What is a hold in affiliate programs | How affiliate payments work and why we need quality control

In this article, we would like to give a more detailed description of what happens after a lead takes an action on the side of the affiliate platforms. If you don’t fully understand how the internal mechanism of affiliate platforms works, this article will help you understand all the processes and terms.

What is Hold?

Immediately before payment, CPA networks and advertisers pre-check the quality of your leads. This procedure is necessary to rule out a breach of the offer’s rules. The verification period is called the conversion confirmation hold. Once the parties have completed the verification, the payout status will be updated.

Rules of the offer are always published in its description. If any leads don’t comply with the rules and don’t pass the check, no payouts are made for them. Therefore, you need to clearly comply with everything that is stated in the description of the offer.

When the verification is completed, the funds will still be unavailable to you. This period is called the payout hold. You will be able to withdraw funds when the advertiser confirms payment.

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Different affiliates and offers have different hold periods, which you need to find out about in advance.

Why is the hold period different?

There are many factors that affect the holding period:

  • KPI.
  • The niche of the offerer.
  • Type of conversion.
  • Funnel.

The conversion confirmation hold is directly dependent on the type. For example, single-click offers or SOI are often validated immediately. On the other hand, when it comes to CPS and other complex conversion types, other parameters come into play, including payment and shipping, cancelled orders, and more.

The main point to make is to always check the terms of the offerer. In practice hold can last up to 90 days, and in complex conversions and above this term. Hold on payments usually varies within a few days or months.

In the screenshot below you can see an example of payment terms. The term “Net” should be understood to mean the end of the month or the end of the contract period. That is, Net7 means the end of the month + 7 days.

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Why do arbitrageurs need a hold?

In some affiliates you can find individual terms of cooperation. These terms depend directly on the quality of your traffic. If you have a good quality, you can count on improved conditions or additional benefits. For example, you may be offered access to some “closed” offers, improved payouts or less stringent caps.

A cap is a daily limit on the number of attracted leads. The higher the number – the better.

How can I reduce the hold on payments?

Show the affiliate that you have good traffic. If you are working with a normal network, it will also meet you halfway and be able to offer favorable terms. In particular, some affiliates offer a payout for every thousand leads, regardless of the terms.

Late conversions and related delays

Some of the offers involve additional checks, which are carried out by call centers. In such cases, payment deadlines can stretch out. One such example is technical problems on the part of the advertiser due to which he cannot track confirmations.

Remember that a complex flow equals more technical issues. And this, in turn, affects the timing of payments.

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If the confirmation of the lead is done through the call center, you can see potential leads immediately, but the sale or deposit itself is often delayed.

Mixed Flow Conversion

Mixed type flow should be understood as a combination of several types: CPS, CPL, FTD, CPI, CPE, and others. Mixed flow has both pluses and minuses.

The main plus is the ability to get funds for both types of conversions. If this option is not available, you can target the first type, but receive payouts for the second.

On the other hand, this type of conversion requires more time to verify.

Conclusions

To summarize, I would like to draw attention to a few important points:

  1. Work only with quality traffic.
  2. Do not try to circumvent the requirements of the offer.
  3. Do not be afraid to ask the network to check the quality of traffic in order to debug their own processes.
  4. Do not try to cheat CPA networks or advertisers.

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