Importance of Cookies in Performance Marketing

If you are the publisher you need to be aware of the tracking duration offered by the advertisers/merchants with whom you choose to work. We commonly refer to this as Cookie Duration or, simply, Cookies. Some, big brands (mostly?) offer very short or even no tracking gap. That means if a customer you refer doe not make a purchase during that first visit you DO NOT get commissioned for that sale.

Many people do make up their minds and complete a purchase on an initial visit but, in my experience, about 20 percent do not. What brought this topic to mind was a “for instance” I noticed as I checked network stats this morning for sales activity from yesterday. My last three sales (yesterday) at, back-to-back-to-back, were all successful because of Cookies. The first had a period of five days from the customer’s first visit to the visit where they completed their purchase and the second had a period of 19 days and three separate visits to my site. The third sale had a tracking gap of 27 days and – get this – a total of 12 separate visits to my site before the customer finally pulled the trigger on his/her 13th visit.

While investigating merchants to promote (on my sites and on your sites) we do need to be cognizant of the Cookies being served up to us as part of the merchant-affiliate agreement. 30 days is adequate – anything less favors the merchant and hurts “our” bottom line. In my example from “yesterday” – had the tracking gap been only 15 days – I would have “lost” being commissioned for two out of those three sales.  BTW, that last sale had a commission of $50.89.