How to Treat Post-Impression Cookies in Your Affiliate Relations
While the last-click attribution model was considered the be all and end all of affiliate management for a very long time, the times, they are a-changing in this respect. An increasing number of brands are coming to the realization that it pays both for them, as well as for the affiliates involved in the other segments of the sales funnel, to consider alternative marketing methods. This is especially true since 98 per cent of all internet traffic nowadays does not convert into a purchase, or any other form of conversion. As such, more and more marketers are veering toward the branded re-targeting model, which allows for attribution to affiliates beyond the last click. The slightly more delicate issue about using this model relates to how one approaches the use of post-impression cookies. Here are some things you need to remember, when basing your relationship with affiliates on post-impression cookies.
Do not allow your affiliate to force an action out of the user:
In order to generate a post-impression cookie, your affiliate only needs to show them your brand banner. There are no clicks required, so the user should by no means be forced into clicking on something unnecessary. Make sure there is a banner ad above the fold on your affiliate’s site and that it clearly and unequivocally establishes your brand presence.
Use them strictly with affiliates you trust:
The issue of trust is very important in the use of this type of cookies, since generating them and placing them on the user’s computer happens without any interaction between user and site. They don’t require a click, but simply showing them your banner on their website. Affiliates you don’t necessarily trust might try to place such cookies through less than ethical practices, including (but not restricted to) hidden ads.
Be clear on which cookie wins:
Affiliates which generate cookies from clicks should take precedence before post-impression clicks. The former type is a palliative, a sort of last resort attempt at keeping the marketing conversation going between brand and user, but they are by no means more valuable than on-page clicks. As such, affiliates generating click-driven conversions, i.e. sales, should probably also receive a bigger commission than those which operate under the framework of branded re-targeting.
Consult with your affiliate program agency before deciding what the most efficient way of handling post-impression cookies is for your brand. Opening up the world of branded re-targeting, or re-marketing as it has also been referred to, is an efficient way to try and reach users who have expressed some degree of interest in your brand, yet haven’t decided to make a purchase yet. It is a valuable tool, yet one that has much more to do with increasing visibility and market share, than with selling per se.