Glossary of Affiliate Marketing Terms – Abbreviations / Dictionary / Acronyms / Jargon / Lingo

Since I create an affiliate marketing section of this forum at the community request I though this post should help any newcomers that want to try some affiliate marketing.

There are many resources for this online and in time we will also add a lot of resources on this forum, but wherever you read a guide or a new piece of information you will need to understand it. This is because most affiliate marketers use a lot of abbreviations In order to gain speed in writing and be more efficient.

Some are straight to the point and once you know what they stand for you’ll understand what they are about, some might require additional information, I’ll do my best to sort them and add as much information as possible for each of them.

##So let’s get started!

###Sales relating terms:

AOV - average order value. This shows you the average value of the orders you received. It is calculated over a period of time like this AOV = total value of orders / number of orders.

CPA - cost per action (or cost per acquisition). This is a common payment model in the affiliate world where the advertiser pays you based on the users you referred actually completing an action. The action can be anything from completing a form, a survey, actual sales or registrations on certain sites.

CPC - cost per click. This is a payment model where you get paid for each click you bring. It’s also a very common payment model used by many top advertisers, like Adsense for example.

CPL - cost per lead. With this you get paid for each lead you bring in. Example of leads can be: completed surveys or other forms, email addresses. Usually these leads are verified and purchases/registrations need to be completed by the users before you get your payment.

CPI - cost per install. You get paid after the users you referred downloaded and installed something. Used a lot for games, software in general.

CPM - cost per thousand ( mille - that’s why the M). This usually means cost per 1000 impressions. So basically you get paid if people view a banner you placed on your site for someone else, or if you send a newsletter to 1000 people. Everything that can be counted in 1000 items can be provided with a CPM cost.

CPO - cost per order. You get paid for each verified and completed order. This is usually the case for software or online affiliates of many products.

CPV - cost per view. Advertisers pay when the ad appears on the visitor’s browser. This is usually a payment method for companies that sell traffic like popups, popunders or interstitial.

CPS - cost per sale. This is a way for merchants to see what the the actual cost of getting a sale was. For example if they used $100 on ads to make 10 sales, the CPS was $10 ( expense divided by sales received). They can see using this if it’s profitable to continue or not.

CVR or CR - conversion rate(or ratio). This means the percentage of you total visitors that do what you want them to do. Ex : out of 100 visitors to your site 4 signed up for your newsletter, you have a 4% CR.

CTA - call to action. This is a very important term and something you should master if you’re doing affiliate marketing. This is basically the hook that you have for your visitors to do an action you want them to do. It can be anything from the basic “Click here for…” or " Continue" to more advanced CTAs that take into consideration your niche and what you want your visitors to do and makes them do it.

CTR - click through rate ( or ratio). This is an important measurement that is used to see the response you get to advertising. It basically means how many visitors clicked a particular link. On a page, different links will have different CTRs and you’ll have to find the best stop with the most visibility for your link to increase it. The average number of clicks per 100 visitors will give you this ratio.

EPC - earnings per click. This is used by merchants to gauge performance. It is usually used per 100 clicks, not just per one and the way to calculate this is : EPC = (profit / clicks) x 100 .

EPM - earning per mil ( 1000) impressions . As the name suggests its the amount you get for sending 1000 impressions to someone or pay for buying them.

eCPM - effective cost per thousand impressions ( mille). This is useful when you compare media that use different pricing methods. Using this you convert everything to a common metric that can allow you to better understand exactly how much everything costs. It’s calculated as eCPM = (cost / impression) x 1000

LTV ( or CLV, or LCV) - lifetime value ( or customer lifetime value, or lifetime customer value). Everybody uses the term they want though they all mean the same thing. It is a metric that assesses the total amount that a customer could spend during their lifetime on that company.

PPC - pay per click. You get paid for each individual and valid click you bring to the advertiser. This is common

PPCall - pay per call. You get paid when the advertiser gets called by the people you send his way.

PPL - pay per lead. You get paid when the people you send are transformed into qualified leads. That can be anything from an actual download of a file, signup for a trial or newsletter or any other action required by the advertiser.

PPS - pay per sale. You get paid when the people you sent actually made a purchase. This is common with affiliate programs for products and services.

PPV - pay per view. You get paid when the people you send view the advertiser’s site. This is something that can be easily fakes with pop-up ads or by bots so generally PPV traffic is extremely low quality and very poorly paid. Due to this most high end affiliate networks don’t allow such traffic.

ROI - return on investment. It is basically a measure of the profitability. In the affiliate world it means how much money you spent versus how much money you made. If you made more than you spent than the ROI is positive and it’s a good thing, if not, you’re actually loosing money so you should change something or stop altogether.

Marketing relating terms

LP - landing page. It’s a page where you send your traffic. It can be anything from a simple page with a link to a complex page with all kinds of information. It can be hosted on your servers, a web 2.0 page or anything else online.

CND - content delivery network. This is a nice way to have your site load fast for any visitor no matter where in the world he is. Basically your site will benefit from servers all around the world that load your pages statically ( images/ html / css/ js). They have snapshots of your site and deliver that to visitors for fast access, anything that needs server side processing will still go to your main hosting though.

CRO - conversion rate optimization. This means increasing the percentage of the visitors you have that turn into clients or a lean or take an action that you want them to take.

DOI - double opt in. This is the best way to create an emailing list if you want to be 100% whitehat. This means that a user has to accept to get email from you two times, generally once he signs up and then again when he gets the first email by clicking a link.

KPI - key performance indicator. A quantifiable measure that is used for evaluating how good an organization or employee is doing.

MMO - _make money online.

MVT - multivariate testing. This is a technique that allows you to test something in which multiple variable were changed.

POS - point of sale. The place where a retail transaction is done.

RON - run of network. This means that you buy all the traffic that a network can provide for a certain area. This is mostly done for PPV traffic, you get everything they’ve got and test it for a day or two and see what to keep and what to discard.

RTB - real time bidding. It’s a technique of buying and/or selling of ad impression in real time. There are auctions created especially for this where ad-exchanges and supply side platforms facilitate the real time bidding.

SOI - single opt in. A way of creating an email list by only requesting the users to submit a form and not asking to verify the email later.

QS - quality score. It started as a term used for/by google but now it’s used by others as well.

Other affiliate marketing relating terms

Ad - advertisement . Any method of getting the attentions of people and driving them where you want, it can be anything from text, link, video, images, banner and so on.

AIDA - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. A nice to follow principle that will help you keep working until you succeed.

AM - affiliate manager. A person that takes care of the affiliate program for a business or company. Affiliate platforms usually have several AMs each assigned some of the users of their platform. They take care of them and help them promote their offers.

B2B - business to business. Services or products that are offer by businesses only for other businesses.

B2C - business to consumer. A services or product that is provided by a business to consumers and not other businesses, generally at much lower pricing.

BIZOPP - business opportunity. Anything that can make you money online.

CAC - customer acquisition cost. The cost a business has to convert a visitor to a customer.

CRM - customer relationship management.

CMS - content management system. It’s an application that supports the creation, upkeep and modification of digital content. Wordpress for example is a well know CMS.

DNS - domain name system. It’s basically a phone book of the internet and translate the domain name to the associated IPs.

ESP - email service provider. A company that provides email services. If you’re into email marketing you will need one of these where you’ll keep your email lists, organize them and send your newsletters from.

ISP - internet service provides. The person or company that provides your internet.

MP - mass planner. The Mass Planner software - you should know about it since you’re on this forum :wink:

PID - publisher website Id. It’s a unique ID assigned to each website a publisher lists, by the CJ affiliate network.

SaaS - software as a service. Any software or service for which you pay monthly like hosting, mp and so on.

SEM - search engine marketing. Doing marketing for the search engines for the purpose of achieving high rankings and driving traffic from them. This is the holy grail of free traffic, however it takes time, patience and knowledge to achieve.

SEO - search engine optimization. Any optimization or change that you can do for your website with the purpose of achieving higher rankings on the search engines. Usually split between on site optimizations( changes for the actual site/pages) and off site optimizations ( mainly link building)

SERP - search engine results page (or position). The exact page or position your website is when searching on a search engine for your main keywords. The higher your SERPs the more traffic your site will have.

SID - shopper ID ( or session ID, or sub ID). It is a parameter used for tracking different elements when using an affiliate link.

S2S - server to server. Usually used for conversion tracking by affiliate networks.

UV - unique visitor. An common term used to define a person that visits only once in a certain period of time. The same person can visit your site several times within a day, thus creating 10-20 or more pageviews, however it is still one UV. The UV is usually monitored through each visitor’s IP.

VPS - virtual private server. Basically a virtual computer that is located somewhere else. You have access to it via remote desktop and can use it as you own computer. It will be online 24/7 . It can have dedicated resources like RAM, CPU or shared resources with other VPSs on the same machine.

WYSIWYG - What you see is what you get. Quite self explanatory, you might have already used the editor even if you didn’t know that’s what it’s called.

###Platform & Networks abbreviations:

AW - Affiliate Windows ( recently turned Awin). A large affiliate network from UK. They’ve recently joined forces with Zanxo and that’s why the re-brand.

CJ - Commission Junction. One of the biggest affiliate networks around, has offers for almost anything you’d ever want.

FB - Facebook. I don’t think it needs any introduction

GA - google analytics. A free analytics resource provided by google. Used by many and at the same time avoided by many doing blackhat.

GAN - google affiliate network . Should bare no introductions, it’s one of the largest North American networks around.

IG - Instagram. This is where the craze is at the moment.

LS - Rakuten Linkshare Affiliate Network. A very good affiliate network.

SAS - Shareasale Affiliate Network . Another good affiliate network.

The end - or conclusion

These are basically the most common terms, I am sure there are a lot more out there and each little community or tool has its own jargon associated to it. If you know these though you should have a good understanding of affiliate marketing and will be able to understand what other affiliate marketers are talking about.

If you want me to add any others or want to share something else related on this subject feel free to write below.

I definitely hope you’ll like this and I didn’t work for a couple of days for nothing :smiley:


Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! @Johnny