Affiliate Marketing Glossary: read it and keep it!

Above the Fold: describes the part of an email message or web page that is visible without scrolling down the page.

Ad network: a company that connects advertisers to publishers (owners of websites), and manages tracking and commission payments.

Advertiser (Merchant): the company/person which sells the goods or services and has the Affiliate program. The Advertiser pays Affiliates for sending traffic to the Advertiser’s website after a product or service is purchased.

Affiliate (Publisher): a web site owner that earns a commission for referring clicks, leads, or sales to Advertiser.

Affiliate Agreement: terms between an Advertiser and an Affiliate that govern the relationship. This includes the terms on which the Affiliate will be rewarded for the traffic sent to the Advertiser’s website.

Affiliate Link (Tracking Link): a unique linking code, it enables the advertiser and/or the network to track any activity. This code is embedded in a text or graphic link which in turn identifies a visitor as hailing from a specific Affiliate website when the graphic or text is clicked on. These links are unique in order to track the traffic coming from the Affiliate site.

Affiliate Manager: the person responsible for running the Advertiser’s Affiliate program.  This includes recruiting Affiliates, establishing incentive programs, creating media for the Affiliates, reporting on sales and paying Affiliates. You can contact your affiliate manager any time via Skype or email!

Affiliate Tracking: the process of tracking a link uniquely by Affiliate using an Affiliate Link.

Banner Ad: an electronic advertisement or billboard such as an animated GIF, Flash Movie, JPEG that advertisers a product, service, or web site.

Cashback: the commission or the part of it the cashback sites return for driving a sale back to their users as a reward for using the site. Cashback sites are often significant parts of Affiliate Programs.

Chargeback: an invalid sale that results in the Affiliate’s commission being forfeited.

Click-through: the action when a user clicks on a link and follows through to the Advertiser’s website.

Click-Through Ratio (CTR): percentage of visitors who click-through on a link to visit the Advertiser’s website.

Commission: income an Affiliate earns for generating a sale, lead or click-through to an Advertiser’s website. Sometimes called a referral fee.

Cookies: small text files stored on the visitor’s computer, which record information that is of interest to the Advertiser 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.

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

CPA (Cost Per Acquisition): publishers get paid when someone acquires a product or service.

CPC (Cost Per Click): publishers get paid for each unique click to the Advertiser’s website.

CPL (Cost Per Lead/Pay Per Lead): publishers earn commissions in return for driving a lead to an Advertiser’s site. A lead occurs when someone fills a form in which contact details are provided to the offer’s owner.

CPM (Cost Per Thousand): publishers earn commissions for 1000 banner impressions.

CPS (Cost Per Sale/Pay Per Sale): publishers earn commissions each time they secure a sale of a product or service for advertisers. A sale is confirmed when a purchase is made.

Customer Bounty: the commission paid to Affiliates for every new customer that they direct to an Advertiser.

Desktop traffic: the amount of data sent and received by the users of home computers or laptops.

Direct Linking: the process where an Affiliate links directly to the Advertiser without going through a landing page or pre-sale page. This can help with Affiliate website’s search engine ranking.

E-mail Link: Affiliate link to an Advertiser site in an e-mail newsletter or signature.

In-app traffic: the amount of data sent and received by app users. In-app traffic makes a great part of mobile traffic, as tons of apps are entering the market annually.

Impression: the amount of times a banner advertisement was displayed or viewed.

Mobile web traffic: the amount of data sent and received by the users of mobile devices. In mobile Affiliate marketing, Advertiser rewards Affiliates for every single user/customer who’s brought by a given Affiliate through a mobile device.

Multiple Tiers: refers to running a multiple tier Affiliate program where Affiliates who refer other Affiliates earn commission off of those Affiliates.

Performance-Based Marketing: marketing in which the Advertiser only pays commissions for results such as conversions to sales or leads.

Price Comparison: the process when Affiliates comparing the prices of thousands of products, from Insurance to food stuffs.

Product feed: a product feed is a method where product data feed gets distributed and synced from the retailer’s website on many distribution and marketing platforms. Feeds are required to run sites that compare pricing, and Affiliates also use the attributes in feeds to determine campaign keywords and bidding.

Recurring Commissions: the process of rewarding an Affiliate on a recurring basis whenever the Advertiser 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 the customer.

Residual Earnings: programs that pay Affiliates not just for the first sale a customer form their sites makes, but all additional sales made at the Advertiser’s site over the life of the customer.

ROAS (Return on Advertising Spending): this is the amount of revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. For instance, a ROAS of $1 means $1 is generated in sales for every $1 in advertising spend, and a ROAS of $5 means $5 are generated in sales for every $1 in spending. The formula used is ROAS = revenue generated/ amount spent.

ROI (Return on Investment): amount derived by actually subtracting net revenue from the total amount of costs. This is a calculation used to ascertain the profitability of a PPC campaign.

Super Affiliates: the highest performing Affiliates, usually the group of select Affiliates who generate close to 90% of most Affiliate programs’ profits.

Sweepstakes: lead generation offers for which users compete to earn a big prize, in exchange for some contact details sharing.

Targeted Marketing: offering the right offer to the right customer at the right time. It aims to identify the best audience for a specific product or service. The goal is to show advertisements tailored to the needs and interest of people who are already interested by what you’ll be offering them.

Tenancy: pricing model is where the Advertiser pays a flat, fixed fee per month regardless of the amount of impressions, clicks or leads.

Tracking Method: 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 Advertiser’s software. Some programs also use cookies for tracking.

Two-tier: Affiliate marketing model that allows Affiliates to sign up additional Affiliates below themselves, so that when the second-tier Affiliates earn a commission, the Affiliate 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 browser header.

Validation Period: the period of time from a transaction tracking place until the advertiser approves its validity.

Viral Marketing: 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.

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