Affiliate Terminologies

Affiliate Terminologies

TerminologyMeaning 
Advertiser
Any person who promotes an offer using traffic in exchange for a payout.
 
Publisher
A person that has advertising space to sell, such as a web page or app owner. Publishers go to ad networks to offer their advertising space to advertisers.
 
Affiliate marketing
The process of promoting someone else’s products in exchange for a commission. Affiliates usually use paid sources of traffic. If you want to know more about how everything works, read our comprehensive guide to affiliate marketing.
 
Affiliate network
A platform that connects offer owners and advertisers. This is where you can find offers to promote.
 
Campaign
An organized effort to promote offers. A campaign can have several ads, landing pages, or targeting options, but usually everything is thematically related. Within one campaign, you use one type of ads inside one specific GEO.
 
Campaign funnel
a complete visitor’s journey, from an ad, through a landing page or pages, to an offer.
 
Click ID
A unique alphanumeric string that is used to identify a click. Traffic sources, trackers, and affiliate networks have their own click IDs to track concrete visits. Passing a click ID within a token is commonly used to authenticate a conversion within a tracker or a traffic source.
 
   
Conversion typesAny user generated event deemed valuable by an offer owner. A conversion can be: 
 
Lead form submission
 
 Purchase 
 
Newsletter signup
 
 App install 
 
Credit card check out submit
 
 
Landing page order submit for cash on delivery
 
   
Payout Models: Publishers are rewarded for conversions by offer owners with a commission, called a “payout”.
  
Cost/Payout models. Methods of paying for traffic. There are the following cost models:
  
 CPA
Cost per action. This is when you pay for traffic only if a visitor undertook a certain action, usually a conversion.
 CPC
Cost per click. This is when you pay for each click on your ad.
 CPM
Cost per thousand (thousand in latin is mille, hence “Cost per mille”). This is when you pay for a thousand ad views.
 CPV
Cost per view. This is when you pay for a single ad view. CPV times a thousand is CPM.
 Revshare
This is when you pay a set fraction of your payout.
 CPLcost per lead
 CPOcost per order
 CPScost per sale
 EPC
earnings per click
 PPLPay Per lead
 PPSpay per sale
   
CTA
Call to action. Usually a button that is placed on a landing page. It directs a visitor to an offer page. There can be one or more CTA buttons that lead to the same or different offers from one landing page.
 
Direct Tracking
A.k.a. cookieless tracking, redirectless tracking, zero
 
DSP
Demand Side Platform. This is a type of a traffic source that offers traffic not from single publishers, but from various ad networks in one place.
 
Ecommerce
one of the major verticals related to buying and selling physical products online.
 
GEO
A term describing geographical targeting details, such as tier, country, state, or city.
 
Incentive
Any advertising technique that offers something to a visitor in exchange for an offer. This may include rewards such as virtual currency in games, small payments, exclusive offers, discounts, etc.
 
InterstitialA type of full 
Landing page
any web page that goes between an ad and an offer. Its purpose is to provide additional product information, convince a visitor to purchase, or present alternative offers. Having a landing page in a campaign funnel usually increases chances for a conversion.
 
Lead
A potential customer - Any piece of user information that offer owners deem valuable. This may include email address, phone number, or credit card details.
 
Native
A type of ad that tries to mimic the surrounding content. These ads look like genuine news articles and are often visible on news pages in sections such as “You may also like” or “Related content”. More on native ads can be found in MGID’s guest post article.
 
Offer
A product or a service that an advertiser can promote in exchange for a commission, called payout. Offers can be found in affiliate networks.
 
Pixel
This is how a tracking script is usually called. A pixel implemented on a landing page reports visits to this page, whereas a pixel implemented on an offerpage reports conversions.
 
Placement
A place on a web page where an ad is placed. Information about placement is often tracked and used to optimize your campaigns.
 
Pop
A type of an ad that launches your landing page or offer page in the background (pop up, take over etc)
 
RON
Run on network is a type of a campaign where you target all traffic coming from one or many countries.
 
SOISingle opt- in 
DOI
Double opt-in, used for detail confirmation ie email confirmation
 
Sweeps/Sweepstakes
One of the main verticals related to competitions and quizzes. It is stereotypically associated with the “You won an iPhone!” type of ads.
 
Traffic
a stream of visitors, either paid or organic. A place where you can get traffic from is called a traffic source.
 
Traffic source
A general term describing any place that you can get traffic from. This includes:
 
Vertical
An offer category. A subcategory of vertical is called a niche. There are plenty of various verticals, chief among which are: Affiliate networks usually specialize in one or few verticals. You have to decide which vertical you want to work with before you launch any campaign.
 
 NutraKitchen & Home
 Household
Garden & outdoor
 PetSport & Fitness
 Beauty
Gambling & Casino
 HealthAdult
 MotorDating
 Electronics
Jewellery & accessories
 GadgetsFinance
 Fashion
Business Services
 
Advertiser offers get assigned to the appropriate category for Publishers to find. Publishers decide which vertical they want to work with before they launch any campaign. The most profitable verticals can switch based on season and trends.
 
   
Adadvertisement 
AMaffiliate manager 
B2B
business to business: business arrangements that occur between businesses, like wholesalers selling to retailers.
 
B2C
business to consumer: business arrangements that occur between businesses and customers.
 
BHO
browser helper object
 
Bot
artificial intelligence (robot) applications used to automate business processes
 
LPlanding page 
SQRP
search query results page
 
TOSTerms of service 
Click Fraud
Generating fake clicks in a program based on the PPC price model. These fake clicks can either be generated by robots or humans and, since the traffic is of no use, persons who create a way to fake clicks are usually banned from affiliate networks
 
Charge Back
A product returned or a sale that falls through. Due to the fact that the sale failed to materialize, the advertiser will actually deduct the amount you were previously given as a commission for that specific sale from your affiliate marketing commissions
 
Click fraud
Generating fake clicks in a program based on the PPC price model. These fake clicks can either be generated by robots or humans and, since the traffic is of no use, persons who create a way to fake clicks are usually banned from affiliate networks.
 
Click ID
It’s the user’s identification code. It contains info about the segment, browser, hour, day, etc. It essentially contains data of where and when the user performed an action
 
White Label
A product created by a company that other companies will later rebrand so as to make the original product fit their own brand. It’s basically a product sold without labeling.

TerminologyMeaning
Tracking
A process of recording various visit data using either redirect or directtracking method. More on tracking can be found in our lists of reasons why you need a tracker.
Push
A type of an ad delivered directly on a visitor’s desktop or mobile displayed in a form of a notification. Push ads aim to act like genuine notifications. Displaying them requires a prior consent from a visitor, which pre
Postback
A method of reporting conversions from an affiliate network to a tracker or traffic source that uses HTTP requests. The difference between postback and pixel reporting has been covered in our article.
Redirect tracking
A method of tracking that relies on redirects through a tracking domain to correctly record visit data. The visitor’s journey usually looks as follows:
 
1. A visitor clicks an ad;
 
2. This visitor is redirected through a tracking domain to a landing page;
 
3. Once the visitor clicks the CTA button on this page they are redirected through a tracking domain again to the offer.
 
This method of tracking is considered to be a default one in affiliate marketingand is easy to implement.
  
Tokens
An automatically replaceable placeholder that is a part of a redirection URL. It is used to pass information between platforms, such as placement name that a visitor has clicked, country of origin, device type, and many others. Each platform has its own specific tokens.
Tracker
A software design to track affiliate visits, clicks, and conversions and analyze the recorded data. Trackers differ between each other in the way they operate: there can be trackers that you install on your server or there are the ones that operate in a cloud.
SID
shopper ID, sometimes called session ID: something affiliates add to their tracking links to know which links generated which lead or sale
Cookies
A text file sent from a site to a specific file in a user’s web browser. Cookies are used to assign a specific ID to a given user who has clicked the affiliate link to get to an advertiser’s website. They are usually set to 24hrs, 7 days, 14days, 28days, 30 days, 90days, 180days
Deep linking
Most affiliate networks have a deep linking function. It allows affiliates to send a visitor to a particular page on the advertiser’s website. The affiliate link – by default – redirects to the homepage
Postback URL
URL used on the offer that allows you to be notified — where you buy the traffic — that a given action has happened, such as a conversion, for instance. Also called Server-to-Server or S2S
Charge Back
A product returned or a sale that falls through. Due to the fact that the sale failed to materialize, the advertiser will actually deduct the amount you were previously given as a commission for that specific sale from your affiliate marketing commissions
Click ID
It’s the user’s identification code. It contains info about the segment, browser, hour, day, etc. It essentially contains data of where and when the user performed an action

TerminologyMeaning 
Tier
A group of countries similar in terms of advertising techniques and payouts. The division is based on when a given country has been connected to the Internet.
 
 
Tier 1 countries are developed countries that were connected to the Internet first. They are familiar with many affiliate techniques and the market in that country is very saturated. However, offers in this Tier have the highest payouts
 
 
Tier 2 countries were connected to the Interned later. Competition is smaller, but still noticeable. And payouts are respectively lower.
 
 
Tier 3 countries are developing countries that got the Internet connection just recently. Offer payouts are the lowest, but competition is lower as well, and the sheer size of a market allows newbies to find niches.
 
   
Most used Publisher promotion channels
  
 
Social advertising
 
 
Search engine advertising
 
 Email Lead gen 
 Blogging 
 
Aggregator/comparison sites
 
 Influencer 
   
Most used Publisher advertising platforms
  
 DSP
A demand-side platform (DSP) is a type of software that allows an advertiser to buy advertising with the help of automation.
 Google Ads
Online advertising platform for Google, Google partner sites and apps, where advertisers bid to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, or videos to web users
 Facebook
online advertising platform facebook and facebook partner sites
 Bing ads
Online advertising platform for Microsoft and Bing, Microsoft partner sites and apps(excludes LinkedIn), where advertisers bid to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, or videos to web users
 Leadgen
A type of an offer where the main purpose is to collect leads, either qualified or high volume traffic.
   
Pay Bump
When an affiliate receives a higher payout for a specific offer.
 
   
Sweepstakes
Lead Generation offers for which users compete to earn a big prize, in exchange for some contact details sharing.
 
Search text ad
A type of ad that mimics the search results displayed on a search engine result page.

TerminologyMeaning
Impression
A metric describing a single ad view.
Click
a metric describing the click of an ad
CTR
click through rate, or click through ratio
ROI
Return on Investment. How much you have earned vs the money you have spent (conv - cost) / cost = ROI.
 
If it’s positive, you are earning money.
 
If it’s negative, you are losing money.
 
It is calculated using the following formula: ROI (%) = (Total revenue ($) – Total cost ($) ) / Total cost ($) * 100%
  
AOV
average order value
CAC
customer acquisition cost
ROAS
Return on ad spend
UV
unique visitor: a label given to a visitor who visits a certain site several times within a specific period.
CPA
Cost per action. This is when you pay for traffic only if a visitor undertook a certain action, usually a conversion.
CPC
Cost per click. This is when you pay for each click on your ad.
CPM
Cost per thousand (thousand in latin is mille, hence “Cost per mille”). This is when you pay for a thousand ad views.
CPV
Cost per view. This is when you pay for a single ad view. CPV times a thousand is CPM.
Revshare
This is when you pay a set fraction of your payout.
CPLcost per lead
CPOcost per order
CPScost per sale
EPC
earnings per click
PPL Pay Per lead
PPSpay per sale
LIS
Lost impression share
Conv
Number of conversions made
CVR
Conversion percentage rate (conv/clicks)

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