Here are some common affiliate marketing terms:
Above the Fold: Describes the part of
an email message or web page that is visible without scrolling
down the page. This term is important because all content above
the fold is assumed to be more valuable to the reader as they
see it first. The size of the "above the fold" area will depend
on the resolution of the users computer monitor and the number
of pixels their monitor displays.
The person selling the goods or service; also knows as the
merchant. The advertiser or merchant pays affiliates for
sending traffic to the merchant's web site after a product or
service is purchased.
A Web site owner that earns a commission or finders-fee for
referring clicks, leads, or sales to a merchant.
Agreement: terms between a merchant
and an affiliate that govern
the relationship. This includes the terms on which the
affiliate will be rewarded for the traffic sent to the
merchant's web site.
Information Page: A page on your web
site that explains the terms of your affiliate program including
your commission rates, affiliate agreement, a link for existing
affiliates to login, as well as a link to the signup page for
Link: A URL tracking link that
identifies the affiliate and sends traffic to the merchant's web
site. For example, a link might look like
These links are unique in order to track the
traffic coming from the Affiliate site. Typically these
links can be simple text links, images, product links, etc.
Manager: The person responsible for
running the merchant's affiliate program. This includes
recruiting affiliates, establishing incentive programs, creating
media for the affiliates, reporting on sales and paying
Program Can also be called an
Associate Program, Partner, Referral or Revenue sharing program.
In such a program the merchant rewards the affiliate for web
traffic, sales or leads on a pay-per-click, pay-per-sale, or
Program Directory: A comprehensive
listing of merchants' affiliate programs. The directories
are typically categorized by industry and include the typical
payout or commission rates. Click here for a sample list
of affiliate program
Affiliate Software: A software
program such as Affiliate
Wiz for running and managing an affiliate program.
This typically includes signing up affiliates, managing links,
tracking impressions, clicks, sales, leads. This also
includes paying affiliates, etc.
Solution Provider: 3rd party company
that provides an affiliate tracking solution on a hosted basis.
Typically an affiliate software solution is hosted by you with
your web site. With an affiliate solution provider, they
provide the hosting for you.
Affiliate Tracking: The process of
tracking a link uniquely by affiliate using an Affiliate Link.
Synonym for affiliate.
Affiliate application process whereby all application are
immediately accepted/approved upon submittal by the affiliate.
This term can also be used to describe the process of
automatically accepting all sales recorded by affiliates.
Banner Ad: An
electronic advertisement or billboard such as an animated GIF,
Flash Movie, JPEG that advertisers a product, service, or web
Browser: A client
program (software), such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, or
Opera, that is used to look at various kinds of Internet
Charge Back: An
invalid sale that results in the affiliate's commission being
The action when a user clicks on a link and follows through to
the merchant's web site.
(CTR): percentage of visitors who click-through on a link to
visit the merchant's web site.
situation where affiliates are able include their own logo and
branding on the pages to which they send visitors through
affiliate earns for
generating a sale, lead or click-through to a merchant's web
site. Sometimes called a referral fee, a finder's fee or a
text files stored on the visitor's computer, which record
information that is of interest to the merchant site. In
affiliate software cookies are utilized to track which affiliate
the web visitor came from and which banner or link they clicked.
They can also store the date/time of the click for purposes of
tracking the time elapsed between a click and a conversion to a
sale or lead.
Cookie Expiration/Cookie Retention:
When a cookie is planted on a web browser, a date when the
cookie expires is defined. This date is important because
affiliate sales can only be recorded before the cookie
expiration date. This period will also determine if repeat
sales will be recorded.
Percentage of clicks that result in a commissionable activity
(sale or lead).
CPA (Cost Per
Action): The amount of cost for a conversion such as a sale or
CPC (Cost Per
Click): Cost of an individual click when paying on a per
CPM (Cost Per
Thousand): The cost of 1000 banner impressions.
CPO (Cost Per
Order): Same as CPA but refers specifically to sales.
affiliate partner for
every new customer that they direct to a merchant.
Direct Linking: Refers to having your
affiliates links go directly to the landing page rather than a
redirect. This can help with your search engine ranking.
E-mail Link: An
affiliate link to a merchant
site in an e-mail newsletter, signature, or a dedicated e-mail
EPC (Earnings Per click): Average
earnings per 100 clicks. A relative rating that describes
the ability to turn clicks into commissions.
HTML code: Refers
to the lines of code that an affiliate places on their web
page(s) for linking to the merchant's site. This HTML code
contains the unique identifier that identifies the traffic as
coming from the Affiliate's web site.
many times a banner advertisement was displayed or viewed.
alternative to using an affiliate
solution provider; building and managing your own affiliate
program internal to your company. Typically this is
accomplished by purchasing a 3rd-party product such as Affiliate
Multiple Tiers: Refers to running a multiple
tier affiliate program where affiliates who refer other
affiliates earn commission off of those affiliates.
Refers to the process of validating an affiliate application and
then approving them after validation. This can also refer to the
process of approving sales after they have been validated.
person selling the goods or service is referred to as the
merchant. The merchant pays affiliates for sending traffic
to the merchant's web site after a product or service is
Platform for Privacy Preferences
A protocol for sharing private information
over the Internet from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). A
a standard set of multiple-choice questions, which result in
tags embedded in the Web site's home page. Users also define
their privacy requirements in their P3P-enabled browsers; for
example, whether they allow their names disclosed to third
parties. If the Web site policy and user preferences are not the
same, the browser alerts the user.
P3P also assists with online sales. It lets
users decide what specific data they are willing to divulge
automatically to the site, such as shipping address and credit
card number. If the site requests more data, the browser alerts
the user, who can then decide whether to share it or not. For
more information, visit www.w3.org/P3P.
affiliate marketing program that rewards affiliates based on
each conversion to a sale such as when purchasing a product or
service from the merchant's web site. Pay-per-sale
programs usually offer the highest commissions but tend to have
the lowest conversion rates.
Affiliate program that rewards affiliates for conversions to
leads. A lead might include a signup form, software
download, survey, contest or sweepstakes entry, signup for a
trial, etc. Pay-per-lead generally offers midrange commissions
and midrange to high conversion ratios.
Rewards an affiliate for each unique click to the merchant's web
site. This type of affiliate program is uncommon because
of click fraud or fake clicks.
Performance-Based Marketing: Marketing
in which the merchant only pays commissions for results such as
conversions to sales or leads.
Recurring Commissions: The process of
rewarding an affiliate on a recurring basis whenever the
merchant charges a customer 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
Programs that pay affiliates not just for the first sale a
shopper form their sites makes, but all additional sales made at
the merchant's site over the life of the customer.
ROAS: stands for
'Return on Advertising Spending'. This is the amount of revenue
generated for every dollar spent on advertising. For instance, a
ROAS of $1 means you're generating $1 in sales for every $1 in
advertising spend, and a ROAS of $5 means you generate $5 in
sales for every $1 in spending.
ROI: stands for
'Return on Investment'. This is what all
marketing managers want to see
from the money they spend on their
marketing and advertising campaigns. The higher the
sales, the large the number of shoppers and the greater the
profit margin generated by sales � the better the ROI.
Spider Detection: The process of
detecting and ignoring automated spiders or bots such as search
engines like Google/Googlebot.
The highest performing affiliates. Typically less than 1%
of affiliates are super affiliates yet that 1% typically will
bring more than 90% of your sales.
Offering the right offer to the right customer at the right
the way that a program tracks referred sales, leads or clicks.
The most common are by using a unique web address (URL) for each
affiliate, or by embedding an
affiliate ID number into the
link that is processed by the merchant's software. Some programs
Text Link: link
that is not accompanied by a graphical image.
Tracking Code: Refers to the hidden 1X1
pixel tracking code that is placed on the confirmation page of
your store for tracking sales conversions.
Affiliate marketing model that
allows affiliates to sign up additional affiliates below
themselves, so that when the second tier affiliates earn a
above them also receives a commission.
Unique Click: The process of only
counting unique clicks from each web visitor. Unique
clicks are typically tracked by recording the IP address and
the rapid adoption of a product or passing on of an offer to
friends and family through word-of-mouth (or word-of-email)
networks. Any advertising that propagates itself the way viruses
Affiliate Marketing Resources