If you’re new to affiliate marketing, you’re probably wondering, “What the heck is a cookie?” And even if you’ve been around the block a few times, you’re probably still saying, “How the heck does this ClickFunnels sticky cookie work?”
Don’t worry, no one fully understands it.
But, I honestly believe it is one of the best-kept secrets of all time. So in this article, we’re going to break down the ClickFunnels sticky cookie and help you understand exactly how it works (to our knowledge).
Plus, we have a really cool trick at the end of the article to help you ensure you never miss out on commissions again. We all know there can be issues with cookies, so you’ll want to check that out.
How Do Cookies Work in Affiliate Marketing?
In short, cookies are small pieces of code that are inserted onto a person’s browser when they visit a website for tracking purposes. Affiliate cookies (otherwise knows as a tracking cookies) track who should receive the affiliate commissions when a person is referring to a website.
So, when a person clicks on your affiliate link and visits ClickFunnels.com, it will put a cookie, or a little piece of code, on their browser to connect that person with you as an affiliate. That way, any purchases they make will be linked to you and you’ll receive your commissions.
Even when they turn off their computer or shut down their browser, there’s still that little piece of code in their browser. When they go to buy something from ClickFunnels at a later time, ClickFunnels checks their browser to see if an affiliate cookie exists, and if it does, it will give that affiliate the commission they are due for that sale.
That’s how a cookie works in affiliate marketing.
ClickFunnels’ Lifetime Cookie
Now, when we talk about ClickFunnels, one of the things that makes the ClickFunnels affiliate program so phenomenal is that their cookie is a lifetime cookie. Usually, companies will set their affiliate cookies to expire in 30 or 60 days or something like that, and then they’ll disappear off the browser and you’ll no longer be associated with any purchases that person makes.
Since the ClickFunnels cookie is a lifetime cookie, that means that as an affiliate, you can keep getting ClickFunnels commissions every month or whenever a person buys another product even if it was years after they clicked on your affiliate link.
The only time that cookie is changed is if the person clicks on someone else’s affiliate link and overrides yours (or if they clear out their cookies from their browser).
So, let’s say I give someone my affiliate link, they click it, and now there is a little piece of code on their browser that tells them I’m the person who referred them. But if they click someone else’s affiliate link, it’s now going to override my cookie. Now their cookie is the one that is sitting in the browser and their affiliate ID is the one that will get the ClickFunnels affiliate commission should that person go buy something from then on out. That’s pretty typical of most affiliate programs.
How the ClickFunnels Sticky Cookie Works
Understanding how affiliate cookies and tracking cookies work is pretty easy up to that point, but then we’ve got to think about all of these different scenarios that might come up.
For example, let’s say you send someone a link to ClickFunnels, they click it and they are looking around and they’re thinking that it’s pretty cool and that they are going to sign up. But then they get distracted by Facebook or a video game or something like that.
A little while later, they pull up their phone and then they remember, “oh yeah, I was gonna buy ClickFunnels.” So, they hop in there and then they quickly buy a ClickFunnels trial on their phone.
The problem is that cookies are browser-based, so the cookie is saved on their browser on their desktop, but on their phone, that cookie is nowhere to be found. That really sucks because it means that the affiliate who referred them won’t get the commission.
Enter…. the Sticky Cookie.
This is the scenario that the ClickFunnels sticky cookie is there to avoid because instead of being browser-based, the ClickFunnels sticky cookie is email-based.
Let’s say you send someone to buy Expert Secrets, one of the ClickFunnels products, and they start filling out the form with their name and email and they click the button, but then they get distracted and leave. At that point, ClickFunnels has their email address and they tag that email address with your affiliate ID.
That way, even if they go and buy on their phone later, you’ll get your ClickFunnels affiliate commission (as long as they use the same email address). Here’s the 2-step process that happens…
- ClickFunnels looks to see if a browser cookie exists. If there is a cookie, then it’s just going to follow the normal sequence of events – it’s going to give the commissions to the affiliate ID that matches that browser cookie.
- If there isn’t a browser cookie, then it will look at the email address and see if there is a cookie associated with that.
That’s the beauty of the Sticky Cookie – no matter what device a purchase is made on, if their email address is tied to a cookie, you’ll get your commission. We can’t say the same about browser cookies.
For more information on how the ClickFunnels sticky cookie works, click here.
How the ClickFunnels Sticky Cookie Can Be Overridden
Both browser cookies and sticky cookies are overridden each time a new affiliate sends a person to ClickFunnels. This is a good thing because we want to be able to offer our audience something so valuable that even if they’re already signed up for Expert Secrets, we can get them to sign up for the One Funnel Away Challenge through us by giving them a stack of bonuses.
Now, ClickFunnels offers many different products, but when talking about their main core product (their actual software product that generates monthly recurring affiliate commissions), that is looked at by ClickFunnels as one product.
When a person first signs up for that product, that’s the one time ClickFunnels checks for an affiliate cookie. From then on, ClickFunnels commissions will go to the person that originally referred them to ClickFunnels. This is also good because you don’t want people stealing the recurring commissions you make from the main core product.
The one caveat to that is Funnel Builder Secrets and sometimes FunnelHacks. With Funnel Builder Secrets, which you can find in your affiliate dashboard, it’s a high ticket product that basically gives them 6 months of ClickFunnels free.
So, if someone already subscribes to ClickFunnels and then they buy Funnel Builder Secrets from your link, you can actually change their monthly ClickFunnels commissions over to you since they will be starting fresh with 6 months of it for free.
Obviously, that’s a really cool affiliate strategy and one that works really well. It works with FunnelHacks too, but ClickFunnels has come out and said that FunnelHacks is no longer a commissionable product. Even so, we’ve seen it still pay us commissions so we can’t totally explain how that all works.
How to Ensure You Never Lose Commissions Again
Now, setting the sticky cookie aside, it can be extremely frustrating to lose out on affiliate commissions for something as annoying as a technical quirk that causes a cookie to not be in a browser or if a person clears their cookies in between when they clicked your link and when they make the purchase.
But there is a way around these things that ensures you never lose commissions again. Here’s how it works:
Step 1 – Offer Bonuses
This technique will only work if you are offering people bonuses for purchasing a product through your affiliate link and you’ll see why when you get to step two. If you’re not already doing that, it’s a great way to amp up your affiliate sales.
It’s not uncommon for someone with an interest in internet marketing to be bombarded with information and offers from many different marketers. So, by offering a stack of awesome bonuses that they can get form you for purchasing through your link, you make your particular offer that much more valuable to them and they are more likely to buy from your link.
Step 2 – Get Them to Check Their Chrome Settings
In Chrome, there’s this funny-looking URL that looks like this: chrome://settings/cookies/detail?site=clickfunnels.com
What it does is it opens your Chrome settings and it looks inside and finds all of the cookies that are tagged with the name ClickFunnels in your Chrome browser. And if you scroll down, there’s one called affiliate_id.
If that ID is your ClickFunnels affiliate ID, then it is telling you that your affiliate ID is the most recent cookie on that browser and therefore you will get the commissions upon purchase.
So, what you’ll do is you’ll ask them to go to that URL and double check that the affiliate ID in that URL matches your affiliate ID before making their purchase. Just say, “Hey, to get these awesome bonuses, sign up through my affiliate link, and when you get to the final product purchase page, I open that Chrome URL and scroll down to make sure my affiliate ID is still there.”
People are more than willing to spend 30 seconds to make sure your affiliate cookie is the final cookie there at the point of purchase because they want to get their bonuses. You might want to have them send you a screenshot and their paid invoice in order to get the bonuses.
Please let us know what you think about that little hack in the comments!
Did I answer your question about how do cookies work, and more specifically how the ClickFunnels affiliate program is unique due to the ClickFunnels sticky cookie?
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