The selection of publishers: the key process for your performance marketing campaign.

Autor: Affilired

At AffiliRed, selection of publishers or “affiliate screening“ is meticulously done by humans, not machines.

If there is one key factor for the success of your performance marketing campaign, then that factor is the quality of your traffic. Why? Because quality traffic increases the conversion rate and therefore sales.

And how do you get that illusive quality traffic that is so essential for performance marketing?
By choosing the right publishers who will help you reach your target audience.


At AffiliRed we work with a huge variety of affiliate networks, which means we have access to thousands of publishers with whom we can collaborate internationally. Although many affiliate networks perform an initial filtering of publishers, AffiliRed considers that these initial filters do not always meet the necessary criteria to promote our travel programs.

After more than 10 years of managing campaigns in the travel sector, we have developed a strict filtering process that has been adapted to the needs of the sector. This filtering process means that we can assure our advertisers that the publishers we select are both of high quality and are specialists in their chosen fields.

This process is known as “Affiliate Screening”, and it is meticulously done manually at AffiliRed and is performed periodically by our operations department. It consists of evaluating each publisher using a selection process which aids us in determining if they are the right affiliate for our clients.

Phase 1. Preselection:

Although every publisher that joins one of the programs needs to belong to the Travel Sector, we also verify that they fall within other categories such as promotional codes or cash back specialists, which add value by increasing brand recognition and direct sales. When a publisher does not fall into any of the categories relevant to the advertiser, we either suspend their application or request additional information before continuing with the approval process.

Phase 2. Quality check:

Publishers who pass the previous requirement then go through to the second phase where quality control is performed. This phase ensures that publishers are of the required quality and that they comply with the terms and conditions set by the advertisers.

The Quality Check consists of the following points:

1. Records
A very important factor during the approval phase is the publisher´s track record of relationships and activities. At AffiliRed we have a database of publishers and their relationships with various advertisers. This helps us to determine beforehand which publishers are already known and trusted and allows us to streamline the selection process.

2. Traffic
To assess the potential of the publishers we analyse their data, assessing their monthly traffic streams, as well as the number of subscribers and / or followers on social networks. If we conclude that the publisher does not reach the minimum standard required, the publisher will not be approved.

3. Webpage Quality
The layout of the webpage is the showcase of the business, it helps to enhance the sale of the product. The layout needs to ooze confidence! It is imperative that the webpage has a striking design, with the correct distribution of the elements and information necessary so that the user can easily find what they are looking for. Any publisher who has a hard to use page with a poor design and serious flaws, such as the inclusion of broken links, is not going to be a publisher who will make notable promotional efforts for advertisers and therefore will not be accepted.

4. Content
Content, content, content! What would digital marketing be without content? But are all types of content equal? No, says the operations team, and what do we mean by quality content? Not just copy that is unique, original and relevant to the theme in hand, but it must be relevant to the products promoted on your website.

5. Additional information
At some point in the selection process certain doubts may arise which is quite normal. In these cases, we contact the publisher or the network to request more information, with the aim of clarifying our doubts about your website or promotional activities. All of the above points within the initial selection phase demonstrate the relevance of a site and are decisive in the final decision for approval and therefore access to promote the campaign.

Phase 3. Monitoring:

The process does not end once approval has been granted. While all the activities of every publisher are monitored, the newcomers activities are monitored even more closely:

1. Traffic Monitoring
Weekly checks on the volume of traffic sent by the publisher to the advertiser’s website. If the flow is very high at a certain period, AffiliRed verifies that it is not traffic that has been bought or obtained fraudulently. We also check the CTR and conversion ratios.

2. Sales monitoring
We check that the sales obtained by the publisher are lawful and that they have not resorted to AdWords campaigns or any other actions that have the intention of falsely obtaining greater traffic volume, known as affiliate arbitrage.

3. Referral
We verify that the origin of the traffic that the publisher sends to the advertiser comes from the declared websites. If necessary, we contact the publisher to request further information.
Once we have received enough data and have made the relevant checks, and after a certain period of time, the affiliate is placed on our database of trusted affiliates.

Phase 4. Revision:

Not only do publishers have to earn our trust, they also must keep it. All publishers are subject to periodic reviews by both the Account Managers and Affiliate Managers. By doing these checks we ensure we not only maintain rigorous quality control, but it also helps us to detect any synergies between different publishers that may allow us to develop new sales opportunities.

Phase 5. Data:

After 10 years of running performance campaigns, we have compiled enough information on traffic patterns to develop an algorithm to help us with this tedious task. The data is fed into our fraud tool, which then processes daily the information received, detects any abnormal patterns in the traffic or the conversions and alerts us if an anomaly occurs.

Our system monitors elements such as IP’s, browser, conversion ratios, traffic … and automatically notifies us when these patterns match those of other low-quality publishers.

This is what in general terms is Affiliate Screening. An exclusive process developed by AffiliRed for the sole purpose of filtering and therefore improving the operation of our performance marketing campaigns.