The Affiliate Cookie Scam

by: Ed Zivkovic

The Scabby Time-Limited Cookie

I wonder why many affiliate program administrators do not allow their affiliates to be tracked for ever?

The affiliate link is free advertising for the affiliate program. For this they should be grateful. But many are not.

Many affiliate programs only track the visitor for a limited amount of time.

We see bullshit like 30, 60, 90 and 120 day cookies.

What this means is that if that visitor makes a purchase after the cookie expires, the affiliate gets nothing.

Why do they do this?

I think it is to rip people off!

Because the affiliate program who only allows for a scabby, time-limited cookie knows that all visitors will not buy in that time period.

It is a fact that many people will not buy on the first visit or even several months later. They buy when they get around to it. When they are ready.

Armed with this information, many (if not most) affiliate programs set time-limited cookies.

Instead of being grateful that affiliates give them free advertising and sending them traffic they would not have had otherwise, they in effect, steal the visitor.

They want to blame the affiliate for not being able to convert the traffic before the cookie expired. What a load of crap.

It is the affiliates job to send traffic. It is the job of the affiliate program to convert the traffic into sales. If it takes longer to convert the traffic, then so be it. For this reason, the affiliate who sent the traffic should still be credited with the sale.

My biggest question in regards to this matter

Why do affiliate programs think they are entitled to steal the visitor after a certain period of time?

The Good Guys

Why then do other good and respectable affiliate programs allow for a permanent cookie to track the visitor for ever?

I'll tell you why - Because they want you to make money.

You see, if you make some money from their program, there is a good chance you will continue to promote their products.

This is why people like John Reese, Janik Silver and Ken Evoy have massive armies of loyal affiliates.

Example of Class

I have been getting commissions from Janik Silver for back-end products Janik has sold after the initial purchase.

What this means is that I have sent Janik some traffic for a specific product right. Then Janik has converted some of that traffic into a sale for which I got paid. Now here's the good bit. Janik has continued to market other products and services to these initial customers. If some of these customers have purchased, I have been credited with the sale. Now that's class!

Interesting Question

If Janik Silver can do this, why do not other affiliate programs follow along these lines?

How to Detect Unsuitable Affiliate Programs

Examine their site and look for things like:
  • A telephone ordering number which does not have the capacity to track.
  • An email capture system which will not track future sales. If they mail your prospect, you should get the sale whenever it happens no matter how far down the track that is. If they buy after a cookie has expired, you lose!
  • A discussion forum which will cause your visitor to delay the decision making process.
  • An affiliate sign up link designed to induce the visitor to purchase from their own affiliate link.
  • An affiliate sign up link which will not pay on a two-tier basis.
  • Other products and services on the site which are not trackable by your affiliate link.

Remember This

We are not in the business of sending free traffic to affiliate programs in order for them to build their mailing list for free at the expense of our time and money.

I do not mind if a visitor with my cookie clicks on another affiliate link which overwrites my cookie, but I am no longer joining affiliate programs with time-limited cookies. This includes the so called generous 365 day cookie and the extremely generous 2 year cookie.

In my opinion, if Clickcash can set permanent cookies, then so can everybody else.