What is Cookie Duration in Affiliate Marketing [Affiliate Basics]

What is Cookie Duration in Affiliate Marketing [Affiliate Basics]

A cookie is a compact text file data that is sent from a website and stored on a computer browser directory or program data folder. It has been designed specifically to track and record the browsing navigation of the users or store user’s data that helps them resume where they left off. For example: Remembering a theme selection, user login data, passwords, etc… are usually done through cookies.

Any information that one voluntarily enters while browsing is saved as a cookie. They are usually vital for websites that have a huge database, customized themes, and require users to sign in. The duration through which the information coded lasts in the user’s computer is the cookie duration.

More details about what are cookies can be found at Google Chrome help article – Clear, enable, and manage cookies in Chrome


Cookie Duration in Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing refers to the commission paid to any website for generating traffic and sales for their websites. While cookie duration in affiliate marketing programs is the lifetime variable, i.e., the valid time relations between the viewers and the affiliate after the visitor clicks on the respective link.

Here, if the visitor purchases before the time period of when the cookie expires, the affiliate gets a commission. However, if the purchase made exceeds the duration, the affiliate does not get paid as the cookie has expired.

For example, you’re a blog writer, and you wrote about a certain book that is available on Amazon. You add the link to the book from their website. The link that you generate on amazon creates an affiliate tracking cookie, which is unique to everyone who clicks on the link and the cookie saved on their browser. Here’s an example of an amazon affiliate link which looks like a regular “shop Now” button:

If the person purchases from the link before the cookie expires, the affiliate, i.e., The blog writer, is paid a certain amount as a commission.


The Average Duration of Cookie at Affiliate Program

The average cookie duration is usually set between 1-30 days for any affiliate program. It means that if someone makes a purchase using the referral link within the 30 days, you will get a commission.

Interestingly, for the Amazon affiliates, if a special link is created to automatically add the product in the cart of the viewer if they click on the link, Amazon increases the cookie duration to 90 days! (More about this topic on AuthorityAzon article – The 90 Day Amazon Affiliate Cookie)

The question that arises here is what should be the actual duration for both the merchants as well as the affiliates? While the merchants would argue that it should be limited to 24 hours or even lesser duration, the affiliates would want to extend it to 365 days! Both thinking about their own benefits.

Moreover, the duration varies from website to website. For affiliate marketing cookies, as research may suggest, increasing the cookie duration to 365 days may be an ideal condition for both the merchant and the affiliate.


Final Thoughts

Cookies are a good assistance to the website owners as well as the users. These cookies are a great way to make web surfing easier and help catch up with the latest shift or update on the website.

Cookie duration is one of the most essential things in an affiliate marketing and one must always check the cookie duration before signing a contract with any affiliate program. Although a standard time that is set between 24 hours to 30 days, it makes a lot of difference for the website marketing the content.

You can view our “all affiliate programs” page that may help you with further details and collaborations if you are ready to get started: https://affko.com/all-affiliate-programs/

Leave your comment