59+ Essential Affiliate Marketing Terms Bloggers Must Know – 2020 Glossary

The following terms provide a brief description of terms that are commonly used in affiliate marketing. I have developed this ultimate affiliate marketing glossary to help bloggers and digital marketers who have an interest in affiliate marketing understand this topic clearly.

When I started blogging many new terms often came across to me daily. Most of the terms were generic and easily relatable until I started exploring niche topics like affiliate marketing.

After spending considerable time in blogging and affiliate marketing, here I am sharing a comprehensive list of most essential affiliate marketing terms you should know.

The Essential Affiliate Marketing Terms [Affiliate Marketing Glossary]

The following affiliate marketing glossary will surely help you to understand the important terms and their abbreviations if any.

1. Ad Blocker

This is a software-based program that prevents online advertisements from displaying.

2. Advertiser

Also known as a merchant.

It is a company that sells a product or service, accepts payments, and fulfills orders online.

Advertiser partners with a publisher to help promote their products and services.

A publisher places an advertiser’s ad, text links, or product links on his/her website. In addition to that hey may also include them in email campaigns and search listings in exchange for commissions on leads or sales.

3. Ad Display/Ad Delivered

This is an ad that is successfully displayed on the user’s computer screen.

4. Affiliate

This is the owner of a  website that earns a commission for referring clicks, leads, or sales to an advertiser. Also known as a publisher.

5. Affiliate Agreement

These are terms that govern the relationship between a merchant and an affiliate.

6. Affiliate Link

It’s a special URL that contains the ID or username of the affiliate. This URL is used by the advertiser to track all traffics the affiliate sends to the advertiser’s site as a part of the affiliate program.

7. Affiliate Manager

An affiliate manager is responsible for the affiliate program and the publishers it has in that program.

8. Affiliate Marketing

It is any type of revenue-sharing program in which a publisher (affiliate) receives a commission for generating online actions (such as leads or sales) for an advertiser.

It is also called performance-based marketing, partner marketing, CPA, associate program, or pay-for-performance program. Read more about affiliate marketing here.

9. Affiliate Program

It is a marketing program where one (like affiliate) can receive a commission for helping a company (like Advertiser) generate sales.

10. Affiliate Software

Software that, at a minimum, provides tracking and reporting of commission-triggering actions (sales, registrations, or clicks) from affiliate links.

11. Banner

A banner is a clickable advertising graphic and is the most common type of web advertisement. Banners are graphics of all shapes and sizes.

12. Base Rate

This a standard commission rate for a given program term.

13. B2B – Business-to-Business

Business-to-Business, also known as e-biz, is the exchange of products, services, or information between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers.

14. B2C – Business-to-Consumers

Business-to-Consumers is a transaction that occurs between a company and a consumer directly, as opposed to a transaction between companies (B2B).

15. Banner Ad

This is a form of advertising on the web delivered by an Ad Server. This form of online advertising entails embedding an advertisement into a web page.

Above all, it is primarily intended to attract traffic to a website by linking to the advertiser’s site. Here are more to read about banner ads.

16. Black Hat

Used to describe the unethical practice of SEO, such as link scheming.

17. Blog

This is a website featuring regular posts and encourages user comments, linking and interaction. A short form for “Weblog.”

18. Bounce Rate

This is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

19. CPA – Cost Per Action

Cost Per Action (sometimes known as Pay Per Action or PPA; also Cost Per Conversion) is an online advertising pricing model, where the advertiser pays for each specified action.

This could include, an impression, click, form submit (e.g, contact request, newsletter sign up, registration, etc), double opt-in or sale.

20. CPC – CostPerClick

CostPerClick is the amount and affiliate earns each time a user clicks on an ad he/she is promoting.

21. CPL – Cost-Per-Lead

Cost-Per-Lead is an online advertising pricing model, where the advertiser pays for an explicit sign-up from a consumer interested in the advertiser’s offer. Quite similar to the CPA.

22. CPM – Cost Per Thousand Impressions

This is the cost per 1000 impressions. For example, a $1 CPM means $1 for 1000 ad views.

23. CR – Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate. This is the percentage of visits to a publisher’s website that converts to a sale or lead. For example, if one in every hundred visitors to your site makes a purchase, then your conversion rate is 1:100, or 1 percent.

24. CTR – Click-Through Rate

Click-Through Rate. This is a ratio showing how often people who see your ad end up clicking it.

25. Customer Acquisition Cost

CAC is the cost that an organization must incur to convince a potential customer to buy the product/services.

26. Charge Back

It is the return of funds to a consumer.

27. Commission

Amount of money an affiliate earns after a successful sale of products and services.

28. Cookies

cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user’s web browser while the user is browsing that website.

29. Database

A large collection of data stored in rows and columns to allow for fast retrieval.

30. Deep Link

It allows a publisher to hyperlink directly to a specific product or service webpage on the advertiser’s website, which can cut out the step of going to the publisher’s page/website first. Also known as “direct link.”

Read more – 100+ Blogging Terms Blogger’s Should Know in 2020 [Blogging Glossary]

31. Dynamic Link

A link-type that may contain many different elements in any rich media format and allows advertisers to change link content on a real-time basis.

32. EPC – Earnings Per Clicks

Earnings Per Clicks is a mathematical formula used to determine the commissions earned per click in online advertising.

33. EPM – Earnings Per Thousand Impressions

Earnings per 1,000 impressions. It is somewhat similar to CPM.

Earnings: The amount of money a publisher has earned through an advertiser’s program.

34. Geo-Targeting

Selective advertising in which a publisher can choose what geographical areas they want the ad to appear in.

For example, if a publisher’s website focuses on umbrellas and rain apparel, they may just want a certain ad to appear in places where it frequently rains.

35. HomePage

This is the “front” main page of a website.

36. Impression

This occurs every time a link appears in a visitor’s browser. It represents an opportunity to buy an online advertiser’s products or services.

Analyzing the number of impressions served, in conjunction with other data, allows publishers and advertisers to assess the effectiveness of the links.

37. Java Script

A client-side scripting language developed by Netscape Communications that brings interactivity to the World Wide Web.

Its functionality is primarily aimed at enhanced forms, simple web database front-ends, navigation enhancements and allows for dynamic updating via servers vs. hard code updates the likes of HTML required.

38. Landing Page

The section of a website accessed by clicking a hyperlink on another web page, typically the website’s home page.

39. Lead

A type of action in which a consumer registers, signs up for, or downloads something from an advertiser’s website.

A prospective customer filling out a form on an advertiser’s website is also a type of lead.

40. Link

A link is a form of advertising (an icon, a picture, or a highlighted string of text) on a website, in an email, or an online newsletter, that, when clicked, refers a consumer to an advertiser’s landing page or website.

In the world of affiliate marketing, the link is provided by an advertiser to allow publishers to earn a commission.

41. Organic Search

Also known as search engine optimization (SEO), focuses on optimizing website content, architecture, meta tag development, linking strategies, directory listings and webpage submissions based on the relevancy algorithms search engines use to index and rank webpages.

The organic search methodology is a long-term solution to obtaining search engine exposure without paying the recurring costs associated with pay-per-click advertising models.

42. PPL – Pay Per Lead

This is an online advertising pricing model, where the advertiser pays for each specified action – this could include: an impression, click, form submit, double opt-in or sale

43. PPC – Pay Per Call

Pay-per-call is a Performance-based advertising model and compensation method. Pay-per-Call is similar to online Pay-per-Click advertising.

44. PPI – Pay Per Impression

Cost per impression, often abbreviated to CPM, is a term used in online advertising and marketing related to web traffic.

It refers to the cost of internet marketing or email advertising campaigns where advertisers pay for every time an ad is displayed.

45. PPS – Pay Per Sale

Commission method in which a publisher is paid when a product or service is purchased on an advertiser’s site by a publisher-referred visitor.

46. Performance Incentive

Additional performance-based rewards offered by advertisers to top publishers paid as a bonus two months after the month the transactions were generated.

There are three types of PI’s: total sales, total commissions, and a number of other actions.

47. Pop Up

A smaller browser window or message area that appears in front of the main browser window. It could be a form or an ad banner.

48. Publisher

The owner of a  web site owner who earns a commission for referring clicks, leads, or sales to an advertiser. Also called an affiliate.

49. 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 larger the number of shoppers and the greater the profit margin generated by sales, the better the ROI.

50. SEO

Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search.

51. SEM

Search engine marketing is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results.

52. SERP

A search engine results page is the listing of results returned by a search engine in response to a keyword query.

The results normally include a list of items with titles, a reference to the full version, and a short description showing where the keywords have matched content within the page.

53. SPAM

Irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients.

54. Super Affiliates

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.

55. Terms of Service

Terms of service are the rules which one must agree to abide by to use a service. It can also be merely a disclaimer, especially regarding the use of websites.

56. Tracking Code

Refers to the hidden 1X1 pixel tracking code that is placed on the confirmation page of your store for tracking sales conversions.

57. Two-tier

This is an 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.

58. Unique Visitor

Unique visitors refer to the number of distinct individuals requesting pages from the website during a given period, regardless of how often they visit.

When an individual goes to a website on Tuesday, then again on Wednesday, this is recorded as two visits from one visitor.

59. Viral Marketing

This is the rapid adoption of a product or passing on of an offer to friends and family through word-of-mouth  (or email) networks. It is a form of advertising that propagates itself the way viruses do.

Did you find this list of affiliate marketing terms useful? What are the other terms I should add in this affiliate marketing glossary, do let me know in the comments section below.

Happy Blogging!

Leave a Comment