Why is a cookie so important, and what is first-click & last-click attribution in affiliate marketing 1200

First and foremost, let’s explain a little about what is a cookie and why it is so important in affiliate marketing.

Cookies are small files that store the user’s preference on their browser (Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge) as they navigate various websites. For example, whenever you visit a website, you can see a pop-up of cookie consent, which tells you that this website uses cookies.

If you hit the “accept” button, you have given the website consent to monitor and remember certain information about your actions on a particular website, such as the items you saved in the wish list and shopping cart, login details, etc.

The cookies are how companies and affiliate marketplaces know that the sales are coming through your affiliate link.

Besides, a cookie has a lifespan. Let’s take the Exabytes affiliate program as an example. The program has 60 days’ cookie, which means when somebody clicks on your affiliate link and purchases within 60 days, you will get a commission.

Many other affiliate programs have a higher cookie lifespan, like 90 days, 120 days, which is amazingly beneficial for the affiliate.

But here is a critical question — what if somebody clicks on your affiliate link and clicks on somebody else’s affiliate link? Who will get the commission? Well, that is where first-click and last-click attribution comes into the picture.

Definition of the first-click & last-click attribution in affiliate marketing

First click: This is where the first affiliate in the sales funnel receives the commission.

There are a few affiliate programs that have first click attributions. The first click attribution is if somebody clicks your affiliate link to visit a website, but they have purchased by clicking on somebody else’s link, then you are the one who is going to receive 100% commission for that sale. That is how the cookies and first click attribution helps.

Last click: This is where the latest affiliate in the sales funnel receives the commission.

For example, what if someone clicks your affiliate link to visit a website, and they visited somebody else’s link just before making the purchase. Now, this is where the affiliate policies of the product come into the picture. If the affiliate program you joined has last-click attribution, meaning that whichever affiliate is placing the most recent cookie on a user’s browser is received 100% commission for that sale.

Suppose you plan or already join a particular affiliate program. In that case, it is good practice to check the affiliate terms and conditions and ask the primary two questions — what is the cookie lifespan of this affiliate program? Is it first-click or last-click attribution? It is a vital piece of information that will help you make more money from your affiliate marketing.

Now you have a basic understanding of cookie lifespans, first-clicks, and last-click attribution, it’s time to step up your game. Work on your sales script copy, image placement, marketing strategy to drive more traffic to your website to get your cookies on more user’s computers, and wait for the amount in your bank account to rise.

Happy promoting and earning!

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