Glossary Of Affiliate Marketing Terms

Joe | November 4th, 2021

Glossary Of Affiliate Marketing Terms

Glossary Of Affiliate Marketing Terms

Affiliate Marketing Terms

If you want to be successful in affiliate marketing, you need to understand the language first. Internet marketers use their own vocabulary and sometimes use terms specific to online advertising. Knowing these terms will help you when doing your research, reading forums, and speaking with account managers. If you’re just starting out in affiliate marketing, bookmark this page and print out a copy to keep at your desk.


AM – Account Manager – A person who is responsible for managing client accounts and addressing their needs and concerns. They build and maintain relationships and are the main point of contact for all matters related to the client’s account.

Ad – Advertisement

Ad Network – A company that connects advertisers and publishers through its platform. Advertisers pay for the advertising spot on a website which is hosted by the publisher and promote their products or services.

Advertiser – a person or company that advertises a websites, product, event, or service. The ones buying traffic from an ad network.

*Advertisers can also be the owner of an offer or product.

Affiliate – Those who earn a commission for every lead or sale they drive to an affiliate program or affiliate network.

Affiliate Marketing – Performance based marketing where businesses reward their affiliates for referring customers and leads. Affiliates promote someone else’s product or service in exchange for a commission.

Affiliate Network – An intermediary between affiliates and offer and product owners, also known as direct advertisers.

Alexa Rank – A measurement of a website’s popularity.

API – Application Programming Interface

Blacklist – A list that identifies the sources on which the advertiser does not want its advertising to appear.

CAC – Customer Acquisition Cost – Total cost in acquiring a new customer.

Campaign – A set of ads and landing pages that share a budget and targeting options and are designed to promote a specific product, offer, or service.

Click ID – A unique tracking parameter that is used to identify a click.

Cookies – A cookie is a piece of data that a computer stores in a web browser when a user clicks a link or visits a website. Cookies are used to tell a server that a user has returned to the particular website. They provide a way for the website to recognize the user and keep track of their preferences.

Conversion – When a visitor completes an action or desired goal on a web page. A conversion could be any of the following actions:

  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Email Signups
  • App Installs
  • Phone Calls


Conversion Rate – The number of visitors who complete an action or desired goal out of the total number of visitors. The number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors.

CPA – Cost Per Action – A payment model that allows the advertiser to only pay for a specific action, such as a sale or subscription.

CPC – Cost Per Click – The final amount you are charged for a click.

CPM – Cost Per Mille – The cost per thousand impressions.

CPV – Cost Per View – The cost of a single ad view.  CPV x 1000 = CPM

CTA – Call to Action – An invitation for a user to take a specific action. An example would be “Signup Here Now”.

CTR – Click Thru Rate – The number of clicks an advertiser receives from their ads per number of impressions.

Daily Budget – The amount of money that the advertiser has set to spend per day on each campaign.

Dayparting – An advertising strategy that refers to serving ads at specific times of the day and days of the week.

Direct Buy – When an advertiser buys traffic from one specific publisher website.

DOI – Double Opt-In – A two-step process where a user subscribes to an email list and then confirms their subscription through a verification email.

EPC – Earnings Per Click – A metric in affiliate marketing that shows the amount of money you generate each time someone clicks on one of your affiliate links.

Geotargeting – Delivering content to a user based on their geographic location.

Impression – An impression is counted each time your ad is shown.

Incentive – A marketing strategy that will persuade a potential customer to take a certain action.

Interstitial – An ad that is displayed before or after the expected content.

IO – Insertion Order – An agreement between an advertiser and a publisher to run a campaign.

Keyword – A word or phrase that defines what your content is about. Keywords are the words or phrases that people type into Google to find what they are looking for.

Landing Page – A web page that a visitor lands on after clicking an advertisement, email link, or search engine result link.

LTV – Lifetime Value – The total projected revenue generated from each customer throughout their lifetime as a customer.

Leads – The contact info of a potential customer or prospect. Someone that has shown interest in a specific product or service.

Lead Generation – A marketing process of attracting prospects and converting them into leads.

Mobile Targeting – A digital marketing strategy aimed at reaching users on mobile devices. Mobile targeting occurs when advertisers target users on their smartphones and tablets.

Native – Paid advertising that matches the look, feel, and function of the surrounding content on the platform of which it appears.

Nutra – A major vertical in online advertising related to health and nutrition products.

Offer – A product or service that can be promoted in exchange for a commission.

Optimization – To make as perfect, effective, or functional as possible.

Pixel – Tracking Pixels are a method for tracking actions for an advertiser.

Popunder – a variation on the pop-up window is the popunder,  which opens a new browser window hidden under the active window. Upon visiting a website, a surfer will simply get a pop ad under the current browser screen when he/she interacts with (clicks) the page.

Postback URL – A URL with added parameters that are called whenever a conversion takes place. Postback URL tracking or Server-to-Server (S2S) tracking is a method of tracking that uses the advertiser’s server rather than the user’s browser. S2S (Server to Server) is a “postback” URL that passes conversion data between a company where the “event” has been triggered (like a registration, signup, or sale) and sends the data to another server.

PPC – Pay Per Click – A model in Internet advertising in which an advertiser pays a publisher everytime their ad is clicked.

PPL – Pay Per Lead – A payout model in performance marketing where the affiliate is paid a commission for every qualified lead they generate.

PPS – Pay Per Signup – A payout model in affiliate marketing where the affiliate is paid a commission for each sale they generate.

Publisher – The owner of the advertising inventory that displays ads on their digital space. A publisher displays banner ads, popunders, and native traffic which are bought by advertisers.

Push – An automated message that is sent to the user’s browser on both mobile and desktop.

Redirect – The process that takes visitors from one URL to another.

Retargeting – A strategy in which marketers display ads to users who have previously visited their website.

Revshare – A payout model in affiliate marketing where the advertiser (affiliate) is paid a percentage of the revenue generated from the sale of a product or service.

ROI – Return On Investment – A metric used to determine the performance and profitability of an advertising campaign.

RON – Run Of Network – An online advertising campaign where the ads will appear on all available inventory within the network.

RTB – Real-Time Bidding – Advertising inventory is bought and sold on a per-impression basis through an auction process.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – The process of optimizing web pages so that they rank higher in search engines.

SOI – Single Opt-in – A type of affiliate offer in which the affiliate gets paid for an email submission and verification is not required.

Smartlink – A link used in affiliate marketing that contains various offers and redirects traffic to the appropriate offer based on the targeting options.

Sweeps – Sweepstakes offers in affiliate marketing such as competitions, quizzes, and polls.

Targeting – A process that enables an advertiser to select the rules for where their ads are displayed.

Tiers – There are 3 major tiers in online advertising

  1. Tier 1 traffic is from primarily developed, English speaking countries
  2. Tier 2 traffic is from primarily developed, European countries
  3. Tier 3 traffic is everything else, not included in the other tiers. (Asia, Africa, LATAM, etc)

TOS – Terms of Service – The rules that users must agree to and follow on online platforms and services.

Tracker – A software that enables affiliates to collect data from their online ad campaigns.

Traffic – The volume of users visiting a website.

Traffic Source – The source that drove traffic to the website, landing page, or ad.

Unique Clicks – Measured when a visitor clicks on a link the first time. Repeated clicks are not considered unique.

Whitelist – A list used by advertisers that targets only specific sources (websites) that are productive to their campaign/offer.