Affiliate Marketing Glossary

Affiliate Marketing Glossary – all useful information to make money online with Affiliate Programs, CPA Networks and paid traffic. Be rich!

1 Click/ 2 Click / MO Flow – These are all PIN SUBMIT offers, but all with a different registration/subscription process. “1-Click” takes just 1 click on the Agree button, “2-Click” is like a DOI so one more confirmation is needed. MO-Flow means you have to type the SMS yourself and manually send it to some premium number. 1-Click converts the best, MO is the worst.

AdSense: The part of Google’s AdWords CPC advertising model that pays publishers (affiliates) for displaying ads. Payment is determined based on the number of clicks made and the amount of the advertiser’s bid. 

Advertiser: A person selling a good or service (see also: Merchant). Advertisers pay affiliates whenever a visitor takes the action (or actions) decided upon and defined in the affiliate agreement. 

AdWords: A PPC advertising program from Google.

Affiliate Agreement: The terms between a merchant and an affiliate that regulates their relationship, including how the affiliate will be compensated for referring traffic to the merchant’s website. 

Affiliate Link: A unique URL tracking link that sends traffic to a merchant’s website and identifies the affiliate who referred the visitor; these links are generally embedded in text, images, product links, etc.

Affiliate Manager: The person responsible for running the merchant’s affiliate program. This job involves everything from recruiting affiliates to establishing incentive programs, creating media for the affiliates, reporting on sales and paying affiliates. 

Affiliate Program: A program in which a merchant rewards an affiliate for web traffic, sales or leads on a PPC, PPS or PPL basis. They are also referred to as Associate Programs, Partners, Referrals or Revenue sharing programs. 

Affiliate Program Directory: A comprehensive listing of a merchant’s affiliate programs. They are typically categorized by industry and include information about payout or commission rates. 

Affiliate Network: The mediator between an affiliate and a merchant’s affiliate program. Networks offer services to both affiliates and merchants, such as reporting and payment services. 


Affiliate Software: A software program used to run and manage an affiliate program. These programs help users sign up affiliates, managing links and track impressions, clicks, sales and leads. 

Affiliate Solution Provider: These are third-party companies that provide an affiliate tracking solution on a hosted basis. While affiliate software solutions are hosted by users within their own websites, affiliate solution providers take care of the hosting them. 

Affiliate Tracking: The process of tracking a link from an affiliate using an affiliate link. 

APP INSTALLS – this is a mobile vertical, conversion happens when the user downloads some application for their smartphone. There can be more requirements like : open the app, use it for some time… Apps can be downloaded both from official stores like google play or apple App Store or from alternative stores for android.

Auto-Approve: An affiliate application process that automatically accepts/approves all applications as soon as they’re submitted. This term can also be used to describe the automatic acceptance of all sales recorded by affiliates. 

Autoresponder: An email, or series of emails, that are automatically sent to a new subscriber, often in the form of a newsletter series. 

Banner Ad: An animated GIF, Flash movie or JPEG advertisement on a Web page that promotes a product, service or website. 

Browser: A client software program that is used to access various Internet resources. Examples include Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. 

Business-to-Business (B2B) Advertising: A marketing strategy that involves the transaction of goods and services among two businesses rather than a business and a customer. 

CAP – usually it is the impressions cap, which means how many times will a banner or POP be served to the same surfer in a give time frame. 1/24 means 1 impression in 24 hours.

Charge Back: An invalid sale that results in the affiliate’s commission being forfeited.

Click Fraud Monitoring: Independent services that monitor clicks from PPC campaigns. 

Click-Through: The act of a user clicking on a link that follows through to a merchant’s website. 

Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of users that click on a link and visit a merchant’s website. 

Co-Branding: When affiliates are able include their own logo or branding symbols on the pages that they send visitors to using affiliate links. 

Commission: The income an affiliate earns for generating a sale, lead or click-through to a merchant’s website. Also known as a referral fee, finder’s fee or bounty. 

Contextual Linking: When one places affiliate links to specific products in relevant or related text, articles or pictures on a Web page.

Cookie Expiration/Cookie Retention: The date a cookie is set to expire, which is defined when the cookie is planted on a visitor’s Web browser. Affiliate sales can only be recorded before the cookie expiration date. This period also determines whether or not repeat sales will be recorded. 

Conversion: When a website visitor completes a site goal, such as purchasing a product. 

Conversion Rate: The percentage of clicks that result in a commissionable activity (sale or lead). 

Cost-Per-Action (CPA): A arrangement in which affiliates earn a commission by getting visitors to perform a specified action, such as signing up for a merchant’s email newsletter. 

Cost-Per-Click (CPC): The cost of an individual click that an advertiser pays when compensating affiliates using a PPC program. 

Cost-Per-Thousand (CPM): The cost paid per thousand page impressions by advertisers. The letter ‘M’ represents the Roman numeral for the number 1000. 

Cost-Per-Order (CPO): Similar to CPA, but referring specifically to sales. 

CTR – Click Through Rate – Measured in %, this tells us how many clicks we had from 1000 views of something (usually a banner). A CTR of 1% means 10 clicks from 1000 views.

Customer Bounty: The commission paid to an affiliate for every new customer they direct to a merchant. 

DAILY BUDGET – how much $ you are willing to spend on a campaign per day, sometimes its also called the daily cap, so don’t confuse it with the impressions caps.

DATING – One of the evergreen VERTICALS, dating can be both MAINSTREAM and ADULT. These are mostly SOI/DOI LEADGEN Offers – users get free access to the members area, but when they want to contact someone they need to pay a monthly fee. So the dating business model is actually based on REBILLS. These offers are also available as REVSHARE or PPS.

Demographics: Specific populations broken down by commonly shared characteristics such as age, sex, income, education, household size, home ownership status and more for the purpose of allowing marketers to study the trends of a desired audience. 

Double Opt-In: In email marketing, the process of someone voluntarily signing up for a mailing list that requires subscribers to confirm their subscription by clicking a link in an email. This is required under anti-spam laws in several countries. 

ECOMMERCE – this is basically a large VERTICAL that deals with tangible products.


Email Link: An affiliate link to a merchant site included in an e-mail newsletter, signature or dedicated email blast. 

Email Marketing: The practice of acquiring, managing and marketing to a list of users through email. 

Effective Cost Per Mille (eCPM): A measure of what would be earned per thousand impressions. It is used in place of CPM when it cannot be figured, such as when a thousand impressions have not yet been served. 

EPC – Earning Per Click – how much revenue each click generated on average. Calculated by dividing the total revenue by number of clicks. These are usually Landing Page clicks.

EPV – Earning Per Visit – how much revenue each initial visit generated on average. Calculated by dividing total revenue by number of visits.

Evercookie: A JavaScript API that produces highly persistent cookies in a browser to identify a client even after his or her standard and Flash cookies are removed. 

Exclusivity: A stipulation by the merchant in an affiliate agreement that prohibits the affiliate from promoting competing products on his or her site. 

Feeder Site: A website in which the sole purpose is to redirect, feed and track traffic to another site. 

HTML Code: The lines of code that affiliates place on their Web page(s) to linking to the merchant’s site. This HTML code contains the unique affiliate link that identifies that the traffic is coming from the affiliate’s site. 

Impression: The record of every time a page is loaded in order to measure the amount of times that a page (and the content and ads on that page) is viewed. 

In-House Program: An internal affiliate program built and managed exclusively by a company. 

INCENTIVE – This is a specific approach to getting user engagement. These offers actually give something to the users to make them do something in return. The compensation can be a small payment, some freebie or some virtual currency. Virtual currencies are widely used these days, since the rise of mobile games. I’m sure you have seen this many times in form of watching an ad in exchange for a few diamonds, or downloading some application to get some gold nuggets in the game you were playing … the options are endless. Offers based on INCENTIVES usually pay less and such “traffic” is of lower quality.


Joint Venture (JV): A temporary business partnership formed to undertake a particular transaction or project. 

Keywords: A group of terms that summarize a topic. Internet users employ them when looking for information on a topic. Keyword phrases are classified as multi-term words. 

LEAD – Lead is a prospective buyer of a product or service. For example – you register for free at some dating site, so now you are a LEAD that showed interest into meeting new people.

LEADGEN – Offers that collect some kind of information about the customer in exchange for some benefit or access to a service. Majority of all OFFERS are actually LEADGEN offers, this means we the affiliates are delivering future customers (LEADS) to advertisers based on certain criteria they specify – interests, age groups, niche/vertical.

Link: A banner or text on a website that contains HTML code to transfer those who click on it to another website. 

Link Cloaking: A technique that hides the real destination of a link. 

Link Farm: A website setup used create links to other sites to improve their search engine rankings. 

Long Tail: More obscure keywords that focus on smaller volumes and yield more qualified searches. They are often targeted by affiliate marketers because there is less competition for these words and phrases. 

LP CTR – Landing Page CTR – how many people actually clicked through our landing page. Calculated the same way as CTR.

Manual Approval: The process of validating, and then approving, an affiliate application. This can also refer to the process of approving validated sales. 

Merchant: A person selling goods or services. Merchants are the advertisers who pay affilates to get users to performed specified actions. 

Niche Marketing: Affiliate marketing strategy targeted at a focused, specific audience.

NUTRA – another large VERTICAL, these are health supplements, diet, vitamins, skincare products etc… There are also ADULT products in this vertical – muscle, penis pills … NUTRA offers can be a straight sale or REBILL based. 

OFFER – this is the product you will promote, it can be a tangible product or a service.

PAY PER CALL (PPC) – These offers pay for each phone-call that meets some conditions – usually certain duration, so the prospect might not hang up sooner than a given amount o seconds. These can be all kinds of LEADGEN type offers resulting in the sale of some product/service or a “premium number” call, that bills the user per minute

Pay-Per-Sale (PPS): An affiliate marketing program that rewards affiliates based on each conversion to a sale, such as the purchasing of a product or service from the merchant’s website. PPS programs usually offer the highest commissions, but tend to have the lowest conversion rates. 

Pay-Per-Lead (PPL): An affiliate program that rewards affiliates for sales leads generated to a merchant’s website. PPL generally offers midrange commissions and midrange to high conversion ratios. 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC): An affiliate program that rewards affiliates for each unique click to the merchant’s website. 

Payment Threshold: The minimum accumulated commission an affiliate must earn to trigger payment from an affiliate program. 

Performance-Based Marketing: A marketing program in which the merchant only pays commissions for specified results, such as conversions to sales or leads. 

PIN SUBMITs – These are primarily aimed at mobile phone users, because the billing is done via premium SMS charges. That’s why they are also called CARRIER BILLING offers. This is a very popular billing method covering a wide range of VERTICALs and all kinds of offer categories. These can be SWEEPS, APP INSTALLS, ANTIVIRUS … 

Pop-Under Ad: An ad that displays in a new browser window behind the current browser window.

Plug-In: A small software that adds features to a larger piece of software. Also known as a module or extension. 

Product Rights: Special exceptions that determine how a buyer can use a digital product. Product Rights are categorized as private label rights (PLR), resell rights (RR), wherein branding stays in tact, and master resale rights (MRR), which allows affiliates to resell the product and give others the right to resell those products. 

PUBLISHER – this is the one who has traffic to sell, originally these were the people who ran their own sites and got the traffic by publishing content – hence the name “publishers”.

Recurring Commissions: Compensation for an affiliate that takes place on a consistent basis when merchant’s charge customers a recurring fee. For example, a Web host that charges customers on a monthly basis might reward the affiliate a percentage of each month’s payment from the customer. 

Real-time bidding (RTB): is a means by which advertising inventory is bought and sold on a per-impression basis, via programmatic instantaneous auction…

Residual Earnings: Payments made to affiliates for all purchases on a merchant’s site made by a customer that was referred by the affiliate, rather than just the first sale. 

Return on Advertising Spending (ROAS): The amount of revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. 

Return on Investment (ROI): The money made based on the money spent on marketing and advertising campaigns. Higher sales, a larger number of shoppers and a greater profit margin generated by sales all lead to a better ROI. 

REVSHARE – These offers will pay you certain % of a sale. These are often REBILLS or ECOMMERCE offers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The practice of working to improve or refine a website to be positioned higher on the search engine results pages for certain keywords. 

Sitemap: HTML files that give users a human-readable list of pages and website sections to improve navigation and access. XML sitemaps are used to provide search engines with details on the structure of a site and its most important pages. 

SOI – Single Opt In – these offers require 1 action from the user to be completed. Usually it is filling out a form or entering an email address.

SPAM: Unsolicited commercial emails or unsolicited bulk emails that often contain advertisements for products or services. 

Spider Detection: The process of detecting and ignoring automated spiders or bots. 

Spyware: A program hidden within software that transmits user information to advertisers through the Internet. Also known as adware. 

SURVEYS – these are similar to SWEEPS, sometimes they are actually mixed into one. So the user has to fill out a survey in order to get a chance to win something. The original SURVEY offers compensate the users for their time with a small payment. The payment serves as an INCENTIVE for the users to actually mess with the SURVEY form.

SWEEPS – products that give the user a chance to win something. The most popular prizes these days are iPhones and other smartphones or shopping vouchers. SWEEPS can be either LEADGEN (SOI or DOI) or PIN Submit offers.

Targeted Marketing: A marketing strategy with the goal of presenting the ideal offer to the right customer at the right time. 

Tracking Method: The way a program tracks referred sales, leads or clicks. This is most commonly done by using a unique Web address (URL) for each affiliate or embedding an affiliate ID number into the link processed by the merchant’s software. Some programs also use cookies for tracking. 

Text Link: A link that is embedded in text. 

Tracking Code: The hidden 1×1 pixel code placed on the confirmation page of a merchant’s online store to track sales conversions. 

TRAFFIC – these are actually the surfers, eyeballs, users … whatever you name it, it’s still the same – visitors that see our ads and landing pages.

TRAFFIC NETWORK – we buy our TRAFFIC here. Traffic networks serve as a monetization method for the site owners, by selling their advertising space to those who are interested.

Two-Tier: An affiliate marketing model that allows affiliates to sign up additional affiliates below themselves. When the second-tier affiliates earn a commission, the affiliate above them also receives a percentage of the commission.

Unique Click: The process of counting only distinctly different clicks from each visitor. Unique clicks are typically tracked by recording the IP address and browser header. 

Viral Marketing: The rapid adoption of a product or sharing of an offer through word-of-mouth (or word-of-email) networks. 

VERTICAL – this is the type/category that an offer falls into, sometimes the term NICHE is used too. An example of a vertical would be: app installs, dating, sweeps …

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