Lead scrubbing is an important step to maintain the integrity of any offer or lead generation campaign.  It basically just means removing leads or sales that contain bogus, inaccurate, or incorrect information.  These leads are useless and kill the ROI for any campaign. There seems to be a lot of confusion over lead scrubbing.  Some affiliates think that it involves a network stealing leads from them after they have been reported,  but that is usually called lead shaving.  Lead scrubbing is a necessary step to make sure all leads or sales going to the advertiser or client are valid.   Without valid leads the advertisers doesn’t make money and closes the offer, and everyone loses.

Typical scrub rates vary for certain industries.  Mortgage leads usually average about a 15% scrub rate, while certain free offers can run 50% or more. Everyone wants to keep scrubbed lead rates as low as possible.  So how can you reduce the percent of leads scrubbed?

From the perspective of the affiliate:

Much of the lead scrubbing is done on the actual offer page, which is out of the hands of the affiliate.  But there are several things you can control to affect scrub rates of your traffic.

1.  Pre-qualifying your clicks is very important to weed out random clicks.

2.  Accurate demographic targeting is another.  By closely matching the  demographic of the person to the offer, you increase the chances of valid information.

3.  Correct GEO targeting.  If you send traffic from outside the accepted geographic area, the leads will be scrubbed.

4.  Using quality traffic sources.   Pay per click traffic will always yield lower scrub rates than un-targeted display traffic.

From the perspective of the advertiser or local lead gen:

If you are running a local lead gen or private affiliate offer, you want scrub rates as low as possible since you are paying for each lost lead.

Form validation is your first line of defence against bad leads.  There are 2 basic methods of form validation: client side (Javascript) and server side (PHP).  I prefer to use a mix of both.  The key is to validate every field as much as possible to not leave anything to chance for the user.  Check for blank fields, invalid entries, phone numbers, credit cards, invalid email addresses, URLs, invalid field lengths, numbers only, etc.  Basically you need to think of every possible way someone could mess up a form and get them to enter it correctly before they hit submit.   Proper form validation can make the difference between a successful offer and and failure.  It really is that important.   If you are running your own lead gen campaign, you also need to look at your traffic sources, as discussed above, to reduce scrub rates.

You can never get rid of scrubbed leads completely, but by setting up the forms correctly and sending quality traffic, you can greatly decrease scrub rates.