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  1. #1
    Newbie MNSandy's Avatar
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    Question Cookies - how long?
    Hi everyone,

    I'd like to discuss with you about cookie duration.

    What in your opinion is the right period in days for cookie and why?

    Has it proven to make you more money if cookie is set for 3 months or 1 month, etc?


  2. #2
    15 years and counting
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNSandy
    Hi everyone,
    I'd like to discuss with you about cookie duration.
    What in your opinion is the right period in days for cookie and why?
    Has it proven to make you more money if cookie is set for 3 months or 1 month, etc?
    The longer the better. With a longer cookie you have more opportunities to close the sale than with a shorter one, it's obvious. In most cases, you'll make more money if your cookies are set for 3 months than for 1 month

    The right length for a cookie depends of your vertical. High ticket items should have longer cookies. 90 days or longer.

    If you're in a very competitive area, your cookie could be shorter.

    SaS has a graph to give you an idea of the importance of cookies. It's called "Return Day Analysis"

    The importance of cookie duration depends also of your business model. If you're a couponer, you can afford shorter cookies as you're one of the last in the food chain.

    And if you're selling products from merchants infested by parasites, cookie duration is meaningless, your cookies will be washed in no time.

    I expect a cookie from a merchant I'll like to promote to last at least 60 days.

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Very true it depends on the program and the products but a longer cookie does make it more attractive program to your affiliate partners.

  4. #4
    Newbie MNSandy's Avatar
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    Hi guys, thanks for your contributions.

    I guess I found the SAS thread you've mentioned. Lot's of powerful insights.
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=78069

  5. #5
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    I forgot about this thread. The "search" feature at ABW is really your best friend.
    "non-commissionable sale report" at Linkshare is also quite an interesting report to study. It's telling you what items you sold for free because your cookie was expired.

  6. #6
    Newbie MNSandy's Avatar
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    Here's the link to non-commissionable sale report as well:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=22355

    p.s. ABW search didn't work for me, Google did the job.

  7. #7
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    I insist on at least 30 return days.

  8. #8
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    I always tell my clients (merchants): "do never-expiring cookies", and send them the attached printscreen.

    Geno
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Here's a thread in the Merchant Best Practices forum about it:

    Cookie Duration

    Merchants should look at what their competitors are doing. They should look at the buying cycle of their products. They should look at their average order size. Each of those things should point to a specific cookie duration. They should pick the highest of those numbers, then probably bump it up a bit higher.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  10. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    120 days

  11. #11
    Member MyDayRegistry's Avatar
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    I Wise Man once said.....In his case a women...

    Whatever you think double it.

  12. #12
    Member niche's Avatar
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    Varies
    The ideal cookie duration varies with the product you are marketing.

    You have to keep in mind the fact that it is the most recent referer that clinches the sale.

    Take the example of promoting a product that is very heavily promoted by other marketers. If it has a long cookie duration, they would probably have clicked on some other affiliates link before making the purchase hence you lose your sale.

    With these types of products, a short cookie duration and a buy now pitch from you probably gets better results. {This is just my opinion]

    With products that are not over subscribed to by other affiliates, a long cookie duration is ideal. Because the product is not too heavily marketed, the possibility of your prospective buyer having clicked on someone else's link are less. In this scenario a long dyration cookie up to 3 months might be ideal.
    [URL="http://www.affiliatemarketingintro.com"]Affiliate Marketing Basics[/URL]

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Afilyit's Avatar
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    I wonder these days if people are getting wise to "spyware" and now running programs such as Spybot. Programs like this show tracking cookies as "spyware", thus giving the user the option to delete them upon revealing the search results.

    I don't know what pct. of computer users actually use programs like this, but I'm sure it has some effect on cookie length.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afilyit
    I wonder these days if people are getting wise to "spyware" and now running programs such as Spybot. Programs like this show tracking cookies as "spyware", thus giving the user the option to delete them upon revealing the search results.

    I don't know what pct. of computer users actually use programs like this, but I'm sure it has some effect on cookie length.
    There are many reasons that cookies disappear or are never set in the first place. Anti-spyware is just one of them. Yet another pitfall of aff marketing.



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  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager Stephanie Harris's Avatar
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    I agree with a lot of what was said here, but I rarely see sales come in from any of my merchant programs past the first 5 days of the cookie. So it really doesn't hurt the merchant to make the cookie days as long as possible. Because there's definitely a perceived value to a longer cookie in the typical market (and especially in a market where the items are very high priced) but the actual value is more minimal than one would think. I'm usually surprised that more sales don't come in later in the cookie duration.
    Stephanie Harris
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  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager Afilyit's Avatar
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    Thank you

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    I think a minimum of 30 days.

    But, more importantly, I will quickly jump back on my soap box and say cookies should be made where they can not be overwritten for 60 minutes to protect the affiliate that sets the cookie.

    OK, I have stepped off the soap box.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager Afilyit's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the suggestions. Considering 98% of our sales are in the first couple of days, although a 30 day cookie would be sufficient, 120 days make the program look more attractive to potential affiliates.

  19. #19
    Newbie MNSandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visitourmall
    I think a minimum of 30 days.

    But, more importantly, I will quickly jump back on my soap box and say cookies should be made where they can not be overwritten for 60 minutes to protect the affiliate that sets the cookie.

    OK, I have stepped off the soap box.
    That's an interesting concept, but what about PPC affiliates, etc?

    I guess this depends from the market type, visitor buying habits, and affiliate type.

    The big affiliates sending 1000's of visitors will be eager to this even if they use poor sales process in place, while smaller affiliates that goes after very specific angles would miss out.

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