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Affiliate programs that do not use cookies

Is there such a thing?

     
5:37 am on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am a merchant using an affiliate sales program. I'm writing a new FAQ for my affiliates, and I'd like to explain about tracking cookies, and how if a user deletes them before making a purchase, then they won't get a commission. Which brings up a couple of questions of my own:

1. How often does the average user purge their cookies (Get it? Purge? Ok, bad joke...) I don't know if there is any data on this, but if there is, it would be good to know. My program has a "cookie expirey" set for one year, but I would find it hard to believe that many folks would go a whole year without deleting their cookies - especially when so many people use adaware, spybot, etc.

2. Do ALL affiliate programs use cookies? I want to explain that this problem is not specific to MY affiliate program, and that, when it comes to affiliate programs, that's just how the cookie crumbles (man, I'm on a roll). But I need to know if it's actually true before I state this.

I'd like to have this info in my FAQ, so if anyone has any thoughts on this, your input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Phil

2:21 pm on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Some affiliate programs do not use cookies, they just use a string on the end of the URL, like .aff1234 but there are no return days associated wih those programs. The affiliate is tracked by the code on the end of the URL for that session only.
2:44 pm on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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most hotel affiliate programmes do only have links without cookies. at least those that pay real money
1:42 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That's good to know - thanks.

I've found some stats on how often people delete their cookies (or say they do). This comes from a study by the Atlas Institute:

Everyweek: 42.6
Every month:13.7
Every three months:43.7

So, according to this, 100% of people delete their cookies within 3 months, and about half do within a month.

What this says to me is: If you (the merchant) set your cookie expirey date at 1 year (like mine is), it won't make any difference to the affiliates - the results will be the same as if it was set for 90 days.

Phil

2:38 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I find that data very hard to believe.

What on earth would be encouraging the average neophyte web surfer to delete their cookies that frequently.

I suspect if I did a poll, I would find most people never delete their cookies, certainly not almost half every week.

4:39 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"What on earth would be encouraging the average neophyte web surfer to delete their cookies that frequently."

You have to remember, LOTS of people use things like Adaware, Spybot and other anti-adware programs. Many anti-virus programs also include cookie killers. When you run these you have the option of dumping your cookies.

I'm not say that the poll is 100% accurate, but I imagine it's close enough so that you get the general picture. This poll was conducted by the Atlas Institute, not just some guy with a website.

6:52 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The quoted statistics do not represent the conclusion of the Atlas study! They represent consumers' "self-reported behavior," and the Atlas study actually REFUTED these statistics by comparing them to "actual cookie deletion behavior." Actual cookie deletion rates are much lower.

[atlassolutions.com...]

Ask consumers how often they back up their hard disks, and they may come up with an average of every 20 days -- but if you check the actual interval between backups (or between the date of last backup and the failure of the hard disk), you'll find that it's 40 or 60 or 90 days instead.

Ask consumers how often they use condoms, and you might conclude that condoms are used in 85% of their sexual encounters, but if you're a condom merchant, you'd quickly discover that the actual behavior is very different (probably far below 50%).

 

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