A high profile topic in the affiliate industry, cookie overwriting sparks debate around which affiliates deserve a commission payout based on the nature of their involvement in the conversion process. Up to this point, the “last click” model always wins, which has caused concern when some affiliates – namely browser add-ons, toolbars and plug-ins – use promotional methods that have a greater tendency to capture those “last clicks” than others.
Challenges Drive Innovation
We are pleased to announce the release of a new “soft click cookie” tracking solution. With this technology, affiliates running a promotional method that may have a greater tendency to overwrite other affiliate cookies at the final stages of a user’s journey – namely browser add-ons, toolbars, and plug-ins – can be assigned a soft click cookie by the network that cannot overwrite cookies set by standard affiliate traffic.
How it Works
When an affiliate applies to join the network, an extensive review of their site and promotional methods occurs. If site evaluation reveals that the affiliate model could negatively impact existing affiliate cookies, a conditional acceptance to the network is offered using the soft click solution. Models which typically qualify for soft click status include browser add-ons, plug-ins and toolbars.
The process is entirely transparent – all affiliates that fall within this category receive full disclosure that their account will operate using this technology and they must confirm their acceptance of these terms before they are admitted to the network. Upon mutual agreement, our team sets up and manages the tracking process. This course of action does not require any setup or implementation work from the affiliate; they can simply begin applying to our programs. The soft click cookie setting is assigned, tracked, and policed solely by our network.
Further, our tracking now operates on an affiliate cookie hierarchy:
When a site visitor clicks on an affiliate link, a standard tracking cookie is set on their computer. If the visitor clicks on multiple affiliate links for the same advertiser, the last click overwrites the first cookie and receives the commission payment.
When a site visitor solely interacts with a link provided by a soft click cookie partner, the affiliate is awarded the commission payout in the normal way. If an affiliate cookie is already present prior to a customer’s interaction with the soft click affiliate, the original site with the hard click cookie receives the commission payment.
If no hard click cookies are present, and more than one soft click cookie affiliate is involved in the conversion process, the last click model applies.
This soft click proposition will allow advertisers to work with soft click cookie affiliates without fear of adversely impacting existing affiliate relationships. It will also help those affiliates that provide real value to an advertiser during the early stages of the purchasing process, but are frequently over-written by technology that has a tendency to capture users late in the process.
Accordingly, affiliates eligible for the soft click cookie solution can now continue conversations with advertisers that enforce a “no overwriting” policy. Initial responses to this technology are extremely positive, with affiliates saying that this solution is a “truly unique and exciting offering for the industry.”
For more information please contact the buy.at team. Or, feel free to post in this thread.