Purse strings are tight, commission rates are slowly reducing and as a publisher, managing your cash flow has never been more important. It’s therefore imperative to use all of the data at your disposal to make sound investments with the traffic you have access to.

Decline rates have long been considered a very safe way to judge how secure your commissions might be but with the increase in multi-channel marketing and consequently de-duplication, decline rates now only tell half the story and can actually end up being a positive.

Imagine that you help to deliver 100 sales to a retailer and for 60 of those, you were the last referrer, 20 of them you assisted with but didn’t secure the last click and the other 20 were returned by the customer.

Determining Deduplication

The method of deduplication will then determine the decline rate:

A Retailer (X) who de-dupes manually (allows you to see all of the sales you’ve helped with but declines those where you weren’t the last marketing channel) and Retailer (Z) who dedupes automatically (only allowing you to see the sales that you were the last referrer for) will have different decline rates.

Retailer (X) will have a 40% decline rate (60 out of 100 are approved) and Retailer (Z) will have a 25% decline rate (60 out of 80 are approved).
In such circumstance, it’s probably more helpful as a publisher to work with retailer X as they offer you the insight that there were 20 sales you helped with but weren’t the last referrer for. It’s a great conversation starter and allows you to work closely with the retailer to understand what’s being looked at in between your site departure and the final purchase. In an ideal situation, you’ll work out a way to secure those extra 20 sales yourself.

The next time you have a declined transaction, embrace it and use it to your advantage – you might just make yourself some extra earnings in the process.