While auditing an affiliate program, and going through all its major elements, we had a client ask:
Can we change our cookie length? It seems too long to me…
Their cookie length was set at 120 days.
My answer to questions like this has been the same ever since I published this blog post: since 50% of affiliate-referred visitors delete cookies by day 45, why not keep that cookie life at least at the 45 days mark (and if longer, the more affiliate-friendly you’ll appear)?
Furthermore, having analyzed the above merchant’s affiliate program’s stats, we discovered the following return days distribution (judging by the past 500 affiliate-referred sales):
So, with 92% of affiliate-generated sales happening within 2 days of the original click, does it really matter if your cookie life is set at 30, 45, or 120 days? It doesn’t for you, as a merchant; but it does for affiliates. The longer — the more affiliate-friendly the program is, and the less it looks like you’re trying to skim the commission that they could’ve earned from their referral.