Does Affiliate Marketing Work Without Cookies? (6 Things To Know)

Simon is a former UK call-centre worker who has gone on to build several highly successful affiliate marketing businesses in various different niches & become officially recognized as a Super Affiliate by the world's largest affiliate marketing training platform. He has since relocated to Thailand & now teaches affiliate marketing to others through Commission Academy.

Quick Answer: Yes, affiliate marketing will still work without third-party cookies as this is just one of the ways to track your affiliate sales and many affiliate programs will simply transfer over to a first-party cookie system. Most affiliates won’t notice a difference as it only affects retargeting.

Can it work without cookies?

Yes, affiliate marketing can work without cookies since there are multiple other ways to track traffic so cookie tracking is not the only solution.

In the future, we might see several tracking solutions overtaking cookies making affiliate marketing more flexible. 

If you’ve tried to do an affiliate marketing campaign without cookies, you may find generating leads surprisingly a little difficult.

This is because when people visit your website and view your affiliate links, the webmaster tracking cookies are set on your site and track where visitors come from. But what happens if you don’t use cookies?

Let’s see how affiliate marketing works without cookies and the alternatives.

What Exactly Is Happening With Cookies?

Google initially said they were deleting third-party cookies in 2022. They’ve now pushed that back to 2024.

Regardless of when it happens, what it will mean is Google Chrome will no longer set cookies that track users’ online browsing activities and sell web adverts that target users based on that information. As a result, businesses that rely on browsing history will have to find other ways.

Google is the last one who is doing this. Safari blocked cookies in 2020.

What Does The Cookie Ban Mean For Affiliate Marketing?

Banning cookies improve users’ privacy and security while creating an issue for many brands and companies, which frequently post adverts that follow users throughout the Internet.

In addition, affiliate marketers have relied on cookies to gather information about customers who look for their products online and who buy stuff.

As we all know, the cookie is gradually vanishing; many marketers seek other ways to obtain data. As a result, it is increasingly critical to offer advertising experiences that bring value to customers’ experiences while respecting their privacy.

It is not easy, but there is a silver lining: many online marketers are finding and experimenting with new data collection methods.

Affiliate Marketing Without Cookies: 4 Pro Tips

Here are some tips which can help you in affiliate marketing after the ban on cookies.

1. Invest In Research

Research and data collection go with each other. When marketing without cookies, you must first identify your ideal customers. Understanding their requirements and common issues will allow you to personalize your campaigns to meet their needs without relying on cookies.

You can do different things to do so. For example, you can launch a survey or collect feedback from users.

2. Start Using First-Party Data

One thing you should know is that you can still gather first-party data. As a result, you can continue to utilize information from other direct ways.

The main advantage of using first-party data is that you control the data. You don’t need to be concerned about purchasing it from someone else or letting up your usage rights.

In addition, because you are familiar with your clients and have the means to determine the precise source of the data, first-party data is primarily accurate than third-party.

There are different ways to collect first-party data, like:

  • Online surveys
  • Email newsletters
  • Social media polls
  • SMS answers
  • Mobile notification responses
  • Direct mail etc.

3. Put Personalization First

According to studies, personalization appeals to 90% of users, and customers are 80% more keen to purchase from firms that offer unique experiences.

It is vital to concentrate on personalization if you want to elevate your marketing initiatives.

4. Turn On Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4, an improved version of Universal Analytics, monitors websites and mobile apps. Therefore, it is advantageous to use both platforms, as most brands and companies are doing it nowadays.

Making the switch to Google Analytics 4 is easy, regardless of whether you already use it for a website you own or want to set up a new account for a site you’re building. 

A Viable Alternative To Affiliate Marketing Cookies?

Affiliate networks are working to create tracking technologies that abide by the rules for data protection due to a growing number of requirements.

Server-To-Server Tracking

Server-side tracking, often known as server-side tracking, does not necessitate installing any application on the user’s device.

Many people feel this tracking method is more reliable since conversion does not disappear when users deactivate cookies in their web browsers.

Unlike cookies, server-side tracking saves information about the user, the advertiser, and the offer on a web server and associates it with a unique id.

The are two types of unique identifiers that the network software most frequently generates:

  • Transaction IDs
  • Affiliate IDs

When using server-side tracking, the advertiser keeps track of this unique identification and returns it to the monitoring server each time a user converts.

Affiliate Marketing Without Cookies: The Bottom Line 

Despite the hurdles and some people proclaiming the death of affiliate marketing, the industry is confident that restricting third-party cookies will not considerably influence affiliate marketing.

So don’t worry, you can still do affiliate marketing without cookies in 2024 and beyond.

Affiliate marketing is here to stay

Affiliate marketing is still profitable

And it’s still the best online business model known to man 😎

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