Affiliate Marketing Glossary

Educate yourself on the most used affiliate marketing terms

The Affiliate Marketing Glossary

The Affiliate Marketing Glossary is a guide that will help you get familiar with all the essential terms related to affiliate marketing and speak the language of the affiliate. These are industry terms that every aspiring affiliate marketer should not if they want to become successful as an affiliate. If you are a SAAS founder and want to learn more about why to start a partner program for your SAAS check out this blog.



Advertising Exchange

An advertising exchange is a digital marketplace which allows advertisers and publishers to purchase and sell ad space to each other. This is typically done through real-time bidding on specific ad types. They are most commonly used with video, mobile and media style ads. Anyone who wishes to promote their website or product can sign up and use the services provided by an ad exchange. Depending on the ad exchange that you sign up through, they may have minimum deposit requirements for your ad budget. Some of the most popular advertising exchanges include:


An affiliate, or also commonly referred to as “affiliate marketer” is an individual who promotes or reviews products and service to an audience in exchange for a commission. Affiliates find products and services that are useful. Then they promote them to their audience through sources such as paid advertising, YouTube videos, media ads, email marketing and more. For affiliates to be truly successful, they have to make sure the products and services they are promoting are high quality and solve a problem for their audience. The most successful affiliate marketers can demonstrate and educate their audience on the benefits of a product or service and aren’t promoting merely to earn a commission. 

Affiliate Link

An affiliate link is a hyperlink which includes a tracking code. The tracking code enables an advertiser to track the clicks and sales of advertiser or publisher. It’s the mechanism which allows networks to track sales, conversions and traffic sources accurately. Without an affiliate link, affiliates can’t promote products and earn a commission.

They are typically embedded inside an image or text, and it helps to identify where the website visitor originated from and whether or not they made a qualifying purchase. See here an example from Hubspot and Pipedrive:

Affiliate Marketing Forum

An affiliate marketing forum is a website in which people ask questions, exchange ideas and discuss topics related to affiliate marketing. Forums exist to give people information about particular questions in order to improve their knowledge in a related field. Some of the most popular affiliate marketing forums include: 

If you want to stay up to date on the latest information about affiliate marketing, it’s essential that you join at least one forum and begin to interact with community members. 

Affiliate Network

An affiliate network is a third party company which manages affiliate programs and products. They ensure that the product vendor and the affiliate have a place where sales can be tracked, campaigns can be managed, and payments can be facilitated. They help give exposure for merchants to affiliates marketers and are a critical component for the success of affiliates and merchants. Some of the most popular affiliate networks include:

Affiliate Program (Offer)

This refers to the product or service that an affiliate marketer is promoting to their audience. An affiliate marketer will promote a product or service from a reputable software provider or vendor who owns and manages the product or service. This can include:

  • Software
  • E-books
  • Courses
  • Physical products
  • Other informational products

Affiliate programs or offers are typically managed through an affiliate network. The affiliate network manages all the payment processing, tracking, and affiliate relationships. 

Audience Traffic Behavior

The audience traffic behavior is an analysis component inside Google Analytics which gives insight into the behavior of your website visitors. As an affiliate marketer, it’s vital to know the behavior of your audience once they land on your website.

It shows you the amount of new and returning websites visitors, their frequency and recent page visits along with their page engagement metrics. If this engagement is high, it means that your content is not only relevant but also engaging to the users. If the engagement is low, it means that you need to work on your website content and targeting in order to retain users.

Auto-Download Offers

Auto download offers are specific CPA marketing offers which convert once a user downloads a piece of content or software. These typically occur when a visitor clicks on a specific banner on a website and a download starts without their consent or knowledge. They most commonly occur with pop-ups. 



This is a term that is used in paid advertising which refers to a specific filtering type that is meant to prevent certain websites from displaying your ads. This may be because the ROI from the website displaying your advertisements is really low, or it only doesn’t have any ROI whatsoever. If the quality of the traffic happens to below, that may also be a reason for blacklisting the website from advertising. 



In affiliate marketing, a chargeback occurs when a product or service was purchased, and the client ends up requesting a refund. An affiliate will receive a chargeback, and the amount they made for the referral of that sale will be deducted from their earnings. 

Chargebacks are very common when a customer continues to get re-billed for a product service that they didn’t know featured a monthly reoccurring charge.

Click Fraud ( Click-Bombing )

Click fraud is the malicious practise of inducing fake website and link clicks through a pay-per-click ad campaign. The fake clicks can be generated manually by an individually or automatically through a bot service.

The main goal behind click fraud is to cost advertisers money without any intention of purchasing a product or service or in order to earn the website owner money from the ad clicks. This is a malicious practice which website owners and others should not participate in because it can cause them to get blacklisted by the ad networks. 

Click ID

The click ID is an identification code which contains important information regarding where a specific click originated from in an advertising campaign. Click ID’s are essential to tracking affiliate commissions, and they also provide the affiliate with a ton of information in regards to the conversion. They can include things such as:

  • What type of browser the customer used during the purchase
  • The amount of time they stayed on the site before making a purchase
  • Time of day the sale was made
  • The exact keywords in the ad campaign that triggered the sale

It’s an essential component to know when you are creating ad campaigns because it will help you identify factors of your ad campaign that are converting into sales for you.


The infamous commission. In the realm of affiliate marketing, a commission is a lifeline for marketers. It’s what puts food on their table. It’s merely the referral fee they earn for bringing a sale to the product vendor. Before an affiliate promotes a product or service, they will take a look at what kind of commission it pays out. If the commission structure is too low, an affiliate will not spend time advertising the offer to their audience. 

Affiliates will also see if the product or service they are promoting has a monthly re-bill commission structure. If it does affiliates are more likely to promote it because they will receive passive income from that offer if the person who purchased it continues to use it. Re-bill commission structures are most familiar with software affiliate programs since the majority of them have some sort of monthly fee in order to use. 

Conversion Tracking

It’s essential to track your conversions in affiliate marketing. Conversion tracking involves tracking which combinations and components of your advertising resulted in a sale or intended action on your website. Affiliates will run multiple ad sets at the same time, along with different ad copy and lead pages in order to find out which combination brings them the most sales and leads. 

Conversion tracking is typically done with the use of a piece of affiliate marketing tracking software. They are expensive, but they can drill down your conversion to the exact keyword you are using. As a result of using conversion tracking, software affiliates can better understand where their conversion is coming from and where to focus their ad spend. Some of the most popular affiliate marketing tracking software includes:

CPA Marketing  

CPA marketing is short for cost per action marketing. It’s a style of affiliate marketing in which an affiliate gets paid once a specific qualifying action is completed on a website. The qualifying action can be anything from:

  • A Sale
  • Email submission
  • Contact form completion
  • Downloading software
  • Watching a video

The qualifying actions are determined by the vendor who puts out the offer on the affiliate network. Typically the more difficult the action is that a vendor needs completing, the more that offer will payout to the affiliate. If the action is simply an email submission, the payout could be anywhere between $1.0 to $5.0. If the action is something more challenging like a sale, it could be paying anywhere between $10 – $500.  

Creative Type

In affiliate marketing, a creative is a type of promotional tool that is used by an advertiser to get website visitors to click on an ad and complete some sort of action. Some of the most popular creatives include:

  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Banner ads
  • Text Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Media Ads
  • Native Ads

Depending on what kind of product or offer you are promoting as an affiliate, your choice of creative type will vary. The product or service owner will also let you know the creative types that they allow. If you happen to use a creative type that the advertiser does not allow your commission may not be paid out. 

Cost Per View (CPV)

This is an advertising model in which you are charged every time your ad is displayed to a user. It’s essential to make the distinction that you are charged for every ad display, not actual clicks to a campaign. Cost per view campaigns are most familiar with video style, and media type ads. This can include:

  • YouTube Ads
  • Television Ads
  • Media Ads

An advertiser will incur charges every time an ad is viewed by an audience. This style of advertising can be pretty expensive and is typically left for companies with large ad budgets. Companies are able to create viral campaigns with video ads which can leave a lasting impression on viewers for years to come. 

Cost Per Sale (CPS)

In this type of advertising arrangement, an affiliate is paid every single time they bring in a sale for the advertiser. This is commonly referred to as the affiliate commission. This type of advertising arrangement is the best one for the advertiser because they receive money right away to their product without having to put up any of their own money for advertising. 

As for the affiliate, they have quite a bit of testing and spending to do before they actually bring in a sale. The risk is transferred from the advertiser to the affiliate in a cost per sale ad arrangement. 

Cost Per Lead (CPL) 

In a cost per lead advertising model, an affiliate is paid once they generate a qualifying lead for the product or service vendor. It’s worth noting that there different types of qualifying leads. These can include:

  • Email Submit
  • Form completion
  • Double email-opt-in (this means the lead confirmed to be on a list
  • Contact form completion

The higher the qualifications for a lead, the higher the associated cost will be. 


Cookies are small text files which are sent from one originating website to the user’s web browser files. They are used to track and assign an affiliate ID code to a website visitor who has clicked on an affiliate link from a website or offer page.

They are meant to help affiliate networks and offers accurately track affiliate sales. It’s worth noting that depending on the affiliate network or offer, cookies will tend to have different expiration periods and it’s important to know as an affiliate because it lets you know how much time you have to create a sale before the cookie expires.


Daily Ad Budget

The daily ad budget is the maximum amount you allowed to spend on your campaigns for a single day. Once the daily campaign maximum is reached, the ad will be shut off until the next day begins. They are used in internet marketing to ensure that costs remain capped and balanced throughout the life of a campaign and are also used for testing campaigns. Once a winning campaign is found, the ad budget is typically increased in order to help scale the campaign if it’s found to be converting. 


Dayparting is a special advertising option in advertising platforms which allows you to control your ad spend and display during specific times and days of the week. Dayparting is done based on the overall performance and conversion of the ads. 

This is done in order to maximize the ROI on ad spend and trim away times during the day where conversions are low and are not giving you any conversions. In order to properly conduct day-parting, you need an affiliate marketing tracker that will help you track your sales and conversions during specific times of the day.

If you find out that certain ad sets perform better during certain times of the day, you will make sure to run your ads more aggressively during those times and shut them off during times of the day when conversions are lower. If you want to become a super affiliate, mastering day-parting is a massive component to not only scaling your ads but improving your conversions as well. 

Double opt-in Confirmation

A double opt-in is an affiliate marketing industry term which means that the email subscriber has confirmed their subscription status. This means that the user manually confirmed that they want to be placed on an email list, newsletter or service. 

Once a user confirms their subscription status, as an affiliate marketer it’s your duty to guide them down the line in order to make a purchase. You should have a carefully structured email sequence which sends them emails every few days until they either become a customer or leave your list. 

Dynamic Ad Tracking 

If you want to be a successful internet marketer, you will have to integrate dynamic ad tracking into your campaigns. It’s a very important tool to have into your affiliate marketing business because it will help you analyze and pinpoint your ad spend into one aggregated view.

Ad tracking is typically provided to you by the advertising network or associated exchanges that you work with. They will typically require you to install a small snippet of code onto your website so they can properly and accurately track your engagements and site conversions. Google Analytics has dynamic ad tracking that can help you pinpoint your ad spend and conversions down to keyword. 


Email Marketing

Email marketing is perhaps one of the oldest forms of advertising on the internet. Not only that but contrary to popular belief, it’s also one of the most effective. Email marketing is the practice of capturing email leads and nurturing those leads by sending them useful information with the goal of turning them into loyal customers. 

It requires you to slowly build a good working relationship with your leads before you try to shove products and service down their throat. This careful practice of slowly building a relationship with your leads helps you to build trust and rapport, which helps you to make some high-quality conversions and clients. If executed correctly, email marketing can be an extremely profitable and automated marketing technique. 


Feeder Sites

Feeder sites are third-party referral sites which are meant to help your website receive targeted referral traffic. The whole purpose behind feeder sites is to redirect traffic back to your main website or offer. They are also a good way to build targeted backlinks to your website. They are not as common as they used to be due to abuse by people looking to quickly exploit search engine rankings. 

Flat Ad Buying Deal

In affiliate marketing, a flat ad-buying deal occurs when a website owner agrees to sell ad space directly to a marketer through either an ad network or direct deal with the website owner. In these types of deals, affiliate marketers are able to get a large amount of traffic for a low rate in a very specific niche type.

The point of striking these types of ad deals is to get laser targeted traffic for an offer or product. This can also be done directly through the ad network, but it most cases it will tend to have an inconsistent quality of traffic and slightly higher ad fees. They are great if you establish a low rate directly with the website owner and have an idea behind the traffic before the deal is established.

First Cookie Click 

The first click in affiliate marketing is in reference to the cookie length time frame. It’s a time stamp on the server which represents the exact time the cookie is clicked up until the cookie expires. If a sale happens to occur from the initial click up until the expiration of the cookie duration the affiliate will be paid out the commission for bringing in the sale.

If a sale occurs after the cookie expires, the affiliate will not be paid out a commission. It’s important for affiliate marketers to adequately align their email marketing campaigns with the duration of the cookie so they can make sure to maximize their chances of getting a conversion.  



Geo-targeting is an option in affiliate marketing ads which allows you to target a specific territory for your ads to get served. It’s important to get familiar with GEO-targeting in affiliate marketing because certain offers only allow specific countries or regions in order for your conversions to qualify. This is most common with CPA marketing as certain companies restrict their leads to only specific regions of the world.

This is done in order to focus on capturing a larger client base from a specific region. Geo-targeting is used by local businesses to make sure they are targeting potential customers who are within their region. Some of the most popular geo-targeting types include:

  • Countries
  • Zipcodes
  • Counties 
  • States
  • Radius around a location

There are also options in geo-targeting which allow you to exclude certain areas in which you don’t want your ads to get served. This is done because advertising in certain areas may not generate any revenue for you. 


GIF stands for graphics interchange format. GIF ads are a relatively new type of ad that is used by affiliate marketers to quickly grab attention. If you have done your fair share of internet surfing, chances are you have seen a GIF or two online. 

GIF ads have become popular because they have a tendency to go viral and make a strong emphasize on a topic. They are great for illustrating a point and drawing the attention of people, not to mention they are extremely comical and entertaining. In a recent study, GIF ads have proven to have higher click-through-rate than regular banner style ads. 


High-Ticket Offers

For the most part majority of affiliate programs tend to have low to mid commissions paying structures and offers. High ticket offers are affiliate programs which pay out significantly more than regular affiliate programs. Typical affiliate programs pay commission in the range of $20 – $200 per sale, whereas high-ticket affiliate offers pay anywhere from $1,000 up to $10,000. 

Most high-ticket offers tend to intimidate most affiliate marketers since they operate under the assumption that most people will not purchase high ticket programs or offers. That might be true, but picking the right affiliate offer is critical to becoming a successful affiliate marketer and high-ticket offers may be a better option for some affiliates. 

Below are some important things to consider before deciding on joining a high-ticket affiliate program:

  • Commission structure
  • Recurring commission
  • Cookie duration
  • Cookie policy
  • The popularity of the program
  • Upsells and Bonus structures
  • Affiliate Resources and training
  • Email Scripts


In affiliate marketing, an impression is a measure of the amount of times ad is served on a specific page or search query. A single ad impression means that the advertisement was “displayed” one time. If you are running a traditional pay-per-click advertising campaign, your ad is considered life once it begins receiving impressions.

An impression doesn’t mean that there is engagement on your advertisement or webpage. It simply indicates that the ad unit you created is being viewed. If your ad is receiving a high amount of impressions and no clicks, it typically indicates that the ad is not relevant to the search query or the audience. It can also indicate that the ad is not engaging enough for a web user to click on it. 

Incentivized Affiliate Offers

These are specific CPA (cost per action ) offers which incentivize a website visitor to complete a certain action. They will typically give the user some sort of rewards or points towards a purchase if they complete an intended action. This can include: 

  • Filling out a survey
  • Providing contact information
  • Signing up for a free trial
  • Subscribing to a newsletter

The incentives will vary based on the offer, and so will their associated payout. These types of offers are meant as a way for the vendor to capture lead information and then try and sell them a product or service.

Indie Affiliate Program

An indie affiliate program is an independent affiliate program that is managed directly by the vendor and not through an affiliate marketplace such as Clickbank. The reason people use independent affiliate programs is that they want all the control in their hands and because it also saves them on fees that they would otherwise have to pay out to the affiliate marketplace.

There are many reasons as to why people would want to handle their own affiliate program as opposed to letting a marketplace handle it all. It all depends on the infrastructure of the vendor and the resources they have to handle an affiliate program. The biggest reason there are indie affiliate programs is that the vendor wants to have control over the program and the payouts. It’s also a cost-cutting alternative for some companies who can better manage their own affiliate program as opposed to letting a third- party company handle it for them. 

Internal Affiliate Links

Internal affiliate links are hyperlinks to product or service, which include a tracking code for the affiliate. If a website visitor clicks on a link which includes an affiliate ID and purchases something, the affiliate will make a commission. 

They are commonly used on websites which have product and service reviews and are one of the many ways in which affiliates make money. Most of the time, people aren’t even aware that they click on an affiliate link because it’s linked directly in the keywords of text. 



Keyword Density

Keyword density is a percentage based on the number of times a specific keyword is found throughout a webpage compared to the total number of words on the page. While this perfect percentage is always debated by experts, many agree the optimal keyword density rate is 1-2% or 1-2 times per 100 words. 

The 1-2% rate helps attract relevant readers but doesn’t overload your text with unnecessary repetition. Using keywords the appropriate amount throughout your content can help boost your position in search engine results, meaning you could end up on page one of Google instead of page five. 

Keyword Conversion Analysis

Keyword conversion analysis is the thorough process of analyzing the conversion rates of targeted keywords. The main focus of the analysis is figuring out which keywords converted more successfully, taking into consideration both paid and organic traffic. The world of targeting keywords is competitive, so understanding which keywords convert better for you help narrow down your list of keywords and spend ad dollars wisely on the highest converting keywords.

Keyword Phrase

A keyword phrase is a string of text entered by an internet user in a search engine to generate the results they are looking for. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo are examples of search engines. While a keyword is only a single word, a keyword phrase consists of at least two words. The lengthier the keyword phrase, the more specific the search results. Online searchers typically use keyword phrases instead of one keyword to find what they’re looking for. Website owners, advertisers, and article writers purposely create content to rank for targeted keyword phrases relevant to their content. 

Keyword Popularity Measure

Keyword popularity is measured by analyzing a list of targeted keywords against the number of website visits generated per keyword. Keyword popularity is also commonly referred to as keyword relevance. When keywords are ranked by popularity, you are able to decide where to focus your search engine ad dollars. Many websites offer services to measure keyword popularity for you.


Loyalty Affiliate Marketers 

Loyalty affiliates are very similar to incentivized affiliates. Loyalty affiliates websites fund the actual incentives that are provided to consumers such as the cash, points, miles or rewards which affiliates present to the potential website customers. One of the most well-known loyalty affiliate website marketplaces is Rakuten.

They pay affiliates commissions for referring website visitors who make purchases through their website. They provide website visitors with coupons, cashback and all sort of other rewards by using their links to make purchases are online retailers. All sorts of businesses use loyalty affiliate programs and marketers as a way to distribute their products and attract clients. Loyalty affiliate sites help to extend the lifetime value of the customer and keep them coming back for more. They are a very common way for big companies to acquire customers and retain them. 

LSI Keywords

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. It’s a method for search engines to pick up on keywords that are related to your main keywords for indexing purposes. They include synonyms and acronyms that will help search engines decide on the niche of your websites and assess how your content should be ranked. 

As an affiliate marketer, you should have an idea of several keywords you want to rank for if you are building out organic content. By having LSI keywords scattered appropriately throughout your content, you can help search engines better associate your content with a target niche. This can help you establish domain authority in your niche and rank higher in the SERP’s. 

Merchant Account

A merchant account is a special account reserved for affiliates who have a product or service that other affiliates promote. If you are the owner of a product or service and wish to have other affiliates promote it, you have to set up a merchant account with the affiliate network that will distribute the product on their platform. It’s a necessity in order to collect sales taxes and account for your earnings and other related tax purposes.

It’s also needed so the network can distribute funds to affiliates as they bring in sales for you. Most affiliate networks will require you to deposit some sort of minimum in order to collect fees and distribute revenue to affiliates. It’s also the method for you to receive your funds once sales are brought in through your website. 

Micro Influencers

Micro Influencers are simply online influencers who operate on a smaller scale. They tend to be Instagram, Youtube or TikTok influencers who are relatively new and are in the process of building their audience base. Their audiences sizes tend to range anywhere from 1,000 subscribers to around 10,000. 

Minimum Bid

In pay-per-click advertising, the minimum bid is the lowest amount you can bid on for a keyword or keyword phrase in order for your ad campaign to be displayed. The minimum bid will tend to fluctuate based on the competition of a keyword or phrase and will be much higher for keywords that have high competition.

High competition keywords tend to cost more because they are typically associated with higher click-through rates and conversions. So, the higher the minimum bid for a specific keyword or keyword phrase, the higher the conversions tend to be. 

Multi-Level Affiliate Marketing

If you are in the affiliate marketing world, you have most likely received a pitch to join an MLM company at one point or another. In a multi-level affiliate marketing model, an affiliate earns a commission by bringing in someone under them. The multi-level portions come in when the person they brought it starts bringing in people under them. You earn more money as other people get added to your downline. 

The MLM industry tends to have a lot of negativity surrounding its operating structure because the percentage of people that have success with it tends to be very low and most people that join MLM’s actually end up losing money. 

Mobile Affiliates

Mobile affiliates are affiliates who target their ads only to mobile users. There are many reasons why some affiliates tend to target their ads primarily towards mobile users. Some of the reasons include:

  • Conversions are higher on mobile
  • Ad optimization capabilities
  • Larger ad pool on mobile
  • Mobile-only affiliate offers

Internet traffic is changing, and in recent years mobile traffic is overtaking desktop traffic by a significant amount. Affiliate marketers and networks are adjusting their business models and offer to accommodate this rapid change in traffic.

Max Bid

The maximum bid is the amount you have to bid for a keyword in order to have your ad displayed at the top of the search result. This does not mean that this is the amount that you will actually get charged when a user clicks on your advertisement. The rate that you get charged for an ad click depends on several different factors such as:

  • Quality score 
  • Click-through rate
  • Keyword 
  • Keyword phrase

The max bid simply gives you an amount that you have to bid if you want your pay-per-click ad to come up to the top of search engine results. It can be very costly, but it’s effective in getting you to the top of search results. 

Multiple Upsell Tiers

In affiliate marketing, upsell tiers refer to the number of upsells inside a product or service funnel. The first tier is considered the base product or service and is used to establish the affiliate upsell structure. It’s also a term that is used inside MLM to describe the structure of a downline and how many tiers each downline can have.

Multiple upsell tiers are a method to get more revenue out of a product or service and a way to make a product or service have a higher perceived value. It’s important to be aware of all the related tiers inside an affiliate marketing product because it can produce more revenue for you as an affiliate. 


Niche Affiliates 

Niche affiliates are affiliates who specialize in a single target niche. It allows them to be experts and leaders into a specific topic and create content which stands out. They are typically long time experts in a specific field and have found products or service which align with the interest of their audience. They tend to be the highest-earning affiliates because they can own a specific niche and become leaders in it.



An affiliate marketing offer refers to the product or service which an affiliate is promoting or considering to promote. There are different offer types as an affiliate, and each one varies based on the goal and expertise of the affiliate. Below are some of the different types of affiliate offers: 

  • Pay per call 
  • Mobile offers
  • Pay per install
  • Pay per lead
  • Pay per opt-in
  • Pay per sale

The term “offer” is typically often used to describe a type of CPA offer. The offer essentially describes the commission payout. For example, a pay per call offer will pay the affiliate if the affiliate generates a phone call for business. The offer type represents the conversion requirement for the affiliate. 

Optimization Strategy

An optimization strategy is a plan for affiliate marketers to improve components of their business in order to increase their conversions. In order to create your optimization strategy plan, you must have a way of first measuring your performance. This can include adding a tracking mechanism to your ad campaigns and your website.

Once you have them installed, you can properly track and measure your conversions and engagement levels. Common optimization strategies for affiliate marketers include:

  • Creating higher-value content
  • Improving website structure and design
  • Optimizing ad and sales copy
  • Targeting better keywords
  • Diversifying advertising platforms
  • Split testing landing pages
  • Picking a higher commission affiliate product

These are a few of the optimization tactics used by affiliate marketers in order to improve their conversions. As previously mentioned, it first starts off with the proper tracking. 


An opt-in is a term that is used to describe when a website visitors subscribes or signs up to be on your mailing list or newsletter. The best affiliate marketers ensure they have a proper email capturing software in place so they can interact with people who are interested in their products or service. 

Having a steady flow of opt-ins on your email list is an extremely effective and often overlooked strategy in affiliate marketing. Most people will not purchase a product or service from simply landing on a product page. They need to be guided and have some sort of trust in you before they decide to whip out their credit card and make a purchase. The best way to market to your opt-ins is through a carefully crafted and automated email sequence.  

Outbound Affiliate Link

An outbound affiliate link is simply a link that takes you to a product or service page. It takes you away from the main website, and if you happen to purchase a product or service through the affiliate link, that affiliate will make a commission. It’s as simple as that. Most people that view products or service online aren’t even aware that they are clicking on an affiliate link. The way you can tell is by checking the structure of the URL and seeing if it features a “ref” code. 


Page Authority Score

The page authority score is a score which is meant to represent a webpages ability to organically rank in search engine results. It’s a metric developed by the SEO Company MOZ which ranges from 0 to 100 with 100 being the highest score a page can receive.

Depending on the type of niche that the webpage falls under will determine its ability to rank. The page score increases over time as more backlinks are built, and as the organic engagement improves. Why should affiliate marketers care about the page authority score of their website?

If you are organically trying to bring in traffic to a target page, the higher quality the page is the better it will rank. You can receive organic traffic to your money page and turn it into a cash machine if done correctly. It’s worth noting that the higher your page authority score is, the higher chance your page has to rank high in search engine results.

Pay Bump

A pay bump in affiliate marketing occurs when an affiliate receives a higher affiliate commission for a specific product or offer. This typically happens when an affiliate hits a new earning tier for an affiliate product, and as a result, they receive a pay bump. 

Pay bumps can also happen if an affiliate negotiates a higher payout with the product or service vendor. Another reason pay bumps also happen to affiliates is if they send higher than expected leads and conversion to an offer. They are an extra bonus and are always a nice way for affiliates to increase their ROI. 

Payment Threshold

The payment threshold is a minimum amount of commissions that an affiliate must generate in order to be eligible to withdraw their earnings. This will depend on the affiliate networks requirements and also the type of offers you are promoting. 

Most affiliate networks have a minimum payment threshold between $50 – $100. Thresholds are set in place to ensure that affiliates are serious about promoting products and services.

Paid Placement

Paid placement refers to an advertising model in which you are paying search engines to appear at the top of search engine results for a specific keyword or phrase. A lot of affiliates who use Google Adwords or Bing to run their ad campaigns use paid placement strategies to ensure their offers get the most traffic possible. 

Paid placement, especially towards the top of search results can be extremely expensive for affiliates and is typically reserved for experienced affiliates who have a history of running pay per click ads and know their associated niches very well. 

Pay Per Click Affiliates/ PPC Affiliates 

These are affiliates who focus on sending traffic to an offer primarily through search engine marketing campaigns. Pay per click affiliates is charged every time a click is generated to a campaign or offer. In order to be successful as a PPC affiliate, you have to be able to carefully track your conversions and know what keywords and keyword phrases are generated sales for you. 

Pay per click affiliates can quickly grow because once they find a winning campaign, scaling is relatively easy to do. The tough part is being able to spend the initial funds upfront until you find a winning campaign. It takes time and money, but once you find a winning campaign, things become much easier.

Pre-Lander Page

A pre-landing page is a page that is displayed to website visitors before that main landing page which features a product or service. It acts as a teaser to the real product or service that is being promoted and can make a huge difference between success and failure for affiliate marketers.

Most affiliate marketers use pre-landing pages in order to collect email information and get people on their email list. It’s a way of pre-selling a product or service and get the leads excited about the product. Pre-landing pages should be extremely catchy, give limited information about a product and induce website visitors to click further on to the main landing page. Super successful affiliates know the importance behind using a great pre-landing page to capture emails and improve their overall conversions. 

Further Reading: Pre-Landing Pages Explained

Payout Structure

The payout structure is the hierarchy of commission earnings for an affiliate product or service. It states how much an affiliate will get paid for generating a single sale or intended action. Different affiliate products have different payout structures depending on how the product vendor set up the structure. 

Below are some of the different payout structures that affiliate products can have.

  • Single commission 
  • Monthly re-bills ( affiliate receives an ongoing monthly commission for the life of the client)
  • Tiered commission payouts ( commissions can increase after a certain amount of sales)
  • Upsells for purchase of additional products

It’s important that affiliates take note of the payout structure for affiliate products that they are thinking about promoting. If a product or service offers multiple ways of getting paid from it, this can be quite advantageous for affiliates. 

Pop-Under Ads

A pop-under ad is an ad which displays in a brand new browser window after it has been activated. They are similar to a pop-up ad but aren’t as disruptive because they don’t take over your screen the same way a pop-up ad does. 

They are used by affiliate marketers primarily for CPA marketing offers as a way to generate intended actions by website users. 


Post-roll is a video ad type which is displayed after a video ends. If you have ever been on YouTube or other video platforms, you have most likely been served a post-roll ad. They will appear on videos which have opted in to having ads displayed on their channels and tend to be very quick ads typically lasting 10 to 15 seconds. 

As an affiliate, if your objective is to quickly have a call-to-action for a product or service, a post-roll ad type might be a great solution for you. The reason being is because the end-user is more likely to respond to the ad if it’s not distracting them from their main video. In order for post-roll ads to be successful, they have to have an engaging call to action and display the ads on channels that are in line with their target product or service. Some of the most popular platforms that support post-roll ads include YouTube and Snapchat.


Pre-roll is a video ad type which is displayed before the video has even started. The goal of pre-roll video ads is to immediately show visitors an ad and grab their attention before they have had a chance to watch the video they intended.

The length of pre-roll video ads can range from 15, 30 or 60 seconds long. They are most commonly seen on YouTube videos and can be quite annoying if you were excited to watch a video and all of a sudden get interrupted with a video ad you don’t care about seeing.

Pre-roll ads are great for giving brands tons of exposure, even if a viewer decides to skip through the ad. In order to be successful with pre-roll ads, they need to have some sort of initial draw in the right from the start of the ad, so the viewer doesn’t click out. 

Affiliates who run pre-roll ads on YouTube know that they have roughly 3-5 seconds to make an impression on a viewer before they decide to click out of the ad. That’s why when you view YouTube videos, you can tend to see outrageous ads and claims in the first 3-5 seconds of the ad. They know they have limited time to capture your attention and one way to do that is by creating an immediate reaction.

Premium Affiliate Targeting

This is a tactic used by affiliate marketers to navigate the attention of website visitors to a specific spot on the website. The intent behind premium targeting is to push a website visitor to a part of the website, which causes them to either subscribe to an email list or arouse their curious further about a product or service.

In order to successfully do this, your targeting has to be well structured with the architecture of your website. You have to build out your website or landing page in a way that makes it easy for website visitors to continue reading and make informed decisions. 

You also have to create your call-to-action in a way that keeps them engaged and increases their curiosity. Some of the most popular ways this is done is by:

  • Testimonials
  • Having a community
  • Resources
  • Frequently asked questions section

These are in place in order to handle any objections possible leads or customers may have in regards to your product or service, but they have to be placed carefully around the website, so it doesn’t overwhelm the website visitor.


A publisher is an alternative term that is often used to describe an affiliate. Publishers are content creators who build out information for people who are potentially interested in a product or service. The modern-day term “affiliate” is much more popular but some old school advertising platforms have a tendency to use the term publisher.


Quality Score

The quality score is a PPC score that is used to assess the overall effectiveness of ad copy along with the relevancy of the landing page. The score ranges between 1-10, with ten being the highest. The reason affiliate marketers should be cognizant of the quality score is because it has a great impact on their ad bidding, ad spends, and click-through rate of pay-per-click ad campaigns. Although the quality score is a proprietary score assessed by search engines, some of the most well-known factors that affect a quality score include:

  • Relevancy of the ad to the landing page
  • Quality and targeting of your ad copy
  • Historical performance of your ad copy
  • Performance and standing of your ad account
  • Engagement metrics of your landing page
  • Click-through rate

As an affiliate, you want your quality score to be high because it can help reduce your ad spend by improving your overall click-through rate on your campaigns. The higher the click-through rate on your ad campaigns, the lower you will end up paying per each click to your website. 



Redirection is the process of forwarding a URL to a different URL. They are important in affiliate marketing if you happen to be split testing and using different domains to send out to a specific affiliate offer or product. 

It’s important to ensure that you have proper redirect structure in place when promoting affiliate offers to ensure that your redirects are going to the intended affiliate offer that you are focusing on promoting. 

ROAS ( Return On Ad Spend )

This is an extremely important metric to know if you are going to be using paid ads to drive traffic to your campaigns. It represents how much revenue you are bringing in for every advertising dollar spent. ROAS is similar to ROI, but where they differ is that ROAS focuses on analyzing only the cost of an advertising campaign. 

It’s meant to be a guide as to how effective your ad spend strategy is and how well you are managing your advertising budget. If your ROAS is 10:1, that means that you are making $10 for every $1 you spend on advertising. 

ROAS is calculated using the following formula below.

Revenue Generated by Ads / Cost of Ads 

So, the higher your ROAS is the better return you are getting on your advertising dollars. A good ROAS is considered anything above 4:1. 

Real-Time Ad Bidding

Real-time bidding is an advertising method in which manual bids are made for each ad impression in a real-time ad auction that happens as a web page is loading up. This style of advertising is typically left to big-time affiliates and media buyers who have experience in purchasing large amounts of traffic at lower rates.

Related Reading: Real-Time Bidding


It’s a well-known fact in advertising that roughly 90% of people who visit your website for the first time will leave without making a purchase. Before a website visitor turns into a customer, they need to feel some sort of trust with you. A general rule of thumb in affiliate marketing is to make sure someone sees your message and information a minimum of 7 times. 

Retargeting is an advertising option which allows you to reach website visitors who have previously expressed interest in your products or services but have yet to make a purchase. Your main ad or your secondary retargeting ad is shown to them once more to remind them of your brand and products. The great thing about retargeting ads is that they are typically at lower ad rates. 

They are a great method for increasing your conversions and reminding your audience of your products or services. The most common way retargeting is done through Facebook ads. They are well known for inventing the retargeting ad option.


SEO Affiliates

SEO affiliates are affiliates who promote products and service primarily through organically ranking content on their website or YouTube Channel. They don’t use any sort of paid methods to attract traffic to their offers. Focusing your strategy primarily on SEO is a long term commitment since it takes a significant amount of time to build a website and rank its content high in search engines.

SEO affiliates tend to focus on doing reviews and figuring out how they can add value to readers through long-form content which is meant to go into depth amount a topic or product. Long term this is a much better alternative if you are patient enough to rank your content and affiliate products. It’s a great way to get into affiliate marketing if you don’t have much of an ad budget to work with but are willing to wait longer to produce results. 

Single Offer

A single offer is an affiliate offer which is specifically targeted to one type of offer or target market. Single offers are most commonly used in CPA marketing, and they tend to have strict criteria for conversions. These can include:

  • Leads coming in only from a specific region 
  • The conversion only from a specific promotion type
  • Single commission payout only

Single offers tend to have a lower payout structure than other CPA marketing offers and are designed for small lead generation. The benefit to single offers is that the criteria can be very low such as simply sending your email in. 

Single Opt-in

A single opt-in is the most basic level of conversion is CPA affiliate marketing. This means that only one thing has to occur in order for a conversion to count for an affiliate. An example of a single opt-in can be as simple as having someone subscribe to your email list. 

Split Testing

If you plan on being a serious affiliate marketer, you will have to become an expert at split testing. Split testing is or commonly referred to as A/B testing is the practice of testing different version of your ad copy, landing page, text ads against each other in order to find which combination gives you the highest conversions.

It’s absolutely necessary to conduct proper split testing when you are promoting different affiliate products and service in order to find out which combination yields you the highest return on your ad spend. Simply running one or two different ads won’t be enough to find out how an offer will convert for you. 

Great affiliate marketers will split test up to 10 different ad copies and several different landing pages for a single product or offer in order to find out the best conversion. The point of split testing is to find out which specific combination of ads, sales copy, and landing pages converts the highest for you in order to scale your campaigns and business. The end goal of split testing is to scale your campaign higher by increasing the ad spend and creating multiple ads of similar nature. 


Scaling is the process of increasing your ad spend and a number of ad sets once you have found a winning advertising campaign through split testing. Once you find the right combination of sales copy and landing pages that are bringing you high conversions, the next step to make more money is to scale the highest converting campaigns and kill the ones that are low converting. 

Some of the most popular scaling strategies include:

  • Increasing daily ad spend budget
  • Creating multiple of the same ad sets
  • Bidding higher for keywords and keyword phrases
  • Using multiple ad platforms

It’s worth noting that in order to scale your ad campaigns, you must first be willing to spend a decent amount of cash testing, which combinations yield you the highest conversions. It is costly from the beginning, but once you find the winning combination, you can essentially start printing money.

Related Reading: How to Scale Your Facebook Ads


The “spot” refers to the advertising format you plan to use in order to promote your affiliate offers. It’s worth noting that not all affiliate networks allow you to use a choice for your promoting spot. Some offers don’t allow specific types of spots for advertisings. Some of the different types of spots include:

  • Pay per click advertising
  • Organic search
  • Banner ads
  • Native ads
  • Email marketing
  • Video marketing

The spot you end up using will depend on your level of expertise as an affiliate marketer and also your budget.

Super Affiliates

Super affiliates are marketers who earn millions of dollars per year as a result of their affiliate strategies. This is a small percentage of affiliates, and they typically bring in the majority of profit for an affiliate program or network. 

In order to be a super affiliate, you need to know the industry inside and out. It takes some serious time commitment and discipline to become a super affiliate, but anyone with enough determination and desire can get to that level. 

Sweepstakes Affiliates Offers

These are CPA marketing offers which are meant to generate leads for companies where users attempt to with prizes and rewards in exchange for their contact information. If you have ever personally signed up to win a gift card, a vacation or a sum of money online you have most likely submitted your information through sweepstakes.

They are a primary mode of lead generation for large companies but have a tendency to have a bad reputation since most people never even win what is claimed in the offers. Affiliates love these types of offers because the conversion is typically very easy to complete and have a fair payout for the amount of work involved. 

Related Reading: How to Promote Sweepstakes Offers


Targeted Affiliate Marketing

Targeted affiliate marketing is the practice of structuring your affiliate marketing business toward a very specific set of affiliate program or offers. This is typically done in order to ensure that affiliates target only campaigns that are in line with what they are offering or the content that they are building. If an affiliate has a website reviewing certain products or services, they will only promote services in those niches.

Tracking Token

A tracking token is a small snippet of letters or numbers given to publishers by the paid traffic network in order to track specific information about the advertising campaign. These tracking tokens are incredibly powerful in helping you understand what specific component in your advertising campaign is driving your conversions. 

For example, if you are bidding on multiple keywords in an ad campaign, it’s important to know which specific keyword or phrases are responsible for your conversions. In order to know this information, you need to have a tracking token installed on your landing pages so you can properly track all the relevant information. 

Further Reading: Tracking Tokens

Tracking Mechanism

A tracking mechanism is a method affiliates use to track their leads, sales and conversions. Tracking mechanisms are also used to see how an audience engages with the content that is being provided to them. Most website owners use free resources such as Google Analytics to track the traffic behavior of their website and what content their audience is finding engaging. 

There are, however, other tracking mechanisms for tracking pay-per-click and other conversions metrics for advertising campaigns which affiliates use. Some popular paid tracking software options to help you dynamically track conversions are below:

If you are paying money for traffic, a great ad tracking software will help ensure you know where your conversion is coming from and help you to stay profitable. 

Traffic Generation Strategies

In order for affiliates to be successful, they need to have a consistent flow of traffic to their campaigns. In order to ensure consistency, affiliate marketers should not really strictly on one type of traffic generation strategy. It’s important to diversify your traffic generation strategies so you can test different ad platforms and have something to fall back on if an ad network decides to ban yours for some reason. 

Having different traffic strategies will also allow you to test different traffic sources and help you drive your conversion higher. Different traffic generation strategies will also allow you to scale your campaigns once you find a winning one. You shouldn’t simply focus on getting higher conversions as an affiliate, but also generating new sources of traffic for your website. 

So, what are some of the most popular traffic generation strategies used by affiliate marketers

  • Organic website ranking
  • Pay per click advertising
  • Native advertising
  • Referral traffic
  • Guest Posting
  • Banner advertising 
  • YouTube content creation
  • Forum posting and commenting
  • Facebook groups

These are just a few traffic generation strategies that are used by affiliate marketers to promote their campaigns and offers. In order to ensure success as an affiliate marketer, you have to find out which traffic source will yield your campaign the highest conversions. For some type of affiliate offers organic search content might yield the highest conversions, but prove to below for other affiliate offers. You have to be willing to play with different traffic generation strategies in order to find one that works best for you. 

Recommended Reading: 25 Ways to Increase Website Traffic



Viral Affiliates

Viral affiliates are affiliate marketers who create unique and controversial industry content with the intent of going viral. These types of affiliates are typically the first to break ground on a new industry or product and as a result, get a large influx of traffic to whatever they are selling. It’s important to note that their success may be pretty short-lived if the product or service that they are recommending doesn’t live up to the claims and expectations made in their presentations.

One of the most popular social media marketers who went viral as a result of one of his videos is Tai Lopez. You can watch his world-famous “Here in my Garage” video below.

Tai Lopez: Here in my garage


White-label Affiliates/Programs

White label affiliates are affiliates who take a third party software which has an affiliate program and rebrand it as their own. The end-user doesn’t know that it’s a third-party product or service and is simply relicensed under the affiliate who is promoting. 

The affiliate doesn’t have to create a piece of software; they simply rebrand an existing piece of software and rebrand and market it as their own. This is very advantageous for affiliate marketers because they can become experts in a specific product or service and sell it as if they were the original creators of it. 

They are great because the affiliate only has to worry about promoting the product or service and doesn’t have to deal with any customer inquiries or issues.

Further Reading: The Benefits of a white label affiliate market solution

X – Y – Z


With these terms in mind, you should be able to understand the world of affiliate marketing much better and make informed decisions when deciding on what kind of products or services to promote. Be patient, it takes serious time, and effort to become a successful affiliate marketer, but equipped with the knowledge of the terminology used you will soon be well ahead of the rest. 


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