Affiliate Marketing — Terminology

Nate Lind
Nate Lind
Sep 10, 2018 · 7 min read

When I first got started and I was at a trade show I had no idea if I was an advertiser or an affiliate. I put this together so you don’t sound like the complete noob out there and everyone knows you’re new to the industry. “Fake it ’til you make it.”

If you know someone new, tag them in the comments and encourage them to read this, spare them the mockery my tender little ego suffered in the early days. :)

First is Advertiser — This is the one who owns the right to sell the product. If it’s a digital product, physical product or service — if you are selling a product then you are called an advertiser. The entire ecosystem revolves around the Advertiser, money deposits into his bank account first and then spreads out from there.

Offer — This is what the advertisers create to sell their products. For instance, you can have an offer that sells healthcare products or beauty products or a business development offer. It is a particular flow of selling a product that can be boiled down to “what the advertiser is offering to sell”.

Vertical — A similar set of offers on a Macro scale. For example: Grooming, Fitness, Health and Nutrition, Business Development. It is the larger category that an offer fits in.

Affiliate — This is someone who finds potential buyers and directs them to the advertiser’s offer in the hopes of making a sale.

Affiliate Network (Network) — A company that connects advertisers with affiliates. Instead of paying an affiliate directly, advertisers pay the affiliate network who then handles the affiliates.

Media — A term used interchangeably to mean ads/traffic/social media. Most often used in reference to purchasing or buying. As in — buying media.

Media Buyers — A name used to denote someone that buys ‘media’.

Traffic — A stream of potential customers.

Traffic Source — The location that the traffic originated from — for example: Facebook, Google, News sites, Other social media platforms.

Incentivized Traffic — This is a type of traffic where the potential customer was promised something (like an ipad or monetary value) to click on an ad and buy a product. This type of traffic is the least desirable and is banned by most advertisers as false advertising. The quality of buyer is not worth the money they bring in.

Survey Traffic — Traffic that is brought in after the potential customer has gone through a series of questions. Much of this traffic is also incentivized and so not usually desirable. However, there is some valid survey traffic that can be out there such as segmented audience types. Do your due diligence before blindly accepting survey traffic for an offer.

Ads — Either text or image that is designed to catch the attention of a potential buyer and get them to “click”.

Click — An action a potential customer takes to click on an ad, or an element on a page called the CTA (Call to Action).

Presell Pages — Informational pages that talk about a product in detail. These pages are normally operated by affiliates. They may or may not talk about your product specifically, but rather the general information about a product vertical where the specific name and product image may be rotated during the day as they send traffic to similar offers within that product vertical.

Banner Ads — Images that appear on various websites (usually at the top or bottom or side) to capture the attention of an interested buyer.

Cost Per Click (CPC) — The cost required to get a potential buyer to click on an ad.

Cost Per Mille (CPM) — The cost per thousand impressions. Mille is French for thousand.

Cost Per Action (CPA) — Also known as cost per acquisition. The cost to turn a potential buyer into a paying customer.

Cost Per Lead (CPL) — This is the cost to get a potential buyer as a lead. The advertiser goal is to get potential sales. However they only pay for leads. These leads may result in sales. This is also known as “Lead Gen” or “lead generation.”

Cost per Impression (CPI) — This term refers to the cost of traditional advertising, where advertisers pay each time an ad is displayed.

Click Through Rate (CTR) — The percentage of times that an action is taken by an interested potential buyer to further the buying processes. Many steps along the processes can be measured using CTR. From impression to first click. From the presell-page to the advertiser’s landing or squeeze page. From the landing page to the checkout page and so on. The CTR is measured as the number of actions divided by the number of times the page/ad was seen.

Pay per click — Also known as cost per click. Typically an advertiser pays a website or network when an ad is clicked. PPC is usually associated with first tier search engines like Google or Bing. Typically tose advertisers bid on keyword phrases that are relevant to their target markets.

View-through rate — measures the number of post-impression response or viewthrough from display media impressions viewed during and following an online advertising campaign. Such post-exposure behavior can be expressed in site visits, on-site events, conversions occurring at one or more Web sites or potentially offline:

Call to Action (CTA) — a graphical or text element on a page that persuades the user to proceed forward through the flow of the sales process. (Example might be “Click here to proceed”, “Buy Now”, “Claim your trial”)

Lead (or prospect) — A potential buyer who has provided some information about themselves but have not become a customer yet. For example, they may provide their name and email address then decide that they don’t want the product. Or haven’t completed their cart purchase.

Lists — A list of leads for specific verticals.

“The Space” — a term used to reference the continuity/affiliate marketing/performance marketing industry by members of the industry.

Chargebacks — When a customer who has provided their credit card information has disputed the charge with their bank or credit card issuer. This takes money out of the advertiser’s account until the dispute is solved. It also is an important metric to watch and manage for the health and sustainability of your business.

Processor — A bank that allows advertisers to create an account to accept credit card payments.

Merchant Account — A specific account from a processor to process credit card payments on. (also known as MID, which is short for Merchant Identification, it’s like a loan number for your merchant processing)

Steps — Each individual page a potential buyer has an opportunity to buy a product. There can be multiple steps for each offer. Usually referred to as “step 1”, “step 2” and so on. (For example, think of the last time you were ordering a fast food hamburger and the associate asks you if you’d like fries with that. The hamburger is “Step 1” and the Fries are “Step 2”, you might also get asked if you’d like a drink, which is “step 3”) This linear sales path is known as a “Sales Funnel” and one major key to successful performance marketing and often missed by eCommerce merchants which just display the menu and let the customer pick things out al le carte.

Sales Funnel — A series of product “steps” that are displayed in a linear fashion designed to limit the choices of a customer to avoid distraction and enable them to select the most profitable and most complimentary products that relate the marketing angle used to attract their attention.

Upsell — An opportunity for a customer to add a product to their order.

One-click upsell — A special type of upsell that doesn’t require the customer to re-input their credit card to add the product to their order, much like the “add to cart” feature seen on many eCommerce pages.

Impression — When an ad is shown to someone. An impression does not mean that a person “sees” the ad, but rather that it was displayed on a web page that the person was on.

Earnings Per Click (EPC) — The amount of money made per click. Since not all clicks result in a paying customer this number is determined by the number of clicks required before a sale is made.

Average Transaction Value (ATV) — The average amount of money a customer will spend in a given funnel.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) — The total amount of money a customer will spend of the lifetime of the rebill / continuity program.

Continuity — A selling method that provides recurring income for a product or service over a period of time. Also known as Subscription.

Rebill — The rebilling of a customer or any payments made after the initial purchase by the customer for continuity or subscription products or service.

Trial — Also known as a risk-free trial, this is when the customer has the opportunity to try the product or service at a reduced or lower cost before being subject to the full price of the product.

Optin — When a customer chooses to add a product or service or provide their contact information in exchange for money or information.

Negative Option Billing — A term given to a “Trial” billing model. Where the first product a customer can buy is reduced or ‘free’ with the intent that the customer will spend more money on full priced products during their shopping and the customer is automatically enrolled in a subscription until the customer cancels it. Netflix utilizes this model as an example.

That’s it for now. Now you have a basic understanding of the terminology used in the continuity business. You will hear these terms being used in this training and as you go out in the world and build your business.

For you vets out there, did I miss something or get something wrong? Please feel free to make a correction.

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