Ensuring proper code implementation to prevent duplicate crediting across multiple networks may seem like basic account management knowledge, but that isn’t always the case. Duplicate crediting is not advanced attribution where commissions are split between multiple affiliates. Instead, it is paying out the same full commission to multiple affiliates in different networks; a common mistake I’ve seen occur across the board from multi-network mom and pop merchants to international brands.

Proper code implementation to dynamically fire your network pixel is not rocket science—by no means does an account manager need to be a tech expert, or even have a technical background. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way. LinkConnector has observed that on average, 20% of affiliate events have multiple affiliate clicks involved in the same transaction – this can lead to a substantial leakage of marketing dollars covering the same conversion.

“I’ll make sure an affiliate is only approved in one network.”

This is by far the most common reason why affiliate managers don’t believe they could possibly be paying out duplicate commissions. While this method may prevent merchants from paying out the same affiliate across multiple networks, it does not prevent you from paying out different affiliates across multiple networks. An abbreviated version of this common scenario is as follows:

  • CLICK 1: Customer clicks on your link from Blogger A (Network A) and a cookie is created. The customer does not complete the transaction.
  • CLICK 2: Same customer clicks on your link from Blogger B (Network B), creating a cookie and completing a transaction.

Result: In this example the customer completed one transaction. Blogger A and Blogger B are in different networks. Mistakenly, you have fired both networks’ codes resulting in both Bloggers A & B receiving credit within their network.

“I’m guilty of duplicate crediting – now what?”

  • Plan
  • Communicate
  • Execute

Reach out to your network account managers to start planning a solution. Each network is different, and therefore your plan needs to take into account the unique code requirements of your individual networks. It is also important to consider your affiliates’ traffic within the existing cookie period. An error on the code implementation does not mean you should penalize affiliates for traffic they’ve previously sent, which could put you at risk of losing future traffic. So, implementation of the new pixel method must be added gradually. Share each network’s feedback with your tech team to determine the best plan moving forward.

Communicate with your affiliates. These are your partners, and you should always be transparent about forthcoming changes surrounding the relationship. Lack of communication may cause affiliates to become concerned should any unexpected trends occur (e.g., decreased conversion rates for the same traffic they have always sent).

Once you’ve executed your plan, it is important to monitor its impact across the affiliates involved. With the successful elimination of duplicate commissions, your program can see an increase in revenue with a reinvestment of budget into your most successful relationships.


Published first by FeedFront Magazine, Issue 35.

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