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Uncovering Early Traffic Quality Indicators

Identify early on if campaigns are on track. Here’s how digital advertisers can quickly determine if they’re receiving quality traffic for their online marketing campaigns.

With revenue, resources and even reputation on the line, digital advertisers need to quickly identify which marketing campaign traffic sources drive high-quality leads. Being able to identify quality traffic within three days after receiving orders can dramatically increase ROI.

But how can advertisers quickly determine if a traffic source will garner high or low profit margins? By looking at critical leading performance indicators. It doesn’t have to be guesswork. Use these best practices and strategies to determine if your campaigns are on the right track.

Average Fraud Ratio

Part of a traffic quality dashboard in the sticky.io platform.

Merchants gain so many valuable insights when an ecommerce platform includes anti-fraud solutions, such as being able to reject certain orders that appear to be fraudulent based on configurable rules and/or leveraging artificial intelligence (AI). For example, if one out of 100 orders is rejected on average because of suspected fraud, then you see that ratio jumps to 15 out of 100, this change could indicate that something is awry with the new traffic source. Keep an eye on the average fraud ratio to ensure your traffic sources are not driving orders from consumers using stolen credit cards, fake accounts or otherwise engaging in fraudulent activities.

Day-Zero Cancellations 

As it relates to subscription offers, one of the strongest leading identifiers of poor quality is day-zero cancellations. This happens when a customer cancels within 24 hours of signing up for a subscription. It’s clearly not an ideal scenario, but it can quickly alert advertisers to trouble so they can pause or cap the traffic source responsible for these types of customers. In addition to day-zero cancellations, advertisers should also check the cancellation percentage on days one, two and three to ensure new customers are not rampantly cancelling a few days after purchasing. Most egregious fraud situations present themselves within 24 hours of ordering, but it’s good to spot-check days one, two and three to ensure quality doesn’t quickly degrade.

Call Center Learnings 

Tune into call center conversations to collect valuable information that can indicate traffic source quality early on. Too many customers calling to say they didn’t order the product could spell trouble. Sometimes this indicates an affiliate advertised some other deal, like “win a free smartphone,” and the customer unknowingly opted in for the trial while trying to get the smartphone.

When a high volume of customers contact a call center claiming they did not know the offer was a trial, this could also indicate affiliates are using alternative copy when advertising your offer. It may be quicker to check average fraud ratio and day-zero cancellations to determine traffic quality early on, but don’t rule out the value of call center findings when reviewing traffic sources.

Tips for Proceeding 

Here’s what to do once you have determined the caliber of your traffic sources. 

  • Hold off on certain traffic sources — Don’t be afraid to cap or pause poor traffic sources until their lead quality improves. 
  • Combine metrics for more insights — Get creative with reporting. For example, add chargeback and refund data within a certain time period to take a deeper dive into traffic quality. 
  • Know your benchmarks — It’s impossible to see if your average fraud ratio, day-zero cancellations or other important metrics are deviating from the norm without knowing your benchmarks. Understand average traffic performance to quickly identify when there’s an issue. 
  • Continuously review metrics — Make it a habit to review a traffic quality dashboard every day and consider switching ecommerce platforms if your current provider does not include early and late traffic quality reporting. 

Discover how sticky.io enables digital advertisers and merchants to gauge traffic quality and boost campaign performance. Request a demo today.  

Leveraging 25+ years of ecommerce experience, Chad Buckendahl serves as the General Manager and Vice President of Performance Marketing at sticky.io. He has taken on various roles at the organization, making him an expert at understanding how the sticky.io platform empowers performance marketers and solves their specific challenges. Chad previously ran several successful multi-million-dollar ecommerce businesses, holding high-level positions at OrangeGlo International (OxiClean), Whole Foods Market and Video Professor. He was the co-founder of 2Chads Fulfillment (now QuickBox) and sold it in 2016.