What Are Affiliate Marketing Tracking Cookies?

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Welcome Welcome everyone. today we are going to dig into what an affiliate tracking cookie is and why it is so important to the overall affiliate marketing business.

Plus we will answer a few important questions about tracking cookie duration and how they correlate to the success of an affiliate marketing business. Let’s get to it.

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A Closer Look At Affiliate Tracking Cookies

What Is An Affiliate Tracking Cookie And What Is It Used For?

A tracking cookie does just what it implies. It tracks anyone who clicks on your link with a small file placed in their browser. The reason for this is to tell the website or store that they are going to who sent them there.

With that information, the affiliate program can tell who the affiliate marketer was that made the referral and in turn, they know where to send the commission if a purchase is made.

It all happens behind the scenes and most people won’t even notice. Just about every website you go to has some form of cookie to identify you. They are pretty harmless but most websites will ask you to accept them or let you know that they are using cookies on that site.

You can see that at the top of every article on our site we have an affiliate marketing disclaimer that basically states that a cookie may be added to your browser if you click a link on our site. It is all pretty routine.

Why Are Tracking Cookies Important?

Tracking cookies are incredibly important to any affiliate marketing business. They are simply put the tool that tells the affiliate marketer that the customer that just bought something came from your content or through your affiliate link.

The tracking cookie tells the affiliate program where the customer came from and where to send the commission for that sale.

There are other ways to track this but tracking cookies are the most common and without them, you would have a much more difficult time getting sales with your affiliate links and through your content.

What is A Tracking Cookie Duration?

The tracking cookie duration is simply the amount of time that a tracking resides on someone browser when they click on your affiliate link. The durations can be anything really and you will find a wide range of them throughout your time in affiliate makreting.

Some of the shortest one are just 20-hours long, like the basic Amazon Associates tracking cookie, some are a year long and others are a lifetime tracking cookie that last forever or until that person clears their cookies from their browser.

What Is The Most common Cookie Duration?

The most common tracking cookie duration that you’re going to come across in your affiliate marketing travels is the 30-day tracking cookie.

This is actually a pretty nice duration it gives you a good balance of time to make a sale through promotion and still get credit for that sale.  and it’s not too short that it really affects your overall conversion rate like a 20 hour or even a 7-Day cookie can in some instances.

Another great thing about the 30-day cookie is that many of them are eligible for return visits so if a customer uses your affiliate link and then goes back to the site and buys more at a later date often times you will still get a commission on those sales as well for the entire duration of the 30 days. 

As always make sure that the affiliate program you joining offers return days in order to get the best out of that affiliate program.  But even if they don’t offer return days and it’s just a one-time use tracking cookie 30 days is still going to be a very nice boon for your affiliate marketing business.

How Do Tracking Cookies Affect Conversion Rates?

Tracking cookies have a profound effect on your overall conversion rate. Think about it if you give someone more time to think about a purchase that’s only going to benefit you as the affiliate marketer.

This is especially true of high ticket items. For how these types of items you want as long as a tracking cookie duration as you can find. The more expensive the item the more time the potential consumer is going to spend thinking about that purchase.

This is one of the reasons why a lot of affiliate marketers don’t routinely Market or promote High ticket items. Because oftentimes a 30-day cookie will not be enough time for someone to decide whether they want to spend 1k or $2,000 on a product that you’ve recommended.

A lot of times the advice you’ll see from affiliate marketers is to try and find a product that is around $100 and promote that because a 30-day track and cookie will be just fine for that and it’s the type of price that a wide swath of potential customers can afford.

That being said if you have $100 product and you only have a 20-hour tracking cookie that is going to seriously hamper your overall conversion rate.

20 hours is just not really enough time to decide on a product of that cost unless that potential customer is already at the buying phase of their Journey. 

Which brings us to another point with regards to tracking cookies. If you have very short duration tracking cookies you want to try and put your affiliate links into content with a lot of buyer intent so that your content is close to the last thing they see before they decide on whether or not to make that purchase.

The Big Finish

That brings us to the end of our look at tracking cookies and their value to an affiliate marketer. A tracking Cookie by itself is probably not going to be the make-or-break statistic that you use to decide whether to join an affiliate program or not.

But it is a very important metric for an affiliate program. The longer the tracking cookie the more chance you have of converting that affiliate link click into an affiliate commission.

And while it won’t be the first thing you look at when choosing an affiliate program it can be the deciding factor if all the other factors like commission and great products are equal then choosing a program with a longer tracking cookie might just get you a higher conversion rate.

The point is the tracking cookie is not something that you want to completely overlook or dismiss out of hand. Always take a look at it and see if it’s something that can really help your business or in some cases heard it if the tracking cookie is way too short.

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