Affiliate Program Glossary
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A Glossary of Affiliate Program Terms and Definitions – Work at Home

The Internet seems to have produced its own language. Do you speak Internetese? Have you heard of Affiliate Programs? Have you heard of CPCs, FAQs, HTMLs? Are you being acronymed to death? Hey, relax! It’s not as intimidating as it may sound. Just follow the list below carefully and you’ll be able to join the Internet-enlightened.

  • Affiliate
    An affiliate, also known as an associate or publisher, is a person or organization that earns money by placing on their website a merchant’s text, banners, pop-ups or any form of advertising. When this advertising generates an action agreed upon between the affiliate and the merchant, like a sale or a lead, then the merchant pays the affiliate a commission.
  • Banner
    A banner is an advertisement in graphic form placed on a website. It’s the most popular form of advertising on the Internet.
  • CPC (cost-per-click)
    CPC is the cost incurred when one person clicks on an advertisement and is redirected to the site referenced by the link.
  • CPM (cost per thousand)
    CPM is the cost of displaying 1000 advertisements.
  • CTR (click-through ratio)
    CTR refers to the number of ad impressions required to persuade a visitor to click on the link referenced by the ad. This action is called a click-through, and is expressed by a percentage.
  • Co-branding
    Co-branding occurs when an affiliate places their own logo on the pages to which they send their visitors through affiliate links.
  • Commission
    A commission is the amount an affiliate receives when he brings a paying customer to a merchant’s website. It could be either a percentage of the sale or a fixed dollar amount. A recurring commission is paid when a subscriber renews his subscription or buys something else.
  • Conversion ratio
    The conversion ratio is determined by dividing the number of click-throughs on a banner or link by the number of sales or leads those click-throughs generated.
  • Cookie
    A cookie is a file or code stored on a visitor’s computer, taken from the sites a person accesses, that is used to store information about what sites and types of sites a person accesses over a certain period.
  • Doorway Page
    A doorway page is a web page made specifically to rank well in search engines for particular keywords. It serves as an entry point for visitors to pass through to get to the main content.
  • EPC (average earnings per (100) clicks)
    EPC is the method used to gauge the relative performance of different affiliate programs, and of different ad creatives within each affiliate program. Some affiliate networks, such as Commission Junction, define EPC as “average earnings per 100 clicks”. The EPC is calculated by dividing the commission earned by the number of clicks required to generate that commission (times 100 for Commission Junction).
  • FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
    An FAQ is used by a website to cover the answers to the most frequently asked questions by visitors to the site.
  • Hit
    A hit is recorded every time a web browser makes a request for a single item of information. When looking at this number, keep in mind that one hit is recorded for every element on the page; so if there are 20 graphics on a page, 20 hits plus 1 for the HTML, will be recorded (21 hits) – not really an accurate count of the number of actual hits to that site.
  • Merchant
    The merchant is the company who offers a product or service to the online shopper, and pays the affiliate a commission if the sale is generated through a link placed on the affiliate’s site. The merchant is also responsible for processing the order and shipping it, and for customer service.
  • Opt-in
    When you opt-in to a newsletter or mailing list, you subscribe to it, usually by entering your email address into a signup form. A double opt-in is where a confirmation is required to activate the subscription. This is sometimes called “permission marketing”.
  • Opt-out
    Unlike an opt-in relationship, an opt-out arrangement can add your email address to a mailing list without your permission. You need to ask to be removed from the list to stop the email. This type of arrangement very closely resembles spam.
  • Pay Per Bid
    Pay per bid is a search engine that allows you to place your page at the top, or near the top of specified search results. You must pay the search engine every time that particular keyword is searched for.
  • Pay-Per-Click
    A pay-per-click program is one in which an affiliate receives a commission for each click on a banner that takes them to a merchant’s site.
  • Pay-Per-Impression
    In a pay-per-impression program, the affiliate gets paid only for a merchant’s ad appearance on the affiliate’s site.
  • Pay-Per-Sale
    This program, as it implies, pays an affiliate for each sale of a product or service that they refer to a merchant’s site.
  • Pay-Per-Lead
    In a pay-per-lead program, an affiliate receives a commission for each lead they generate for a merchant’s site, including completed surveys, downloaded software demos, and free trials.
  • Return days
    Return days refers to the number of days after an initial visit through your affiliate link that you’ll receive a commission if a customer returns to the website and makes another purchase.
  • Sub-affiliate
    A sub-affiliate joins an affiliate program based on your recommendation, and is a part of your second tier.
  • Two-tier program
    A two-tier program rewards affiliates on two levels. The first tier is the “standard” merchant-affiliate relationship. The second tier, designed to give the affiliate more incentive to send traffic to the merchant’s site, rewards the affiliate an ongoing percentage of the earnings of affiliates that sign up under the original affiliate that introduced them to the program.

So there you have it. You’re now qualified to become an Affiliate Marketer, with a grip on the jargon, and a handle on the knowledge. Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with this glossary of Affiliate Program Terms and Definitions, you can enter the rewarding field of affiliate programs without intimidation. Be confident. Be free. Become a success story in the world of Affiliate Programs.

About The Author

Gareth Marples is a successful freelance writer providing valuable tips and advice for those looking for those looking to create an online income while working from home using their computer, affiliate programs and an Internet connection, and who are interested in locating one of the Net's best affiliate programs. His numerous articles offer moneysaving tips and valuable insight on a wide variety of topics.

This "Glossary of Affiliate Program Terms & Definitions" reprinted with permission.

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