There are several affiliate marketing terms that you will come across as you continue with the learning curve.
While scouring the web looking for affiliate products to promote and finding new strategies to scale your business, you’ll come across some technical terms that are used across the affiliate industry.
These terms are vital in selecting the programs you want to work with.
Affiliate Marketing Terms
Some of these affiliate terminologies include:
1 Disclosure: This is a statement you make informing your readers that you use affiliate links on your website. To comply with FTC laws, you need to have this disclosure somewhere on the page where you use affiliate links. You want to place this statement towards the top of your pages before you mention your affiliate offers. You should also have a Disclosure page where readers can learn more about how you make money from your blog.
2 First click: This means that the affiliate program will allocate commissions to the affiliate who was first to refer the customer who made a purchase within their cookie duration
3 Last click: Programs using last-click attribute the sale to the affiliate whose link was the last one that the customer clicked on to make a purchase. Though your referral could still be within the agreed cookie duration, you will not earn a commission if they clicked on another affiliate’s link and ended up purchasing the product. The last click is attributed the commission.
4 Earnings Per Click (EPC): Earnings per click is the amount of commission an affiliate earns for each person or visitor that clicks on their advert to go and buy from a merchant’s website. It is usually calculated as the overall earned commissions divided by the number of clicks over a particular period. For example, if 100 people clicked through to your merchant site, and 5 of them ended up making a purchase that earned you $100 per sale, then your average EPC is $1000/100, which equals $10.
5 A/B Testing: Simultaneously running two or more versions of a webpage – with variable content to identify which version is the most effective at converting users. Affiliates can use this method to test which creatives will provide them with the highest conversion rates.
6 Affiliate ID: This is a unique identifier provided by affiliate networks to identify affiliates who are members of their program. Usually, this is a username or a number assigned to the affiliate by the affiliate software.
7 CTA: Short for Call to Action, CTAs are used in advertisements and marketing materials to encourage the reader or viewer into taking a specific action. Usually, these are links or buttons that lead to the affiliate programs
8 CPA: Short for Cost Per Action, this is an affiliate advertising model where affiliates are compensated when they generate activity such as leads/sales/registrations. CPM refers specifically to pay-per-impression instead of cost per impression (i.e., impressions could be free, but CPC would not).
9 Advertiser: Advertisers are the merchants with products. They pay affiliates to promote their products through influencer marketing, where compensation is commission-based.
10 Affiliate /Publisher: This is you. You promote other people’s products as an affiliate and earn commissions when people take actions such as making a purchase or signing up to a list.
11 Affiliate Network: This is a marketplace that brings merchants and publishers together. The affiliates can choose which merchants they want to promote. They then apply directly through the program, and the merchant can either approve or disapprove affiliates.
12 Cost Per Action: This is an affiliate model that rewards you for generating leads. You don’t have to make an actual sale to earn. This is common with loans and credit niches.
13 Conversion: This is an event generated by a user that the merchant is willing to pay for. This can be clicks, leads or sales
14 Lead: Think of this as a contact that has the potential of becoming a buying customer to your merchant. There are affiliate networks specifically made for call leads.
15 Deep Linking: This is a feature in your affiliate network or program that enables you to generate an affiliate link to any page or post on your advertiser’s website.
16 Tracking link: Also known as the affiliate link. This is your unique link that leads to the offer and attributes as the referrer. Thus, this is the link you will be using to promote your partner’s products
17 Above the fold: This refers to the section of your website which is visible upon loading the page without one having to scroll. Here, make sure you place your most converting opt-in offer or a banner of your relevant and high-performing affiliate product.
18 Pay Per Sale: Affiliation model that only earns you a commission for every sale you make
19 Pay Per Lead: Affiliation model that pays you to generate a lead. You don’t have to make a sale to earn a commission. Your referral must sign up either for a free trial or by submitting their contact details
20 Pay Per Call: This is the new affiliation model that pays you when a referrer gets on a phone with your advertiser. Again, you don’t have to make a sale to earn a commission.
21 Creative assets: These refer to promotional materials that your affiliate partner provides to help you easily promote their products. These include banners, images, logos, email swipe files
22 Swipe file: These are templates that you can easily tweak and re-use to promote a product. You have permission from your partner to use them. Swipe files can include email templates, social media and even webinar templates.
23 Affiliate Manager: Think of this as your goddess in the affiliate world. Some programs will assign you a dedicated affiliate manager. This is a person hired by the advertisers to help their affiliates get started and expound on ways to help them grow.
24 Adblocker: These are tools that prevent display ads and even affiliate banners from showing when they are turned on. Many web users are using ad blockers to block ads when browsing the web. Thus, people who are likely to see your ads are way less.
25 Attribution: This is a process that affiliate software uses to identify which affiliates are driving conversions. These software are becoming clever in that they can attribute conversions based on the last click, first click, or even sharing commissions between the first and the last click. For instance, an advertiser can set a commission to 30%, and in the case of the scenario above, they can indicate the first click to get 10% and the last click to get 20%
26 Anchor Text: This is a word or phrase that hyperlinks to another page on the web. The anchor text can be either descriptive, such as “Women’s Accessories for an online store with items for women,” or it could just be a keyword-rich anchor text like “women accessories.”
27 Datafeed: A file that contains data about a product, website, or service. This file may include images and information such as the price of a particular item and its availability.
28 Exit Intent Popups: These popups appear when people are just about to exit your page. The intention behind this is that if you show them something they like then maybe they’ll buy it instead of leaving altogether after all! You can use exit-intent popups to show targeted affiliate products with massive exclusive discounts or give an incentive for people to signup to your list and be added to your affiliate sales funnel.
29 Affiliate posts: These are blog posts written primarily to promote affiliate offers. Examples include product reviews, resource/recommendation pages, product listicles and tutorials.
30 Affiliate Commission: This is the percentage of a sale you earn when someone buys something on the merchant’s site through your affiliate links.
31 CPA (Cost per Action): The amount paid to an Affiliate for every signup, download, form submission etc.
32 CPL (Cost Per Lead): The amount paid to the affiliate for every lead generated through form submission, free download, or newsletter signup. For the affiliate, this is the Pay Per Sale.
33 CPS (Cost Per Sale): The amount paid to the affiliate for every sale made via their affiliate links. For the affiliate, this is the Pay Per Sale.
34 Landing Page: A page that is designed with a specific conversion goal in mind. For affiliates, these pages are optimized to increase the chances of conversion when the users finally click through to the merchants’ sites.
35 Lead Magnet: An offer given away free as an incentive for people to subscribe to a mailing list. This could take the form of eBooks, whitepapers. These leads are then added to an affiliate sales funnel, where they are nurtured through a series of emails before promoting the affiliate offers.
36 Referrals: These are customers or users you’ve brought to the company through your affiliate promotions. Affiliates can refer their friends and family to a merchant’s affiliate program for an initial reward or incentive.
37 Sales Funnel: A logical sequence of steps that are designed for a specific conversion goal in mind.
38 Affiliate sales funnels: These are funnels that use a series of pre-written emails and automated follow-up sequences to encourage people to buy merchants’ products, services or join affiliate programs.
39 Surveys: An online survey created with a single objective – understanding what users think about a particular product or service and how they use it. This data can be used later as valuable input into Affiliate Marketing campaigns to better target those most interested in the products being offered by merchants.
40 Target Keyword: The search keywords that are most likely to convert a visitor into an Affiliate.
41 Retargeting: This refers to the process of displaying certain ads to an individual who has visited your website previously but left without making any conversions. As an affiliate, you can use retargeting to get people to join your affiliate funnels.
42 Affiliate Programs: These are programs where merchants offer commissions (sales) on their products, services, or affiliate membership when they refer people through special links on social media pages, blog posts and forums.
43 No-follow: These are links that do not pass on the link equity to other sites. Sometimes you may want to set your affiliate links as no-follow links.
44 Do-follow links: These are links that do pass on the link equity to other sites.
45 Lead generation: The activity of generating leads through various strategies like content marketing, social media posts and paid campaigns. For affiliates, the primary goal of lead generation is to add them to your affiliate sales funnels.
46 Click-through rate: The number of clicks it takes for a visitor to click through an ad and visit the site in question, as recorded by web analytics software. As an affiliate, you’ll need to determine the click-through rates of your affiliate assets, such as affiliate links and banners.
47 Google AdWords Keyword Tool: One of Google’s most popular tools, which can be used to identify profitable keywords related to any business or service being offered online so they may then create their own targeted campaigns around those terms. This can help you determine which keywords to target for your affiliate posts.
48 Affiliate Marketing forum: An online community where users can ask or share information, tips, and tricks about affiliate marketing. They’re a great place to get advice from other professionals in the field and meet new people who are into like-minded things.
49 Contextual links: These are links that are placed in the articles. Also called editorial links.
50 Customer Bounty: Simply put, it’s just another term for commission.
51 Coupon Codes: These are coupons that can be given to an affiliate to encourage their users to make a purchase through their links. As an affiliate, you can negotiate with your merchant to secure exclusive discounts for your readers
52 Affiliate networks: These act as an intermediary between affiliates and merchants, providing affiliates with access to products and services from a wide range of merchants. Examples include Flexoffers, Impact and Rakuten
53 Cookies: These are pieces of data that a website stores on your computer, phone, or other devices. In affiliate marketing, cookies are used to identify if a customer has come from an affiliate and what products they have looked at.
54 Cookie Duration: The length of time in which these cookies will remain valid on your site before it expires or is destroyed by another referral’s cookie; this can vary depending on how long the cookie is set to last. For example, a 30-day cookie duration means that if someone clicks through your affiliate links and doesn’t make a purchase right away but comes back within 30 days, you’ll still be eligible for a commission.
55 Custom Affiliate Links: These are links that you can create yourself inside the affiliate program to point to particular pages within your merchants’ websites. For instance, you may want to point to a guide instead of a product but still want to get attributed if a person ends up taking action on the merchants’ websites. Not all programs allow you to create custom links, though.
56 Drip campaigns: Drip campaigns are series of emails or other messages sent to subscribers. They are a form of email marketing and can be used for encouraging customers to purchase from affiliate links on websites
57 Engagement: This is a term used in affiliate marketing when a customer has clicked on an advert, visited the website it was promoting and either bought something from there or at least completed some form of activity.
58 Higher Value Products: These are affiliate products at premium pricing, thus higher commissions, but difficult to promote. It may be worth promoting higher-value products rather than lower-priced ones because they will likely have a more significant percentage return in commissions.
59 Impressions: A measure of the number of times affiliate assets are shown on the website and is determined by display frequency, number of users and the sessions per user.
60 Tracking software: affiliate software with a built-in tracking system to calculate commissions.
61 Initial Commission: The commission rate an affiliate receives when they first sign up for an account at the network and may be set by site policy or discretion of the individual affiliate program manager.
62 Referral bonuses: These are extra earnings given to an affiliate on top of the accrued commissions based on a predetermined criterion. They are used to encourage affiliates to create more affiliate assets and bring in more referrals.
63 Affiliate Manager: The person in charge of managing a network’s affiliates. Some programs allocate dedicated affiliate managers to every affiliate to help them optimize their commissions.
64 Banner ad: An image placed on a web page that typically contains advertising and links to other pages.
65 Banner Blindness: The tendency of banner ads not being noticed because they are so prevalent online, consumers have become numb to the constant bombardment of these types of messages.
66 Chargeback: When a sale for which the affiliate has already been compensated falls through, or a purchase is disputed, the affiliate may be charged back for their commission.
67 Conversion: The act of an end-user completing the desired action, such as buying from a website or signing up for a service.
68 Conversion Rate: A conversion rate is the percentage chance that an online user takes to purchase what they found after clicking on one of your affiliate assets.
69 Super affiliate: A member of an affiliate program who has generated large amounts of revenue for the company they work with.
70 Two-tier affiliate programs: An affiliate program that also features a tiered commission structure. Affiliates earn commissions on the sales of other affiliates they refer, as well as on their own sales.
Popular Affiliate Marketing Abbreviations You Need to Know
- Ad: Advertisement
- CPC- Cost Per Click
- AM: Affiliate manager
- AOV: Average order value
- AW: Affiliate Window
- CJ: Commission Junction
- CPA: Cost per Action
- CPL: Cost per Lead
- CPO: Cost per Order
- CTR: Click-Through Rate
- CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization
- CPS: Cost per Sale
- LP: Landing page
- PPL: Pay per Lead
- PPS: Pay per Sale
- ROI: Return on Investment
- SEO: Search Engine Optimization
- SERPs: Search Engine Result Pages
- TOS: Terms of Service
- URL: Uniform Resource Locator
- UV: Unique Visitor
I hope this list of affiliate marketing terms has helped you learn more about working in the digital space. If there are any definitions or acronyms that we missed, please leave a comment below!