Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Key Terminology
You’re just about ready to get started now! But hold your horses for just a moment. Before dipping your toe in, it’s imperative to ensure you’re aware of the jargon that’s commonly used in this space. Here’s a cheat sheet to keep on hand when it’s time to take the plunge:
A person or company looking to promote their products/services online. Advertisers will pay affiliates for each new sale or lead generated.
A person (or group of people) that promotes offers on behalf of a company (or advertiser) using their own channels (i.e blogging, paid advertising, social, etc.) Affiliates earn a commission each time their recommendation results in a sale. The sales themselves are tracked with affiliate links.
The act of promoting someone else products/services and getting paid a commission whenever a sale is made.
More often than not, Affiliate Managers represent Ad Networks or in-house Affiliate Programs. They help affiliates maximize their ad performance by suggesting products, offering targeting tips, etc.
A unique URL issued to an affiliate. The affiliate program/network or company will use this link to track sales and pay out a commission to the affiliate at the end of the month.
An event or action generated by a visitor that an advertiser has agreed to pay for. Conversions can be a subscription, a sale, a lead, etc.
Cost Per Action (CPA)
A payment model where affiliates earn a commission on an action carried out by a visitor. These “Actions” usually take the form of a conversion, i.e a signup, a purchase, etc.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
A payment model where affiliates earn a commission for each click their ad generates.
Cost Per Mille (CPM)
A payment model where affiliates earn a commission for every 1000 views (or impressions) their ad generates.
The number of times your ad has been seen by site visitors and actually clicked on.
The ad that is displayed on a website. These creatives take the form of banner ads, interstitials, pop-unders, and similar. Knowing which ad format to use depends on your product, message, target audience, industry, etc.
A particular country (i.e geographic location) that an affiliate will choose to market their product.
Identifying and marketing your products to website visitors in a particular country or region.
The number of times your ad has been seen by site visitors.
A webpage where affiliates refer traffic. A website visitor (traffic source) will click on the ad, which will direct them to a landing page. The idea is to get the visitor one step closer to an “action”, be it a subscription, download, purchase, or similar. The unique link will be available at both points, with a commission delivered once the visitor completes the action.
Website visitors with the potential of making a purchase/becoming a customer.
The act of buying onsite advertising space.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Pay per Click (PPC) is an advertising model where an affiliate (advertiser) pays a publisher (website) or ad network whenever their ad is clicked.
Return On Investment (ROI), also known as Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is used to measure how well an online ad has performed, i.e how many clicks/conversions and/or impressions have come in over a week/month/year, etc.
Using automated technology to buy onsite ad space. Real-Time Bidding (RTB), and CPA Target Bidding are both examples of Programmatic Advertising.
The channels where visitors find your site or offer. Traffic can be brought in through blogging, social, paid advertising, etc
Products or services that fall under a specific market, or industry. I.e. Health and Wellness, Gambling, Online Dating, and eCommerce, among others.