Affiliate Marketing Glossary

If you ever stumbled upon an affiliate marketing term that made you scratch your head, not knowing what it even means, I understand you. The terms used in this space are heavy and unintuitive in most cases.

With this article, my goal is to help you better understand the affiliate marketing jargon, so you can better run your affiliate program. Let’s dive.

Advertiser

This is a person or company that owns a product or service which is promoted by affiliates.

In essence, if you’re running an online business (store or membership site), the advertiser is you/your company.

Affiliate

This is a person or company that promotes the products or services of an advertiser in return for a commission of the sale or lead.

These would be the partners you agree to work with to promote your business.

Affiliate Agreement

This is a document that defines the relationship between an advertiser and an affiliate, so that both parties are fully aware of their rights and obligations.

The document is important for both you, as a business owner, and affiliates, as your partners, to understand your responsibilities to one another.

If you’re not sure what this agreement should contain, I recommend you to read our guide to creating comprehensive terms and conditions page.

Affiliate Coupon Code

It’s a string (usually named a code), linked to a particular affiliate, that customers can use to receive a discount on the advertiser’s products or services.

Affiliate coupons work especially well if your affiliate partner already has an audience interested in products or services from your niche. If you offer a discount offer to this audience, they’ll be more inclined to purchase from you, leading to a win-win-win situation between you, your affiliates and your new customers.

Affiliate Link

It’s a custom link, given to the affiliate by the advertiser, that contain’s a unique tracking code.

Affiliates then use this link (in blog articles, social media posts, etc) to redirect visitors to the advertiser’s website. The tracking code enables advertisers to track visits, sales or leads generated by affiliates.

Affiliate Manager

This is a person that is in charge of managing an affiliate program. If you’re managing the program yourself, the affiliate manager is you.

Affiliate Program

This is the official arrangement wherein the advertiser gets affiliates to refer customers to their products or services. In exchange, the affiliates receive a commission when the customer makes a sale.

Click-through

This is the action or facility of following a link to a particular website, especially a commercial one.

In simpler terms, when a visitor reaches your website through a link, it’s called a click-through.

Commission

A commission is a fee that a business pays to an affiliate in exchange for his or her services in either facilitating or completing a sale.

Commission Rate

This is the percentage or fixed payment associated with a certain amount of a sale. For example, a commission could be 15% of sales, or $30 for each sale.

Conversion

A conversion occurs when a customer completes a desired action. For example, an action can be:

  • Buying a product or service.
  • Signing up for an email newsletter.
  • Filling out an opt-in form.

Cookie

A cookie is a small piece of data stored on the visitor’s computer by the web browser while browsing a website.

In the case of an affiliate program, cookies allow websites to keep track of user visits and activity, as well as attribute referrals to affiliates.

Cookie Expiration

The time that each cookie is stored in a user’s browser.

All cookies have an expiration date. Most cookies have expiration dates that last between 30 and 90 days. Some cookies have expiration dates that last less than 30 days. These expiration dates might change the amount of a payout to a website from an affiliate. If a cookie expires, the website won’t receive a credit for the purchase (even if the user found the affiliate through the original website).

Creative

A type of marketing material, asset, or media that can be used by affiliates to promote the advertiser’s products or services, such as text links, banners, and widgets, for example.

Landing URL

The webpage where people end up after they click your ad. The URL of this page is usually the same as your ad’s final URL.

Lead

A person who has completed some kind of action (such as signing up to a mailing list or registering an account on the site) and has the potential to become a paying customer.

Referring URL

The URL that directed a user or consumer to an affiliate’s or advertiser’s link. This is the exact URL of the page—not of the link that redirected the user to the advertiser’s page.

Super Affiliates

Group of select affiliates who generate most of the affiliate programs’ profits.

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