2 min read
24 Apr
Basic Affiliate Marketing Terms


Also called the merchant, the advertiser is the company or individual that produces the products and/or services that the affiliate promotes.


Sometimes referred to as the “publisher” or “associate”, this is the person who promotes products and/or services for an advertiser. In return, they get a commission or compensation for the sale made or lead generated.

Affiliate Link

This is a link given to the affiliate by the advertiser that is embedded with a unique tracking code. The code enables the advertiser to track the sales or leads the affiliate generates.

Affiliate Program

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

Banner Ad

This is a graphical advertisement that an affiliate places on their blog or website to promote an advertiser’s product or service.


When a sale for which the affiliate has already been compensated falls through, or a product is returned by a customer, the advertiser deducts the amount they have paid the affiliate for that sale from their commissions.


This is the fee an advertiser pays an affiliate for generating a sale.


A conversion occurs when a customer completes a desired action, like buying a product or service, signing up for an email, or filling out an opt-in form.

Conversion Rate

This is the percentage an affiliate gets after dividing the total amount of sales a link has earned by the number of impressions that link has generated, multiplied by 100. The conversion rate is used to show how often an affiliate link has generated sales compared to how often the link has been viewed.


In affiliate marketing, cookies are used to identify a visitor who has clicked on an affiliate link. Cookies are assigned for a specific period of time. If the visitor returns within that period, the affiliate marketer will be paid for the sale, whether or not the visitor uses the affiliate link to make the final purchase.

Cost per action

Abbreviated to CPA, means the cost of a particular action carried out by a visitor. The term is common within affiliate marketing, but also in other forms of online marketing. An action is almost always a form of conversion. A visitor orders a product or shows interest in it. This is also referred to as cost per sale (CPS) or cost per lead (CPL), respectively. Sometimes, it is also referred to as cost per acquisition. 

Customer Bounty

This is another term for commission.

Data Feed

This is a file containing lists of all the products an advertiser sells, including prices, images of products, descriptions, and affiliate links for the products.


This is a notice on an affiliate’s website or blog, notifying visitors that the affiliate is being compensated or paid for recommendations, endorsements, and advertisements of a product and/or service on their website or blog. There are important rules and regulations around disclosures.

Email link

This is an affiliate link specifically created for email promotions.


This refers to the number of times an ad is shown on a page.


This is another term for the advertiser. The term “merchant” may be used more often than “advertiser”.


A niche is a specific subset of a larger industry. For example, if you have a site about yoga, your niche is yoga. On a more general level, your industry is health and well being.

Niching down

The phrase means focusing your energy to serve a smaller group of people.

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