Affiliate Marketing- Glossary of Terms

Affiliate: People who market a company’s products or services for a commission. Examples include Bloggers and influencers.

Affiliate Program: An affiliate program (also known as a referral, partner or associate program), is an arrangement between an online merchant and a publisher (the affiliate). The affiliate has the role of referring people to the merchant’s website. If the referred person completes an agreed action (i.e. buys something), then the affiliate makes a commission.

Affiliate Network: An affiliate network acts as an intermediary go-between content publishers (affiliates) and online merchants. Examples of Affiliate Networks include ShareASale, Clickbank, CJ Affiliate and JVZoo. You can find a directory of 28 affiliate networks here.

Affiliate Marketing: A process where people earn money by referring customers to an online merchant that results in an agreed course of action (often a sale).

AM: Affiliate Manager. An affiliate manager is responsible for managing the affiliate program. This role usually includes acting as the focal point for communication with the affiliate and may include recruitment, defining incentive programs, providing promotional materials, reporting on sales and payments.

CF: Citation Flow. Citation Flow is a trademark of Majestic, who operates one of the most significant link index databases. Websites receive a score between 0 and100. The metric helps to measure the link equity or “power” the site or link carries. 

Commission: The revenue earned by an affiliate for generating an agreed course of action, such as sale, lead or click-through to a merchant’s website.

Conversion Rate: A metric to measure the percentage of clicks that convert into a sale or pre-defined action. For example, if you send 50 people to a merchant’s website and ten of them complete the action (i.e. buy something) then the conversion rate would be 10/50 – 20%.

CPA: Cost Per Action. The term is used interchangeably with Cost Per Acquisition. Affiliates get paid by a merchant for referring visitors that perform a specific action on the merchant’s website. The action may be a sale, or it could be any other specified action like signing up for a demo, newsletter or filling out a form. Also known as Pay Per Action (PPA) and Pay Per Acquisition (PPA).

CPI: Cost Per Install. CPI is a CPA model focused on software, game or app installations. As an affiliate, you get paid by a merchant whenever users you refer, install their software.

CPC: Cost Per Click. A model where merchants/advertisers reward affiliates (publishers) for each click on their product ad. Also, known as Pay Per Click (PPC)

CPL: Cost Per Lead. CPL is a CPA sub-category where affiliates receive commissions for referring people who become leads – usually through actions such as filling in a form or requesting a demo. Also, known as Pay Per Lead (PPL).

CPM: Cost Per Mille. A model where a merchant pays for impressions of their ad or banner on the affiliates/publisher’s website. “Mille” comes from Latin and it means ‘a thousand views’. So, CPM equates to the price the merchant/advertiser will pay for 1,000 advertisement impressions.

CPS: Cost Per Sale. Affiliates get paid a commission for referring a customer to a merchant where the result is a sale. Also known as Pay Per Sale (PPS)

CPT: Cost Per Thousand. Another term for CPM. The term defines where a merchant pays for impressions of their ad or banner on the affiliates/publisher’s website. CPT equates to the price the merchant/advertiser will pay for 1,000 advertisement impressions.

CTR: Click Through Rate. The ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who viewed the link via a page, email, or advertisement (impression).

DA: Domain Authority. Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by SEO specialists Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating multiple factors, including linking root domains and number of total links, into a single DA score. The score ranges between 1 and 100.

EPC: Earnings Per Click. For example, if you receive a commission of $30 after sending 100 clicks to the sales page you would divide $20 by 100 = 0.30. The EPC is 30 cents per click.

Impressions: The number of times your content or advert has been seen on a screen.

PA: Page Authority. Page Authority (PA) is a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). Page Authority scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.

PPA: Pay Per Action. The term is used interchangeably with Pay Per Acquisition. Affiliates get paid by a merchant for referring visitors that perform a specific action on the merchant’s website. The action may be a sale, or it could be any other specified action like signing up for a demo, newsletter or filling out a form. Also known as Cost Per Action (CPA) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).

PPC: Pay Per Click. A model where merchants/advertisers reward affiliates (publishers) for each click on their product ad. Also, known as Cost Per Click (CPC)

PPL: Pay Per Lead. CPL is a CPA sub-category where affiliates receive commissions for referring people who become leads – usually through actions such as filling in a form or requesting a demo. Also, known as Cost Per Lead (CPL).

PPS: Pay Per Sale. Affiliates get paid a commission for referring a customer to a merchant where the result is a sale. Also known as Cost Per Sale (CPS)

ROI: Return on Investment. ROI measures the amount of return (usually measured by revenue) on a particular investment, relative to the investment’s cost.

TF: Trust Flow. Trust Flow is a trademark of Majestic, who operate one of the largest link index databases. A score between 0-100 is provided for a website which helps to measure the link trust the website or link carries.  Majestic collated many trusted seed sites based on a manual review of the web. Sites closely linked to a trusted seed site can see higher scores, whereas sites that may have some questionable links would see a much lower score.