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How To Define Cookie Life Time In An Affiliate Program?

Andrej Csizmadia

July 10, 2013
Last modified on September 9, 2022 at 7:13 am

Affiliate programs use cookie life time parameters to determine how long a relationship will exist between affiliates and visitors after visitors click on affiliate links. 
When a customer buys a product within a defined time frame, affiliates receive commission. After this period, affiliate commissions will not be assigned to customers, since the cookie has already expired.

Customers (merchants, affiliate program owners) often ask us how long the cookie life should be for their affiliate program.

In my experience, it doesn’t matter so much how long your cookie life time will be for accurate tracking, but it matters a great deal to your affiliates. 

A lot of affiliates believe, that amount of their commissions will be much higher in affiliate programs with cookie life Many affiliates believe that their commissions will be higher in affiliate programs with cookie life times of 365 days rather than affiliate programs with cookie life times of seven days. Is it really true ?

Many merchants believe that affiliate commissions will be much lower in the event of short cookie lives (e.g. 1 day). There are also affiliate programs with cookie life of 3 or 6 hours, which I consider crazy and counter-productive.

So let’s take a look at a use-case.

The image below shows statistic “Days to purchase” from Google Analytics of Quality Unit web site:

How To Define Cookie Life Time In An Affiliate Program?

If I will set ….

Over 93.5% of all sales took place within 24 hours, so affiliates will get nearly all commissions despite the short cookie life.  

96.43 percent of all sales will still be tracked correctly if cookie life time is set to 7 days… there is little difference between 1 day and 7 days

98.21% of sales are correctly tracked. Should merchant define one day instead of 30 days, he would save 5% of all commissions – not much if we know that affiliate motivation could drop by 50%.

Our recommendation

Set the cookie life time to 365 days or more! For you (as a merchant), it will make little difference whether the cookie lifetime is 1 or 365 days. Show your affiliates that you care about their commissions.

It is recommended that affiliates keep cookies for 30 days. Values less than 30 days cause affiliates to worry about commissions. As you can see, setting up a short cookie life will not save you much money, so why should your affiliates be worried?

While some say affiliate marketing is dead, we can see it is still thriving. 2018 is seeing an incredible shift from old to new marketing methods.

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Cookie lifetime determines how long the affiliate-visitor relationship is valid after the link is clicked. Find out more in the article.

How To Define Cookie Life Time In An Affiliate Program?

Affiliate programs use cookie life time parameters to determine the duration of a relationship between affiliates and visitors. This influences the commission received by affiliates when a sale is made within a defined time frame. While the length of cookie life time may not matter for accurate tracking, it significantly affects affiliates' commission rates. Many affiliates believe that their commissions are higher with a cookie life time of 365 days compared to seven days. It is recommended to set the cookie life time to 365 days or more to show that merchants care about their affiliates' commissions. Short cookie life times do not save much money, and values below 30 days cause affiliates to worry about commissions.

Are you new to affiliate marketing and looking for the best affiliate marketing funnel to boost your product sales? If yes, make sure you read this guide.

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This article discusses how to build an effective affiliate marketing funnel. It explains what a sales funnel is, the importance of choosing the right affiliate products, and the characteristics of a good affiliate program. The article also covers different types of affiliate marketing funnels, including course funnels, webinar funnels, and book funnels, and the mechanics of a successful funnel, such as traffic source and lead generation.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online if you have a website. Check out the top 13 tips for successful affiliate marketing and improve now.

13 Tips To Successful Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online, but it must be done right. Here are 13 tips for successful affiliate marketing. Building trust with your audience, getting traffic to your site, promoting products that solve a problem, being selective about the products you promote, and creating helpful content are important steps. Additionally, knowing your audience, promoting products within your posts, and diversifying your promotion platforms can also help. Patience is key, as it takes time for affiliate programs to generate significant revenue.

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