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Old 06-13-2005   #1
Marcia
 
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Cookie washing and the threat to affiliate income

I visited a site a few times this weekend and was greeted each time with a pop-up inviting visitors to sign up for email specials, resulting in a 10% discount on their first order. That means that if the visitor arrived by clicking on an affiliate link, or is on a return visit after clicking on the affiliate's link, which is often the case with higher priced items, the cookie would be over-written if the visitor responds to the pop-up. Why shouldn't they sign up? 10% of items over $500 or even over $1,000 is a lot of money to save.

Net result for the affiliate who sent the traffic to the merchant? No commission, the merchant has aggressively hijacked it and turned it into a house account.

An outstanding piece has been written on this subject by Andy Rodriguez, one of the most successful and highly esteemed Affiliate Managers in the industry:

The Truth about Affiliate Cookies
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Old 06-14-2005   #2
Scottie
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A trust relationship?

I'm not involved in too many affiliate projects, but it has always seemed to me like there was too much "trust" involved in the relationship... there are too many ways for link-based and cookie-based tracking to be lost or intentionally removed. I've yet to see a program that appeared to be "solid" in protecting the affiliate interest.

Great article, Marcia! Very interesting.
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Old 06-15-2005   #3
McFox
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An additional aspect of affiliate marketing that concerns me greatly, particularly among the bigger networks is the ever increasing cookie-blocking from anti-spyware / tracking cookie apps.

Don't get me wrong, I support the anti-spyware apps but I do feel that many organisations are purposefully neglecting to take adequate, or for that matter any, steps to clean up their collective acts.

The end product seller is happy since they pay less commission while the collective get paid either way but the affiliate gets elbowed out of the equation entirely.

I was unaware of this cookie washing method of short changing the affiliate. Makes you wonder if it's worth the trouble when you see escalating PPC costs and dwindling affiliate revenues.

Bah!
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