Definitions Of Affiliate Marketing Terms

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Above the Fold: The area of a web page that is initially viewable to a visitor. Anything that a person has to scroll to see is Below the Fold.

Advertiser: On traffic platforms the advertiser is the person paying for ad space and launching campaigns. On affiliate networks, the advertiser is the entity that provides the networks with offers for affiliates to run.

Adware: Software, toolbars and browser extensions that inject advertising onto the user’s computer. Often adware is bundled with free software. Ad formats include pop-ups, pop-unders, search result injection, display ad injection, contextual text links.

Affiliate: Someone who gets a commission for driving sales and leads to an advertiser.

Affiliate Agreement: The legal agreement between the affiliate and affiliate network or merchant. This usually describes what traffic sources are allowed, payment schedules and a whole bunch of legalese.

Affiliate Link: A special link that allows tracking of sales and conversions of an offer to the affiliate.

Affiliate Manager: The point of contact between the affiliate and the affiliate network / merchants. Affiliate managers take care of creative approvals, payment questions, pay bumps as well as handle any disputes that may arise.

Affiliate Network: Manages offers from a variety of different merchants/advertisers. Affiliate networks act as a go between for Affiliates and Merchants. Some benefits of using affiliate networks include faster payout terms and the ability to choose from a variety of offers. For this they take a cut of the profits.

Affiliate Program: A company’s program that pays affiliates to drive sales or leads to the company.


Banner Ad: Ads seen on various websites. Generally graphical in nature.

Below The Fold: Everything below the initial screen a visitor sees when landing on a webpage. If they have to scroll down to see content, that content is below the fold.  



Charge Back: When a customer files a dispute with their credit card company regarding particular charges and those charges get reversed.

Click-Through: The act of clicking through a link and being brought to a different destination.

CTR – Click Through Rate: (clicks on the link) / (# of link impressions) It’s the percentage of clicks a particular link or landing page gets.

Cloaking: For links, cloaking refers to altering the description of a link to something other than its true destination. For example, hovering over a link might show it go to whereas when clicked it will take the user to It could also mean using link services such as,,

Cloaking can also refer to showing separate webpages depending on who the visitor is. For example, people may show ad network compliance teams a “safe” page and send real visitors to a “money” page which often employs aggressive marketing tactics disallowed by the traffic source.

Contextual: Refers to generating content based on surrounding content. Contextual ads match ad content to the page they appear on. So if a page is about fishing, ads about fishing will appear. This can also refer to in-text ads, pop up ads. Anything in which advertising appears based on the surrounding content can be known as contextual.

Commission: Whatever is paid for driving a sale or lead.

Conversion: When whatever action the affiliate is paid for takes place.

Conversion Rate: The percentage of people who view an offer that convert. This can mean a variety of things. % of landing page views to conversions, % of people who land on an offer that convert etc.

Cookies: Small text files saved to visitor’s computers that track various things. In affiliate marketing it often refers to how long after an affiliate sends a visitor to they will still get credited for the conversion. For example, on a 30-day cookie any visitor who converts within 30 days of clicking through an affiliate link will get credited to that affiliate link.

Cookie Stuffing: The act of dropping cookies onto people’s computers without having the visitors click through to an offer. This can get you sued, don’t do it.

CPA: Cost Per Action

CPC: Cost Per Click

CPM: Cost Per Mille: Means cost per 1000 impressions.

Creative: Landing pages, text ads, pretty much any marketing material.



Datafeed: Merchant provided data in standardized format. Affiliates can use this data to automate product listings on websites or anything else they can imagine.

Direct Linking: Linking from a traffic source directly to an offer rather than sending them to a presell page.

Disclosure: FTC required statement disclosing the affiliate relationship between affiliates and merchants.


EPC: Earnings Per Click


First Click: An affiliate program in which the first affiliate who sends a particular visitor to an offer gets credit for the conversion.


HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) : Computer Language used to create webpages.


Impression: One view of an ad or webpage.


Joint Venture – JV : Agreement between two or more parties to market and sell a product or service.


Last Click: An affiliate program in which the last affiliate who sends a particular visitor to an offer gets credited for the conversion.

Landing Page: Any page the visitor lands on after clicking on an ad. These are used to presell visitors before leading them to the offer page. Technically, when direct linking, the offer page is the landing page.


Merchant: The entity providing affiliates and affiliate networks with their offers.


Niche: A specialized subset of a market. Can refer to broad subject areas such as Alien Abduction, Knitting, Cars or can refer to much more specialized areas of interest such as Weight Loss For Cat Owners.


Opt-In Rate

Organic Traffic: “Free” traffic to a site. Usually means through search engine searches. Also includes social media traffic such as from Facebook Fan Pages, Pinterest, and Instagram. Essentially traffic via links from other websites which haven’t been paid for.



Paid Traffic: Any traffic to a website in exchange for payment. Most commonly it refers to traffic from ads purchased on various ad networks.

PPS: Pay Per Sale

PPL: Pay Per Lead

PPC (affiliate) & (advertising): Pay Per Click – either paying an ad network every time your ad is clicked on or getting paid by a merchant every time an ad is clicked on one of your web properties.

Payment Threshold: The minimum dollar amount required to receive a payout.

Privacy Policy: A policy which states what is done with information gathered on a particular web site. This is often required to participate in various monetization platforms such as Google’s AdSense.

Publishers – Pubs: In reference to affiliate networks pubs are the affiliates. It can also mean anyone who owns a website.



Raw Clicks: Every click on a link. This includes duplicate clicks and bot clicks.

Recurring Commissions: A commission paid every time a subscription offer is charged. For example, Aff Playbook pays recurring commissions to affiliates. Every time an affiliate signs someone up they get paid each time that person pays their monthly subscription.

Residual Earnings: Getting a commission for every future sale a visitor an affiliate sends makes.

ROAS: Return on advertising spent

ROI: Return on Investment



SEO: Search Engine Optimization. Taking steps to optimize a webpage in an attempt to reach the first page of search results.

Split Testing:  Also referred to as A/B testing. The act of testing out variations of an element to determine which is performs better. In affiliate marketing this can be testing 2 different landing pages, 2 different headlines, 2 different images etc. Good affiliates constantly split test their creatives in order to generate a higher ROI.

Squeeze Page: Landing page designed to capture lead information.

SubID: Variables attached to the end of a url to capture tracking information such as traffic sources, click ids, creatives, placements, etc.

Super Affiliates: Affiliates who are in the top 5-10% performance wise.   


Text Link: Any text that links to somewhere else.

Two-Tier Affiliate Program: An affiliate program where affiliates earn regular commissions as well as commissions on the earnings of any affiliates they refer to the program.


Unique Clicks: Clicks that do not include duplicate clicks from the same ip within a certain amount of time. For example, if every viewer clicked a link once, unique clicks would equal total clicks. If every viewer clicked a link twice then total clicks would double that of unique clicks.



White Label: Products produced by a company that may be rebranded and sold.


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