Affiliate Marketing Tips – Glossary of Affiliate Marketing Terms

August 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Affiliate Marketing Tips

Glossary of Affiliate Marketing Terms. Understanding Affiliate Programs.

Affiliate Marketing is probably the least complicated way to get into an Internet business or home business. There are tens of hundreds of affiliate programs advertised on the Internet and some of the concepts and terms can be confusing for a person just starting out.

Essentially, an affiliate sells other people’s products for a commission. Sales are chalked up through planned affiliate marketing strategies. Creditable merchants include marketing tools that an affiliate can access from his or her control panel or back office. These affiliate marketing tools include text links, banners, graphics, email campaigns and other variations, and affiliates basically need to just cut and paste.

This arrangement suits both the affiliate (salesperson) and the merchant (producer) very well indeed. The merchant has a large group of salespersons all over the network promoting his or her products and services (for which she pays a generous commission), and the affiliate doesn’t have to bother with overheads, carrying stock, inventory management, shipping, insurance and other administrative demands.

The affiliate program is one of the most popular and ubiquitous methods chosen by work-from-home and internet business enthusiasts.

However not all affiliate programs are created equal, and it is wise to understand their terms and conditions, payment methods, and to do due diligence on the merchant’s background, reliability, creditability and level of support before getting involved.

While some affiliate programs require an initial joining fee, most are free affiliate programs.

Here’s A Glossary of Affiliate Marketing/Affiliate Program Terms To Help You Zero In On What’s What.

*Affiliates (also termed as an Associates or Publishers) – Webmasters (website owners) who includes links on their web site that point to a merchant’s products or services. The affiliate gets commissions for all the transactions/sales that are closed through their affiliate link.

*Affiliate Program (also known as an Partner or Associate Program)

This is where merchants / companies agree to web site owners (affiliates, Partners or Associates) joining their program to promote their products or services.

*Affiliate Directory

This is a Site / Company that catalogues a large number of different types of affiliate programs for which you can sign up as an affiliate.

*Affiliate Network

A site where merchants can list their affiliate program/s. Affiliates can then join and promote the merchants’ products and services by using text links, banners, etc. The advantage of joining through a network is that all the affiliate programs you join can be tracked from one website. Payments are received from the network rather than from individual merchants. Affiliates will receive commissions in one payment, usually monthly, based on the total sales of all the programs that are promoted.

*Banner Programs / advertisements

Banners are graphical advertisements, around 480 pixels wide by 60 to 70 pixels tall. By including these banners on your website, you usually get paid per 1000 impressions, per sale, or per click-through.

*Direct Referrals

These are people that you directly introduce to an affiliate program.

*Indirect Referrals

These are referred to an affiliate program by your direct referrals.


A merchant is a company that sells products or services. As an affiliate, you partner with these merchants and help them sell their products online. You then earn commissions by pay per lead or pay per sale, depending on the terms.

*Net 60, Net 30, etc

This refers to payment terms. In net 60, you get your commission 60 days after the active month, and 30 days after for net 30.

*Pay Per Click (also known as PPC)

Merchants pay affiliates for each click on a text link or banner that takes the visitor to the merchant’s website.

*PopUps/Unders & Exits

These advertisements or websites normally popup the same time as the site, but can be timed to display later. They usually display in a new browser window or tab. A Pop-Under Ad will display behind the site so no one notices that it is there until they leave. Exit ads pop up only after a visitor leaves the site.

*Pay Per Lead / Action

Affiliates receive a commission for each referred visitor completes the merchant’s desired action.

*Pay Per Impression (cpm)

Affiliates place either a banner or text link on their site that takes visitors to the merchants site. Every time the banner or text link gets viewed the affiliate gets paid. Payment is normally based on per 1000 impressions/page views. These commissions are earned without your visitors having to purchase from the merchant’s site.

*Pay Per Click Search Engine (PPC Search Engine, PPCSE, Pay Per Bid)

These are search engines that allow you to earn on a pay per click basis. If a visitor clicks on a link that was referred by you, you’ll earn a percentage of the bided amount. A classis example is google adsense, but there are others as well.

*Pay Per Sale

You earn a commission when you refer a visitor to a merchant’s site and they buy a product or service from that merchant. The commission is usually a percentage of the selling price of that product or service.


These are visitors you direct to an affiliate program offered by a merchant. Payments vary between programs so you need to check out the merchant’s terms and conditions

*Raw Visitors

A Raw visitor is numbered every time a page is viewed. This is different from unique visitors, where only the first view by that visitor is counted.

*Search Box

A Search Box is especially used in Search Engine Affiliate Programs. It’s another way for affiliates to link to a merchant’s site. It is coded specially so if a visitor wants to search for a product or service on a merchant’s site that you have affiliated with, then they can search for that product by using the merchant’s search box directly from your site. You earn commissions for any transactions that result.

*Text Links

Text links are links that describes a merchant’s product, service or their site. When you click the link you will be directed to the merchants site. Text linking is becoming more favored as the link text can be blended with the other content within your site, and your visitors won’t know if it is a link to a different site or a link to another page that is part of your site.

*Unique Visitors

A Unique visitor is counted every time a site is viewed within a 24-hour period. If you view a site at 11 AM. and again at 3.30 PM. you will count as one. If you visit the site at 4pm the next day then it would be logged as two visitors.

*2 Tier

These are affiliate programs that pays you a commission at least two-levels deep. So, if the person you referred to a merchants site becomes an affiliate and he / she then refers someone else and they also become an affiliate then you’ll be paid not only for your direct sales but also for those generated by your direct referral plus what your indirect referral closes up to two levels deep.

Now that you have a better understanding of the meaning of affiliate marketing terms, the next step would be to choose wisely before signing up. A 90% commission offer in and affiliate program means nothing if the merchant doesn’t pay, has poor tracking methods and doesn’t respond to your emails. And identifying a good affiliate program takes time if you want to do it yourself. A quicker and safer method is to sign up for programs that have already been tested and evaluated by internet marketers.

Copyright: Dan Jeremiah. This article may be reproduced provided the contents and links are not changed.

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