Affiliate Marketing Glossary

By:    Updated: February 9,2017

Commissions

Commissions refer to the amount of compensation paid to publishers for participation in an advertiser's Affiliate program. Publishers generally earn a percentage of each sale made on an advertiser's site to a visitor referred by a link on that publisher's site. Commissions may also be a flat fee for each purchase or action. This commission varies from advertiser to advertiser.

Actual Commissions

Actual Commissions represent the net commissions earned by a publisher after adjustments such as cancellation, and returns.

Adjusted Commissions

Adjusted Commissions represent commissions that were adjusted from the baseline commissions, usually because of special offers, cancellation or returns.

Baseline Commissions

Baseline Commissions represent commissions you've earned from advertiser's baseline programs. These do not include special offers, and other adjustments such as cancellations and returns.

Affiliate

Also referred to as a publisher, an affiliate is a person or organization running a Web site that partners with one or more online advertisers. The affiliate places links on its site to promote the merchant's products or services. In exchange, the affiliate receives a commission for all valid transactions it has referred.

Advertiser

A person or organization selling products or services on the web and is a member of the affiliate network.

Publisher

A publisher is a person or organization running a Web site that partners with one or more online advertisers. The publisher places links on its site to promote the merchant's products or services. In exchange, the publisher receives a commission for all valid transactions it has referred.

Approval

Many online advertisers will review the sites of potential publishers before agreeing to partner with them. After applying to a particular advertiser's affiliate program, potential publishers must await the approval of that advertiser. Once an advertiser approves a publisher, the publisher can begin making links to that advertiser's site.

Automatic Approval

Some advertisers allow all potential publishers to participate in their programs without reviewing the publisher's sites first. When you apply to such an advertiser, their program will be immediately available, and you will be able to create links immediately.

Auto-Redirect

A method of sending a user or redirecting the user through another website or link without the user's consent. This is often associated with downloadable software applications (DSAs).

Downloadable Software Application

Abbreviated DSA. A program that is downloaded onto a user's computer and is designed to help promote an advertiser's offers to the user. This can include a toolbar, a bookmarklet, or a browser plug-in that is installed on a users' computer to remind the user to take a specific action when arriving at a website.

Banner

A banner is a hot-linked image on a Web page designed to invite the user to click. Some banners are animated, while others are static. Banners come in a variety of sizes and shapes. While other types of links that are more integrated into the content of a page have tended to lead to more sales, banners provide a splash of color on a Web page.

Channel

Also known as a Marketing Channel, a publisher business or website that operates as part of a larger business or website. Through a single master account, a publisher can manage multiple accounts by creating new marketing channels for each business or website.

Cookie Stuffing

Also known as Forced Clicks. When publishers set tracking cookies on a site causing the web browser to click on a link and set a return day cookie on the computer regardless of the (known or unknown) action taken by the user.

Forced Clicks

Also known as Cookie Stuffing. When publishers set tracking cookies on a site causing the web browser to click on a link and set the return day cookies on the computer regardless of the (known or unknown) action taken by the user.

CPC

Also known as cost per click, a payment option that compensates a publishers whenever their referred customers clicks on a link for your offer. CPC is also an Internet-marketing formula used to price banners. Advertisers will pay internet publishers based on the number of clicks a banner gets.

CPA

Also known as cost per action. A payment method in which you pay a publisher every time one of their site's visitors makes a purchase, signs up for your service, or completes some other commissionable action on your site.

CPM

CPM is frequently used in advertising to represent cost per mille (thousand). When used in online advertising it relates to the cost per thousand page impressions. CPM is usually referred to the number of clicks registered in a website by the readers. Ad Networks, such as AdSense, calculate ad revenue for websites based on CPM.

CPF

Also known as cost per form. A compensation method in which publishers are paid a set amount every time a customer fills out a form on the publishers' site, essentially paying them for a qualified lead.

CTR

Click-Through Rate or CTR is obtained by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions. CTR is a good way of measuring the effectiveness of a campaign. For example, if your banner ad was delivered 100 times (impressions) and one person clicked on it, then the resulting CTR would be 1 percent.

EPC

Earnings per Click or EPC is obtained by dividing the commissions earned by the number of clicks (click-throughs) that generated these commissions. EPC is useful for measuring the revenue potential and conversion of your links.

Direct Deposit

Direct Deposit is a method of payment allowing publishers to receive their commission through a direct transfer into their banking account.

Impression

An impression is a single instance of a link shown to a user.

Marketing Channel

A Marketing Channel is a publisher business or website that operates as part of a larger business or website. Through a single master account, a publisher can manage multiple accounts by creating new marketing channels for each business or website.

Organic Search

Also known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Natural Search. Links that appear in the center of a search results page because of their relevance to the terms searched.

Search Engine Optimization

Abbreviated SEO. Also known as Organic Search. The process by which advertisers improve their ranking in a search engine's unpaid search results--the links that appear in the center of a search page. This includes editing the content of a site so that more keywords appear on it.

SEO

Abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. Also known as Organic Search. The process by which advertisers improve their ranking in a search engine's unpaid search results--the links that appear in the center of a search page. This includes editing the content of a site so that more keywords appear on it.

Paid Search

Also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Links that appear on the top or right-hand side of a search results page because an advertiser bid on, and won, placement in those spaces.

Search Engine Marketing

Abbreviated SEM. Also known as Paid Search. The process by which advertisers increase their visibility in search engine results. This includes bidding on and winning placement for the links that appear on the top or right-hand side of a search results page.

SEM

Acronym for Search Engine Marketing. Also known as Paid Search. The process by which advertisers improve their visibility in search engine results. This includes bidding on and winning placement for the links that appear on the top or right-hand side of a search results page.

Return Days

Return Days are the number of days that can elapse between a referred customer's initial visit and a return visit in which they make a purchase. If a customer makes a purchase within the Return Days period, the referring publisher receives a commission on the sale, even if the visitor returns directly to the advertiser's site.

RSS Feeds

RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication, which is a computer readable format for syndicating information on the web. The feed itself is written using XML, which can be read by a RSS reader or application server (e.g. a PHP server) and parsed into a user readable form or database.

Search Box

A Search Box is a link type that allows visitors to a publisher site to conduct a search of the entire inventory of an advertiser's site. The visitor types a keyword into the text box provided and clicks Go. The visitor is taken to a search results page with links to the appropriate places on the advertiser's site. This is a good way to send visitors directly to what they want, thereby increasing the likelihood that they will make a purchase.

Terms & Conditions

The terms between an advertiser and its publishers will differ from advertiser to advertiser. Publishers are bound by each advertiser's terms when they enter into the agreement, so it is important to review these terms in each instance when joining an advertiser's program.

Transaction

An agreement between a buyer and a seller to exchange a product or service for a payment. Usually, this refers to placing an online order or performing a qualifying event, such as registering or completing a form.

Web Service

An application program interface (API) that can be accessed over a network, such as the Internet, and executed on a remote system hosting the requested services. Web Services typically communicate using XML messages that follow the SOAP standard.

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Sources
  • https://rakutenlinkshare.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201014973-Glossary-of-Terms
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