Affiliate Marketing 101


Glossary of Affiliate Marketing
AD NETWORK
Organization that aggregates or brokers advertising inventory for many sites.
AFFILIATE
Also known as associate, member, publisher, web portal or webmaster.
Independent website that refers clicks, leads or sales to a merchant in exchange for commission.
AFFILIATE MARKETING
Also known as pay for performance, performance-based, referral-based or revenue-sharing marketing.
Revenue sharing partnership between a merchant and one or multiple affiliates, where the affiliate is paid a commission for referring clicks, leads or sales to a merchant's website.
AFFILIATE PROGRAM
Also known as associate, partner, referral, reseller or sponsor programs.
Any type of revenue sharing program where an affiliate receives a portion of income for delivering sales, leads or traffic to a merchant's website.
BANNER BURNOUT
When a creative has been overexposed to a user to the point that response rates drop.
BEHAVIORAL TARGETING
Ads served based on user behavior - web surfing habits, response to advertisements, etc.
CALL TO ACTION
Used in ad copy to generate user response. Examples include phrases such as "Click HERE!", "Act NOW!", "Join Today!" etc.
Good calls to action can help boost CTR rates and increase the success of the campaign.
CAMPAIGN
A Campaign is a combination of Creatives (text, banners, etc.), Publisher specific links/tags, and Campaign Terms.
Campaign Terms determine the acceptable ways to promote the Campaign, the Events upon occurrence of which you receive compensation and the compensation amount.
CAN-SPAM ACT
Federal law that establishes requirements for those who send commercial email.
CLICK
Also known as click-through.
The action a visitor takes when they click on a merchant's link.
CLICK TRACKING
The process of counting and auditing number of clicks for a campaign.
CO-REGISTRATION
Cooperative marketing through which consumers register to receive multiple offers via one integrated registration form.
CONFIRMED OPT-IN
In email marketing, a consumer who after initially requesting to receive commercial emails from a company/in a field, confirms the request by clicking on a link in an email received as a result of the initial request.
COOKIE
A small file/code that a website places on a visitor's PC for tracking the surfing habits, sales or other user-specific data.
Affiliate marketing relies on cookie technology to track any leads or sales a visitor generates by clicking on a merchant's link.
CPA
Also known as Cost Per Acquisition or Action.
Advertiser pays each time a visitor clicks on an ad and takes some sort of action, whether it is a lead or a sale.
CPC
Also known as Cost Per Click.
Advertiser pays each time a visitor clicks on an advertisement. Clicks can be generated through banners, other graphics, text links, pop ups, emails etc.
CPL
Also known as Cost Per Lead.
Advertiser pays each time a visitor clicks on an advertisement and fills out a signup form, whether it is free information, a free trial offer, free download etc.
The purpose of this is to introduce users to the advertiser's product or service, provide information, dialogue, and ultimately "Up-sell" the user to become a paying customer.
CPM
Also known as Cost per 1,000 Impressions.
Advertiser pays for every 1,000 ads viewed. This includes banners and other size graphics. Additionally, this is how many emails and newsletters are sold (per 1,000 people the email is sent to).
CREATIVES
Also known as banners.
The promotional tools an advertiser users to attract visitors to their site. Encompasses banners, text links, towers, buttons, badges, email copy, pop ups, etc. Creatives are essential for generating user interest and response.
CTR
Also known as Click-Through Rate.
The percentage of people who click on an ad for every 1,000 views.
CVR
Also known as Conversion Rate.
This is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action.
EMAIL DROP
Also known as email bursts, mailers.
Running an advertisement to an email list.
EPC
Also known as average earnings per hundred clicks.
A metric for measuring link effectiveness and number of clicks converted into sales. It is calculated as the ratio of earnings over a defined time period to total clicks, multiplied by 100.
NOTE: some affiliate service providers calculate EPC as earnings per single click, not hundred clicks. Therefore, EPC metrics cannot necessarily be compared across affiliate networks.
FREQUENCY CAP
A method of limiting the number of times a user is exposed to viewing the same creative within a set period of time. This is a way to avoid banner burnout.
GEO TARGETING
Serving of ads to a particular geographical area.
IMPRESSION
Also known as a hit.
When a user views a banner, link or page on the Internet.
INTERSTITIAL
also known as transition ad or splash page.
Ad that appears between two content pages.
JAVASCRIPT
An Internet scripting language used to create dynamic pages on the web that allow for user interaction. Internet advertising uses JavaScript to generate what is commonly known as pop-up or pop-under advertising.
LEAD
A potential customer, who is usually defined by a sign up, download or form submission. For example, after clicking on a merchant's banner a visitor is asked to sign up for a newsletter. Upon submitting information they become a lead.
LINK
Also known as a hyper-link.
A piece of code containing the web address of the site, that when clicked leads a user from an affiliate's website back to a merchant's landing page and visa versa.
Links can take the form of a banner, text link, JavaScript or newsletter and are usually located on an affiliate's website, email or newsletter.
MERCHANT
Also known as advertiser, client, e-commerce site, online retailer or partner.
A business that sells goods or services online and pays its affiliates a commission in exchange for impressions, leads or sales.
OPT-IN
An online process by which a subscriber requests to receive information such as e-mail advertising and newsletters.
An opt-in e-mail list is also called a permission-based e-mail list.
OPT-OUT
An online process (such as un-checking a pre-checked box) by which a user actively chooses not to receive information.
RE-DIRECT
The process of a server sending a browser the location of a requested ad, rather than sending the ad itself.
REFERRAL
A new member of a network referred by a current member.
RICH MEDIA
Method of communication that incorporates animation, sound, video, and/or interactivity.
can be used either singularly or in combination with the following technologies: streaming media, sound, Flash, and with programming languages such as Java, Javascript, and DHTML.
ROI
Also known as Return on Investment.
A metric that attempts to determine what the advertiser receives in return for the cost of the advertising.
RON
Also known as Run of Network.
An offer which is available for all sites within the ad network to run.
SEM
Also known as Search Engine Marketing.
Act of marketing a website via search engines, whether this be improving rank in organic listings, purchasing paid listings or a combination of these and other search engine-related activities.
SEO
Also known as Search Engine Optimization.
Act of altering a website so that it does well in the organic, crawler-based listings of search engines.
SPAM
Also known as unsolicited commercial e-mail, bulk e-mail, mass e-mail or junk e-mail.
Electronic message advertising goods or services that is sent to someone without his prior consent and in the absence of a previous relationship (including newsgroup, IRC channel, or message board postings unrelated to the topic of discussion of the particular newsgroup, channel or message board).
STRATEGIC TEXT LINKS
Text links which are placed within relevant content of a website.
CTR rates on text links can be many times higher than RON banners.
TARGETED ADVERTISING
Working to place advertising campaigns on sites and content that match the demographic appeal of the advertisement.
TRACKING PIXEL
Also known as Web beacon.
Single line of code which is used by a website or third-party ad server to track a user's activity, such as a registration or conversion.
TRAFFIC
The number of visits to a Web page or site.
UNIQUE VISITORS
The number of unique individuals who visit a site during a given period of time (usually counted once per 24 hours).
VIRAL MARKETING
Advertising and/or marketing techniques that "spread" like a virus by getting passed on from consumer to consumer and market to market.