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affiliate marketing

How Cookie Durations Affect Your Affiliate Earnings

Affiliate marketing is popular and it can be a great way for a newbie to begin making some money online.  CAN be.  If you do your homework.

AND if you set out with realistic expectations along the lines of: no, you will not get rich overnight and yes, you will have to do some work!

As my dad would say “it’s not digging ditches,” so it is not back-breaking work.  Nor is it rocket-science.  But you will need to learn some skills and do some work and be consistent and use some common sense.

Doing a little research and picking up some useful tips is not a bad idea either!  So here’s one for you!

Cookie Duration.

Successful affiliate marketers understand the cookies and the duration of the cookies of the product they promote.  So you also take that into consideration when looking into products to promote, right?  Right!

Duration of cookies, huh?  We’re not talking about a bag of Oreos hidden away on the top shelf of the snack cabinet.  We are talking about cookies as in little thingys that websites put on computers.

The average consumer doesn’t think much about cookies.  They understand that cookies are a part of life online and that companies use them to track information.  They are annoyed with all these cookies clogging up their computers [even if that isn’t true!] You might have said some of those things yourself!

But when you decide to sell products as an affiliate, these cookies become very important.  They are the way you will make money.  The cookie is what ties you and your commission to the sale that came in from that guy over in Australia whom you’ve never met!

How many times have you found a site and saw something that you really liked but you didn’t have the time, energy, or money to buy it just then and so you clicked on out of the site, on your merry way?  Lots of times, right?

Sometimes you forgot about it entirely or decided that you don’t want it after all.

But other times … other times you want to go back and buy it.  And you can’t remember the site!

If you found that must-have item randomly on the net, you won’t remember the person, the affiliate, who was selling it.  You only remember the product.  If you searched and found the product again and purchased it, the cookie would ensure that the commission would go to the person whose site you find in the first place, even if you’ve been on six sites since.

As an affiliate, that is good news for you.  That’s why, as an affiliate, you would want to know how long the cookies last!

There are pros and cons to the benefits of short or long cookie duration!  Usually a longer duration is tied to a smaller commission percent.  Then again … it might make sense to have a longer time for people to make a decision.

Other times, it makes better sense to get the bigger commission even though there’s a shorter cookie time – maybe it a time limited offer or an impulse buy sort of product so you’re pretty sure people will either buy now or not.


If you are interested in affiliate marketing, don’t miss your free guide!

Finally! Succeed at Affiliate Marketing!  I started out making a cheat-sheet but ended up making a great guide.   And you can still have it for free.  Go now and grab it!


Here are a few articles that show some of the pros and cons of different scenarios of how to look at cookie duration and how it can affect your business.  I hope they will help in your decisions and research!  

I don’t know what ever happened to this guy.  There’s nothing newer than 2011 on the site but you know?  This is the best explanations of cookies and how to look at duration than you’re ever going to see!   In the case of this blog post, age doesn’t matter!

What is an Affiliate Cookie and Do I Care about its Duration?

So should you be worrying about how long the cookie lasts or what happens if people decide to look for the product tomorrow and buy from someone else?  Or should you put your energy into how to get people interested enough to buy now?  Then whole cookie thing would be moot!

Blog Tip #24: Don’t forget to factor in Cookie Duration in …

I think the views of folks looking at it from the other side answers the question for me!  The following two articles are by men who advise people who want to run affiliate programs.  What will benefit them?  Should they have the initial sales go to their affiliates and then take all the rest for themselves?

Ultimately, that will not benefit them at all.  They make more money if their affiliates make money.  And guess what?  The statistics show that the affiliate and their product owners make most of their money in the first 30 days.  Maybe a little after.  But only 1% after 90 days.

1%.  That’s not worth any of us arguing about, is it?!



Why Your Affiliate Program Should Have a Lifetime Cookie by Matt McWilliams

Post Affiliate Pro:  How to Define Cookie Lifetime In an affiliate Program? 

Both of these guys have advised that the length of the cookie does big things in the PR department, it does good to make the affiliates feel better and more trusting toward the product owner while not really making much difference financially for anybody!   They both advised long duration cookies.

Matt McWilliams advises them to go with a lifetime cookie.  Why not?  If it makes everyone love you and work that much harder to sell your stuff, it would be crazy not to!

For us as affiliates, I think we can calm down!  Know to check the duration.  30-90-365-lifetime is good.  We don’t want the momentary blip cookies (session cookies) that expire the minute the person goes on to another page.  But we see that our time is better spent on learning how to sell with a sense of urgency so that people act right away than trying to get them back later before our cookies expire!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on Affiliate Marketing Cookies!  If you would like more useful and helpful and free information on how to make affiliate marketing work for you, please hop over right now!  and grab your free Guide!

Finally! Succeed At Affiliate Marketing: the Guide!

Get your guide and get busy!  I wish you every success!

Patt / Patt Timlin Online



About the Author Patt Timlin

Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper - Patt loves the online world and love to share it!