Affiliate Marketing Lingo

Affiliate Marketing Lingo

This is a glossary to help you out navigating through the lingo of Internet/Affiliate Marketing;

For sure I’ve missed some terms but I will update the list as I go

From now on

This is your reference when you came across those no-sense words and acronyms


Let’s get started



  • Above the fold

Content located “above the fold” is everything you can read before scrolling down.

  • Advertiser

Whoever (company or the person) sell the goods or the products. Merchant is also used to identify this entity.

  • Affiliate

The entity that will be marketing and selling the ads. He will be earning commissions for every referral he is able to send out. Publisher is also used to identity this entity

  • Agreement with affiliates

this is the contract between the parties that establish the terms of the relationship.

  • Affiliate link

The assigned and unique URLs that the affiliate uses to send traffic to the main website.

  • Affiliate program

Marketing techniques of the website.

  • Affiliate software

It is the solution that supports the creation of ads, links, and tracking of the affiliates.

  • Affiliate tracking

Movements of the members to the affiliate marketing program.

  • Auto-approve

Indicate the approval of the referrals customers sent to the main website by the affiliates

Affiliate Marketing jargon


  • Banner Ad

An electronic advertisement that advertises a product, service, or web site.

  • Browser

A client program (software) that is used to look at various kinds of Internet resources.



  • Charge back

When a sale or customer referral is returned back to the affiliate because it is unacceptable.

  • Clickbot

A software script designed to trace websites and click on their links to discover all available webpages on the Internet. Clickbots are used primarily by search engines (Google, Bing etc.) to index websites.

  • Click Fraud

Generating “fake” clicks to a merchant program that is based on a PPC compensation method. The fake clicks will not convert for the merchant since the traffic clicking the ads have no real interest in the product or service.

  • Click through

The steps or actions that an online user takes to click on an ad and is transferred to the main product website.

  • Click-through Rate (CTR)

A metric used to show the number of times the affiliate link has been clicked on compared to the number of times the link has been viewed displayed as a percentage.

  • Cloaking

Hiding content on a webpage or hiding affiliate tracking code in links.

  • Contextual Link

Refers to a text link placed within your website or blog content versus a link that is placed in the sidebar as a more traditional advertisement.

  • Co-Branding

Custom landing page for an affiliate to send referrals to that contains both the merchant’s branding and the referring affiliate’s branding.

  • Commission

Financial rewards that an affiliate receives for an approved referral.

  • Conversion

Getting a user to take a specific, desired action.

  • Conversion Rate

Number of times an affiliate link has generated a conversion compared to the number of times the link has been viewed displayed as a percentage.

  • Cookies

A text file that is sent from a website to a user’s web browser. In affiliate marketing, Cookies are used to assign an ID to a user that has clicked on the affiliate link to get to a merchant website for a predefined period. If the user returns within that predefined time then the affiliate will be credited with the sale.

  • Cost per Action (CPA)

Expense that a company has for every conversion of a lead or a referral.

  • Cost per Click (CPC)

Cost of a single click to the main company.

  • Creative

Type of graphical ad or text link provided to the affiliate for promoting the affiliate program.


  • Datafeed

A file that contains a listing of all products a merchant sells.

  • Deep linking

A link that goes to a webpage inside the advertiser’s website (i.e. not the homepage).

  • Disclosure

A page or notice on the website that makes the visitors know if you are being paid or compensated for any purchasing recommendations or product or service endorsements you make on the site. It is required if you’re doing affiliate marketing to be in accordance with FTC laws.


  • Earnings per Click (EPC)

EPC is calculated by dividing commission with number of clicks and multiplying by 100,it shows how much money per 100 clicks the affiliate earns from a specific affiliate programme or in total.

  • E-mail Link:

An affiliate link to a merchant site in an e-mail newsletter, signature, or a dedicated e-mail blast.


  • First Click

First click is used to describe an affiliate program where the first affiliate to get a user to click a link and make a purchase within the limits of the cookie expiration is the one to be credited with the sale, even if the user landed on another affiliate’s website and actually converted after clicking on a link from the second site.


  • Geo-Targeting

Targeting an affiliate programme based on the users’ geographical location.



  • Impression

The level or the number of times a digital media ad is displayed.

  • In House

Refers to a merchant who runs their affiliate program by themselves using an Affiliate Software and not by using an Affiliate Network.

  • Indie program

“Independent affiliate program”, see In-House.

Affiliate Marketing slang


  • Joint Venture (JV)

Business relationship for one event, product or project.


  • Landing Page

The webpage to which the user is transferred after clicking on an online advertisement.

  • Last Click

Affiliate program where the last affiliate to get a user to click a link and make a purchase is the one to be credited with the sale

  • Lead

A person that has expressed interest in the services or products of a company and has a high chance of becoming a client of this company. In Affiliate Marketing, the term describes an action (besides a sale) as set by the advertiser for which the affiliate is paid a commission.



  • Manual approval

The process of validating a possible referral claim and approving it without presence of an automated software.

  • Merchant

The company that produces the products or services that affiliates promote. Less commonly referred to as the Advertiser.

  • Multiple Tiers:

Affiliate program where affiliates who refer other affiliates earn commission off of those affiliates.


  • Niche

A specific topic or vertical of the market.


  • Opt-In Rate

The percentage of people who subscribe to a mailing list out of the total number of people who were presented with the opportunity.

  • Order ID

The unique identification number or code of an online transaction.


The final URL where the visitor will land after clicking the promotion link or banner.



  • Pay per sale

The action of rewards wherein the main company only pays a commission to the affiliate when the lead is converted to a sale.

  • Pay per lead

The action of rewards where companies pay for the referrals that are made into leads. These transactions would usually include software downloads, sign-ups on the forms, or test trials for a product.

  • Pay per click

The action of rewards where companies pay when an online visitor clicks on the links and the ads on the affiliate site.

  • Payment Threshold

The minimum amount of commissions an affiliate has to accrue before being paid.

  • PLR

PLR stands for Private Label Rights. Content that can be obtain and marketed under your own brand, as being your own resource, and choose to edit as you see fit.

  • POD Point of Difference.

This is the service, product, content, advantage or angle a website has versus competitors within the same niche that makes it different and stand out.

  • Privacy Policy

A page on the website or blog that informs site visitors what is done with their personal information. The standards set will be administered over by the World Wide Web Commission.

Affiliate Marketing glossary


  • Raw Clicks

Metric used in affiliate reporting that allows to see how many overall clicks have occurred on the affiliate link.

  • Recurring Commissions

Recurring commissions are paid on the initial signup of the customer and continuosly as long as the customer continues to pay for the service.

  • Residual earnings

Earning phase where the affiliate will be earning profits even after a first sale has happened.

  • ROAS

Return on Advertising Spending, can also be referred to as ROI. The amount of money made as a result of a specific advertising campaign.

  • ROI

Return on Investment.




Server-to-server tracking based on sending post-backs from advertiser’s systems to an affiliate tracking software when conversions occur.

  • SEO

Search Engine Optimization. The practice of optimizing websites to get them to show up higher in the search engines for specific topics and keywords.

  • Spider detection

The process where the system detects the automated spiders and bots found online.

  • Split Testing

Also referred to as A/B testing. The process of testing two versions of content, sales copy or advertisements against one another to see which version performs better for a specific goal.

  • Squeeze Page

A page designed to only have one goal or desired conversion in mind.

  • Sub-ID

One or more parameters (in the form of subid1, subid2 etc.) that an Affiliate can add to an Affiliate link. By assigning different values to the Sub-ID parameter(s) the affiliate can know the difference in performance when placing a link in different positions.

  • Super Affiliates

Refers to the top affiliates in an affiliate program – usually the top 5% who combined typically generate more than 80% of the total sales for the affiliate program.



  • Terms & Conditions

The terms & conditions that someone must read and agree upon before joining/signing up to anything;

  • Text Link

Refers to a link that is formed by linking text to a webpage versus using a banner ad or other image to link to a webpage.

  • TOS

Terms of Service. In the affiliate world tells what the rules of the affiliate program are and sets out what can and can’t be done.

  • Tracking Method

Refers to the kind of tracking a merchant or network uses to track affiliate activity, sales and leads.


The number of visits a website receives in a specific period of time.

  • Turnkey Websites / DFY

Turnkey websites – marketed by some as Done For You – are websites promoted under the premise that someone else will build a site that can be purchase and then will start converting into real money. Unicorns.

  • Two-Tier (2-Tier)

A two-tier affiliate program allows affiliates to get a percentage of the commissions  earned by people they’ve recruited into the affiliate program.



  • Unique Clicks

Number of unique people that have clicked on the affiliate link.



  • Viral Marketing

Fast adoption of a product or passing on of an offer to friends and family through word-of-mouth (or word-of-email) networks.



  • Whitelabel

Whitelabeling refers to a merchant allowing an affiliate to sell products under their own brand with no mention of the actual merchant.



These are the main terms you will came across in IM (internet marketing);


The list is not complete, there are much more some more general and some very technical,

So let me know which one I should add to the list.


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