location of your hosting also impacts the discrepancy rates of your campaigns. For example, if you use servers located around the world, the added relays will increase discrepancy rates.
Local Time Zone Differences
Keep in mind that when you’re working with ADEX you’ll see the time as UTC (GMT-0). So you might find discrepancies if your other tracker is set in a different time zone.
There are a few other reasons why you may identify a discrepancy, including:
Invalid SSL certificates
Miscellaneous issues that require technical assistance
Tips to Manage and Improve Discrepancies
Here are a few steps you can take to protect your campaigns and keep discrepancy rates at a minimum:
Minimize redirects as much as possible
Choose a reliable affiliate tracker, like ADEX
Create fast-loading ads, landers, and pre-landers
Eliminate heavy, unnecessary code
Use hosting that’s geographically close to you
High discrepancy rates can derail your campaign. But, as we have shown, with ADEX you will find many steps you can take to identify the source of these, minimize misleading statistics, and keep discrepancies at the lowest possible.
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