141 Essential Affiliate Marketing Terms (Glossary)

Affiliate Marketing Glossary

Knowing the terms and abbreviations commonly used will make learning and navigating the affiliate marketing landscape much easier.

This list will serve as an everchanging and updating list of the essential terms you must know to understand all of the lingo and jargon used in articles, videos, and courses about affiliate marketing and digital marketing in general.

This curated list has been alphabetized and includes all of the commonly used terms, with their definitions and abbreviations.

Affiliate Marketing Glossary of Terms

Affiliate Marketing Glossary

2nd Tier Commission

A commission earned by an affiliate when they refer another affiliate to the same program, and then the referred affiliate makes a sale. It’s essentially earning from the efforts of affiliates you’ve introduced to a program.

301 Redirect

A permanent redirect from one URL to another. It sends visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally requested, effectively transferring the link equity to the new URL.

404 Error

A HTTP status code that means the server could not find the requested webpage. This often happens when content has been moved or deleted.

Above the Fold

Refers to the portion of a webpage that is visible without scrolling. It’s an important area since it’s the first content users see, making it prime real estate for ads, calls to action, and important information.

A/B Testing

A method of comparing two versions of a webpage against each other to determine which one performs better in terms of driving conversions, engagement, or another relevant metric.

Ad Blindness

A phenomenon where website visitors unconsciously ignore banner-like information, even when it’s not an actual banner ad. It can reduce the effectiveness of display ads.

Ad Exchange

A digital marketplace that enables advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising space, often through real-time auctions. They’re most commonly used to fill unsold space.

Ad Network

A service that connects advertisers with websites looking to host advertisements. The key function of an ad network is the aggregation of ad space supply from publishers and matching it with advertiser demand.


Software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material (often unwanted) when a user is online. In the context of affiliate marketing, some adware can replace the affiliate ID of a link with a different one, effectively “hijacking” the commission.

Affiliate Agreement

A contract between the affiliate and the merchant that outlines the rules, responsibilities, and terms of their partnership. It typically includes details like commission structure, payment terms, cookie duration, and promotional guidelines.

Affiliate Directory

A comprehensive list or database of available affiliate programs. It acts as a resource for affiliates to find and join new programs in their desired niche.

Affiliate ID

A unique identifier given to an affiliate by the merchant or affiliate network. This ID is used to track the source of traffic and sales so the affiliate can be properly credited and compensated.

Affiliate Marketplace

Platforms where affiliates can search for and join affiliate programs. Marketplaces often provide detailed information about each program, including commission rates, product prices, and average earnings per click.

Affiliate Network

An intermediary platform that connects merchants with affiliates. These networks handle tracking, reporting, and payment processes, making it easier for both merchants and affiliates to manage their relationships. Examples include CJ Affiliate and Rakuten.

Affiliate Software

Tools or platforms used by merchants to create and manage their affiliate programs in-house, without relying on external affiliate networks. The software handles tracking, commission calculations, payouts, and other essential aspects of the affiliate program.


A set of rules and procedures a search engine uses to rank web pages. Search engines use complex algorithms to determine the relevance and authority of pages.

Anchor Text

The clickable text in a hyperlink. In SEO, the anchor text can influence the ranking of the linked page for specific keywords, and it helps provide context to search engines and users about the content of the destination page.


The process of identifying the series of touchpoints (such as clicks or impressions) that lead to a desired action, like a sale or lead. In affiliate marketing, it can determine which affiliate gets credited for a sale if multiple affiliates touched the customer’s journey.


A tool or software feature that sends automatic email responses to individuals who have contacted or interacted with you. In affiliate marketing, it’s often used to nurture leads, promote affiliate offers, or onboard new affiliates.

Average Order Value (AOV)

The average amount of money spent by a customer in a single transaction. It’s calculated by dividing the total revenue by the number of orders. AOV is crucial for affiliates and merchants to understand the profitability of their marketing efforts.


Incoming links to a webpage from another website. In SEO, high-quality backlinks can improve the search engine ranking of a page. Affiliates might seek backlinks to increase their site’s authority and traffic.

Banner Ad

A graphical ad unit that affiliates can place on their websites, linking to the merchant’s website. When users click on the banner, they’re directed to the merchant’s site, and the affiliate may earn a commission if a sale occurs.

Black Hat SEO

Refers to aggressive SEO strategies and tactics that focus solely on search engines and not on human audiences. They often violate search engine guidelines. While these tactics might offer short-term gains, they carry risks of penalties and lost rankings.


A fixed amount or bonus paid to affiliates for achieving specific actions, such as signing up a new user for a service or downloading an app. Unlike traditional commissions, which are typically percentage-based, bounties are one-time, flat-rate payments.


A reversal of a sales transaction, typically occurring when a customer disputes a charge on their credit card. In affiliate marketing, a chargeback can result in the reversal of an affiliate’s commission if the sale they referred is voided.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of people who click on an affiliate link or ad after seeing it. It’s calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions (times the ad or link was viewed) and then multiplying by 100.


A technique where the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the end-user’s browser. In affiliate marketing, it can also refer to masking affiliate URLs so that they appear as regular URLs to the end-user.


The amount an affiliate earns for promoting and successfully selling or getting a lead for a merchant’s product or service. It can be a fixed amount or a percentage of the sale.

Contextual Advertising

A form of targeted advertising where ads are displayed based on the content of the web page they’re on. For example, ads for running shoes might appear on a blog post about marathon training.

Contextual Link

A type of link embedded within the content and related to the surrounding information. Instead of a banner or image ad, the promotional link is placed within relevant text.

Conversion Funnel

The path a prospect takes through a website, from the first interaction to the desired action (like a purchase or sign-up). It visualizes the process of turning visitors into customers.

Conversion Path

The series of steps a user takes from their initial site entry to the completion of a desired action, such as a purchase, sign-up, or download.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

The practice of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action by optimizing the website experience, content, and user journey.


A small piece of data stored on the user’s computer by their web browser, used to track their actions on websites. In affiliate marketing, cookies are used to attribute sales to the appropriate affiliate.

Cookie Duration/Lifespan

Refers to the length of time a cookie remains active on a user’s browser. If a user clicks an affiliate link and makes a purchase within the cookie’s lifespan, the affiliate will be credited with the sale.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

An online advertising pricing model where the advertiser pays for each specified action linked to the advertisement, such as a sale, click, or form submit (e.g., contact request, newsletter sign up, registration, etc.).

Cost Per Millie (CPM)

A pricing model where advertisers pay a set amount for every 1,000 views or impressions of their ad. “M” in CPM represents the Roman numeral for 1,000.

Crawler (or Spider)

A program that search engines use to scan the web and index content. These crawlers “read” web pages and follow links on those pages, much like you would if you were browsing content on the web.


A file, usually in XML or CSV format, provided by merchants or affiliate networks that contains a list of products, descriptions, prices, and images. Affiliates use datafeeds to automatically update and display the merchant’s products on their sites.

Dedicated Affiliate Manager

An individual assigned by a company or affiliate network to support and manage the relationship with affiliates. Their responsibilities include assisting with promotions, optimizing campaigns, and resolving any issues that arise.

Deep Linking

The practice of using a hyperlink that links to a specific, generally searchable or indexed, piece of web content—whether it’s a website, an app, or an online store. In affiliate marketing, it allows affiliates to direct traffic to a specific product page or content rather than a homepage.

Direct Linking

The act of linking directly to a merchant’s website from an affiliate ad or link, without redirecting through an intermediate landing page.

Domain Authority (DA)

A metric developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). DA scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.


A downsell is a sales technique where, if a potential customer declines the initial product or offer (often at a higher price point), they are presented with a lower-priced alternative. The goal is to retain a sale that might otherwise be lost. In the context of affiliate marketing, a downsell can be an effective way to maximize revenue from traffic. Affiliates might promote both the primary product and the downsell, ensuring they earn commissions even if the visitor opts for the cheaper alternative.

Duplicate Content

Refers to identical or substantially similar content that appears on more than one webpage, either within the same website or across different domains. Duplicate content can negatively impact SEO.

Dynamic Linking

The use of affiliate links that can automatically adjust the destination based on various factors, such as user location or browsing behavior, to optimize for conversion.

Earnings Per Click (EPC)

A metric used to measure the average earnings generated by one click on an affiliate marketing link. It’s calculated by dividing the total earned commissions by the total number of clicks.

Email Harvesting

The process of collecting email addresses, typically through unethical means, like automated software that scrapes websites. This can lead to spamming and is generally frowned upon.

Exit Pop-Up

A type of pop-up ad that appears when a user is about to leave a website. It often presents a last-minute offer, a sign-up form, or another call to action to retain the visitor.

First Click

An attribution model where the first affiliate that a customer clicked on gets the commission for the sale, regardless of subsequent interactions with other affiliates.

Flat Rate

A fixed payment amount for affiliates, regardless of the value of the sale or action. It’s a predetermined fee paid to the affiliate for every conversion.

Floating Ad

An ad format that appears on top of the main content and moves around the screen or floats over the content. These ads can be dismissed by the user.


The method of determining the geolocation of a website visitor and delivering content tailored to that location, such as country, region, city, or even specific IP addresses.

Google AdSense

A program run by Google that allows publishers to serve automatic text, image, video, or interactive media advertisements, which are targeted to site content and audience. These advertisements are managed, sorted, and maintained by Google.

Google Analytics

A free tool provided by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It offers insights into how users find and use a website, helping businesses optimize their websites and marketing efforts.

Hard Bounce

An email that is returned to the sender because the recipient’s address is invalid. This can happen for various reasons, including a misspelled email address, a non-existent domain, or the recipient’s mailbox being full.

High Ticket Affiliate Marketing

A form of affiliate marketing that involves high ticket products that cost over $1,000 and pay high commission percentages for the affiliates, resulting in high dollar commission amounts.

Typically, these products consist of informational products that have high margins due to the low cost of distribution.


A Hoplink, commonly associated with the ClickBank affiliate network, is a unique URL that identifies and tracks the traffic and sales an affiliate sends to a product’s sales page. When a potential customer clicks on a Hoplink, ClickBank tracks the referral, and if the click leads to a product purchase, the affiliate gets a commission. It’s essentially ClickBank’s version of an affiliate link.


An element in a digital document that links to another place in the same document or to an entirely different document. It’s typically displayed as underlined text or a clickable image.


Represents the number of times an ad or link is displayed and viewed, whether or not it’s clicked.

In-House Affiliate Program

An affiliate program managed by the merchant themselves, rather than through an external affiliate network. An example of an in-house affiliate program would be Legendary Marketer.

Interstitial Ad

A full-page ad that appears before the destined webpage loads. These ads typically display for a set amount of time before offering the viewer an option to skip to the main content.

Joint Venture (JV)

A collaboration or partnership between two or more parties, often businesses, to achieve a specific goal or undertake a specific project. In the context of affiliate marketing, it might refer to a collaboration between two marketers or entrepreneurs to promote a product, share resources, or leverage each other’s audiences.

Keyword Density

Refers to the percentage of times a keyword or keyword phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on that page. It’s a metric used in SEO to gauge the relevance of content. However, it’s important to note that excessively high keyword density can be perceived as “keyword stuffing” and may lead to search engine penalties.

Keyword Stuffing

An outdated SEO tactic that involves inserting or loading a webpage with keywords or numbers to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. It’s considered a “black hat” tactic and can lead to penalties.

Landing Page

A standalone web page, distinct from the main website, created specifically for marketing or advertising purposes. Visitors arrive at a landing page after clicking on an ad or promotional link.

Last Click

An attribution model where the last affiliate that a customer clicked on gets the commission for the sale, regardless of previous interactions with other affiliates.


An individual or organization with an interest in a product or service. In affiliate marketing, a lead often refers to a user who has taken some action, like filling out a form or signing up for a newsletter, but hasn’t necessarily made a purchase.

Lead Generation

The process of attracting and converting individuals into prospective customers or clients. In affiliate and online marketing, lead generation often involves collecting contact information, like email addresses or phone numbers, from potential customers through various means such as landing pages, forms, or sign-up prompts. These leads can then be nurtured through email marketing, retargeting campaigns, or other methods to convert them into paying customers.

Lifetime Commissions

A compensation structure in affiliate marketing where affiliates receive commissions for all future purchases made by the customers they refer, not just the initial purchase. This model rewards affiliates for the lifetime value of the customer they bring to the merchant and can be especially lucrative if the referred customers are loyal and make repeated purchases over time.

Link Building

The process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to one’s site. In SEO, building high-quality backlinks can help improve the authority and ranking of a website in search engine results.

Link Cloaking

The practice of disguising an affiliate tracking link to make it look like a regular link. This can help improve click-through rates by making links appear less cluttered and more trustworthy to users.

Link Farm

A group of websites that all hyperlink to every other site in the group. It’s a “black hat” SEO tactic intended to increase the number of backlinks to boost search engine rankings but can result in penalties.

Merchant Account

A business or individual offering products or services. In affiliate marketing, the merchant provides offers for affiliates to promote.

Meta Tags

Snippets of text that describe a page’s content but don’t appear on the page itself. They are embedded within the page’s HTML and can be read by search engines to help categorize content.


A highly specific segment of a broader niche market. Micro-niches focus on a narrow, specialized subject or audience within a larger segment. For instance, within the broader “fitness” niche, “kettlebell workouts for seniors” could be considered a micro-niche. Targeting a micro-niche can mean less competition and a more engaged, specific audience.

Mobile Affiliate Marketing

A branch of affiliate marketing where promotions and transactions occur on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This can encompass mobile-optimized affiliate websites, mobile ads, or app-based promotions. Given the rise in mobile device usage, it’s an increasingly significant area within affiliate marketing.

Multichannel Marketing

A marketing strategy that involves interacting with potential customers on various platforms or channels. This can include websites, social media, email, physical stores, direct mail, and more. The goal is to provide a seamless and consistent experience across all these touchpoints, maximizing opportunities to interact with potential and existing customers.

Multi-Tier Affiliate Marketing

A structure where affiliates earn commission based on their direct sales and a percentage of the sales generated by other affiliates they have referred to the program.

Native Advertising

A form of paid advertising where the ad blends in with the form, feel, and function of the content of the media on which it appears. Instead of being overt promotional messages, native ads resemble the platform’s natural content, offering a less intrusive advertising experience. Examples include sponsored content on news websites, in-feed social media ads, and recommended content on a webpage. The key characteristic of native advertising is that it’s designed to be cohesive with the page content, offering value in a similar format to the natural content.


A specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. In affiliate marketing, finding a unique niche can reduce competition and target a specific audience more effectively. Choosing the best niche for you as an affiliate marketer is a critical element to your success in the affiliate marketing industry.

Niche Market

A specialized segment of a larger market, focusing on a specific interest, topic, or demographic group. Niche markets are often narrower and cater to a more defined audience compared to broader markets. By targeting a niche market, businesses can face less competition and more effectively address the unique needs and wants of that particular segment.

Nofollow Link

A type of hyperlink that tells search engines not to follow the link or give it any weight in ranking algorithms. Essentially, it’s a way to tell search engines, “Don’t consider this link when evaluating the authority or relevance of the linked-to page.” The “nofollow” attribute is used for various reasons, such as to avoid endorsing untrusted content or to prevent passing link equity in sponsored links or user-generated content.


A specific product or service being promoted by affiliates. An offer includes details such as the commission rate, type of traffic allowed, and any other conditions set by the merchant.


Refers to being present everywhere or appearing to be everywhere at the same time. In a marketing context, it describes a brand’s strategy to appear across various media platforms, channels, and touchpoints to maximize visibility and engagement with its audience. An omnipresent strategy could involve simultaneous campaigns on social media, email, print, TV, and other platforms to ensure that a brand’s message reaches its audience wherever they are.

Opt-In Rate

The percentage of visitors or users who choose to provide their email addresses or subscribe to a newsletter, mailing list, or other offers. It’s calculated by dividing the number of people who opt-in by the total number of visitors, then multiplying by 100. A high opt-in rate typically indicates that the offer or incentive is compelling and resonates with the target audience.

Organic Traffic

Visitors who arrive at a website naturally through search engine results, not through paid advertising. Organic traffic is often considered more valuable because it indicates that content is effectively optimized for search engines and is drawing in users without direct ad costs.

Outbound Link

Within the context of an affiliate marketing website or platform, an outbound link refers to any link that directs the user away from the affiliate’s website to another website. This can include links to affiliate products, services, or any external sources. These links can affect the site’s SEO and, when used as affiliate links, become a source of potential revenue when users take predefined actions on the linked site.

Paid Traffic

Refers to visitors directed to an affiliate marketer’s website after clicking on paid advertisements. This can encompass various platforms, including search engines (like Google Ads), social media ads (like Facebook and Instagram ads), and display ads on other websites. Affiliate marketers often use paid traffic to promote specific offers or products, especially when they can earn a commission that exceeds the cost of the ad spend. Learning paid ads for affiliate marketing can be an excellent way to scale an existing affiliate business, but not usually the best way to start one.

Passive Income

In the realm of affiliate marketing, passive income refers to earnings an affiliate receives from past efforts, without the need for continuous work. This can come from articles, videos, or other content created once but which continues to generate affiliate sales over time. It’s the allure of earning money while sleeping or without day-to-day involvement that draws many to affiliate marketing.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

An online advertising model in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. It’s a way of buying visits to a site, rather than earning them organically.

Pay Per View (PPV)

PPV (Pay-Per-View) refers to a type of online advertising where the advertiser pays a fee each time their ad is displayed to a user, regardless of any subsequent action taken by the viewer. It’s commonly associated with pop-up, pop-under, and interstitial ad formats. Affiliate marketers can use PPV platforms to promote offers, products, or lead captures. While the name “Pay-Per-View” might also be familiar in other contexts (like television events), in the realm of affiliate marketing and online advertising, it’s tied to this display-based cost model.

Payment Threshold

The minimum amount an affiliate must earn before they receive their commission payment. This can vary between affiliate programs.

Performance Metrics

These are specific measurements or indicators used by affiliate marketers to evaluate the effectiveness and success of their campaigns. In affiliate marketing, key performance metrics can include Click-Through Rate (CTR), Conversion Rate, Average Order Value (AOV), Earnings Per Click (EPC), and Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS), among others. Tracking these metrics allows affiliates to optimize campaigns, maximize profits, and identify areas for improvement.


Within the affiliate marketing sphere, a pixel typically refers to a small piece of code placed on a webpage (often on the “thank you” or confirmation page after a purchase) to track conversions or other important actions. When a user completes a predefined action, like making a purchase, the pixel is “fired”, and the action is recorded. This helps affiliate networks and programs track and attribute sales or leads to the correct affiliate, ensuring they receive the appropriate commission.

Pixel Tracking

A method used to track specific user behaviors on a website using a 1×1 pixel image. When a user takes a desired action, like a purchase or sign-up, the pixel is triggered, sending data back to the server.

Postback URL

A server-to-server tracking method used in affiliate marketing. When a conversion occurs, data is sent directly from the advertiser’s server to the affiliate network’s server using the postback URL. This allows for more accurate and reliable tracking of conversions, especially when browser-based methods like cookies may be unreliable.


Refers to the amount an advertiser (which can include an affiliate marketer) is willing to pay for a click in a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaign. Platforms like Google Ads or Bing Ads allow advertisers to set maximum bids for specific keywords, determining how much they’re willing to pay for a potential visitor.

Product Feed

A digital file, often in XML, CSV, or another format, that contains a list of products and their attributes (like price, description, URL, and images). In affiliate marketing, advertisers provide product feeds to affiliates, allowing them to promote multiple products easily and ensure that product information is up-to-date.

Re-marketing (or Retargeting)

An online advertising strategy where ads are targeted to users based on their previous interactions with a website, product, or service. For affiliate marketers, retargeting can be used to re-engage potential customers who might have visited a product page through an affiliate link but didn’t make a purchase. With retargeting ads, these users can be reminded of the product, increasing the chance of a conversion.

Recurring Commission

A commission structure in affiliate marketing where the affiliate earns a commission not just on the initial sale or action but also on subsequent purchases or subscription renewals made by the referred customer. This is common in subscription-based services or memberships where the customer pays on a recurring basis.


In the context of affiliate marketing, a referral refers to a potential customer or lead that has been directed to a product or service through an affiliate’s promotional efforts. Affiliates earn commissions based on the actions (like sales or sign-ups) taken by these referrals.

Referral Marketing

A strategy that encourages individuals to promote a product to their network in exchange for incentives or rewards. While it’s similar to affiliate marketing, referral marketing typically relies on personal relationships and word-of-mouth.

Referral Program

A structured system where individuals (often called referrers or affiliates) are rewarded for directing new customers or clients to a business. While “affiliate programs” are typically structured around promoting products or services to earn a commission, “referral programs” are often broader and may reward individuals for bringing in new potential clients, users, or even new affiliates. The rewards can vary, ranging from monetary commissions, credits, discounts, or other incentives.

Resource Page

A structured system where individuals (often called referrers or affiliates) are rewarded for directing new customers or clients to a business. While “affiliate programs” are typically structured around promoting products or services to earn a commission, “referral programs” are often broader and may reward individuals for bringing in new potential clients, users, or even new affiliates. The rewards can vary, ranging from monetary commissions, credits, discounts, or other incentives.

Reversal Rate

The percentage of completed affiliate-driven transactions that are later reversed by the merchant, often due to canceled orders, returned products, or fraudulent activity.

Revshare (Revenue Sharing)

In the context of affiliate marketing, revshare refers to a commission structure where affiliates are paid a percentage of the revenue generated from the sales or actions they refer. Instead of a fixed amount per sale or action, affiliates earn based on the actual revenue generated. This can be particularly lucrative for high-ticket items or services, as the affiliate’s commission will grow with the size of the transaction.

Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)

A metric that measures the revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. It’s calculated by dividing the revenue derived from the ad by the cost of the ad.

Return on Investment (ROI)

A measure used to evaluate the profitability of an investment. In affiliate marketing, it can help determine the effectiveness of campaigns. It’s calculated as (Net Profit / Cost of the Investment) x 100.

Search Engine

A software system designed to carry out web searches, which means to search the World Wide Web in a systematic way for particular information specified in a textual web search query. Popular search engines include Google, Bing, and Yahoo. In the context of affiliate marketing, search engines play a crucial role in driving organic traffic to affiliate offers or websites.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

A form of online marketing that involves promoting websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results through paid advertising.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The process of optimizing a website so that it performs well in search engine results. This involves making sure the website is designed in a way that search engines understand and can rank it appropriately.

Solo Ad

A one-time email broadcast sent on behalf of an advertiser to an email list owned by someone else (typically an influencer or a larger brand). It’s a form of paid promotion where the advertiser pays based on the number of emails sent.


Unwanted or unsolicited messages sent over the internet, typically to large numbers of users, for advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc. In affiliate marketing, spammy practices like unsolicited email promotions or comment spam can harm an affiliate’s reputation and potentially violate the terms of affiliate programs.

Split Testing (or A/B Testing)

A method of comparing two versions of a webpage or app against each other to determine which one performs better in terms of converting visitors. It’s a way to test changes to a page, such as different call-to-action buttons or headlines, to see which version produces the best results.

Squeeze Page

A landing page designed specifically to capture email addresses from visitors, often in exchange for something of value like a free e-book, webinar access, or a discount code. The primary goal of a squeeze page is to “squeeze” out contact details from visitors, making it a valuable tool for affiliate marketers building an email list.

SSL Certificate

A digital certificate that provides authentication for a website and enables an encrypted connection. It stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Sites with SSL certificates have URLs that start with “https” instead of “http”. For affiliate marketers, having an SSL certificate is crucial for building trust with website visitors, especially when handling personal data or processing transactions.


In multi-level or tiered affiliate marketing programs, a sub-affiliate is someone who is recruited by a primary affiliate to also promote the product or service. The primary affiliate then earns a commission not only on their own sales but also a smaller commission on the sales made by their sub-affiliates.


A subset or a smaller part of the main domain. For example, if “example.com” is the main domain, “blog.example.com” would be a subdomain. In affiliate marketing, subdomains can be used to segment different parts of a site or to run specific campaigns, tracking platforms, or landing pages without setting up an entirely new domain.

Super Affiliate

An affiliate that produces a significant portion of an affiliate program’s activity, often generating more sales or leads than typical affiliates. They usually have high traffic websites, email lists, or strong SEO skills.

Target Audience

A specific group of people identified as the intended recipient of an advertisement or message. These individuals share certain traits, like age, location, or interests, which align with the product or service being offered.

Text Link

A basic hyperlink that is made up of text. In the context of affiliate marketing, it’s an affiliate link presented in text form, usually highlighting relevant keywords.

Top-Level Domain (TLD)

The last segment of a domain name, or the part that follows immediately after the “dot” symbol. Examples include .com, .org, .net, and country-specific versions like .uk or .ca. For affiliate marketers and businesses, the choice of TLD can impact branding, trustworthiness, and SEO.

Tracking Code

A unique string of characters embedded in an affiliate link that identifies the referring affiliate. It ensures that sales or leads are properly attributed.

Tracking Method

The techniques and tools used to monitor and analyze the performance of affiliate marketing campaigns. This includes monitoring clicks, conversions, sales, and more. Common methods involve using cookies, pixels, postback URLs, and unique tracking IDs to ensure affiliates are correctly credited for the traffic and conversions they generate.


In the context of digital marketing and websites, traffic refers to the visitors that come to a website. This can be broken down further into organic traffic (visitors who find a website via a search engine), referral traffic (visitors who click on a link from another site), direct traffic (visitors who type the URL directly), and paid traffic (visitors from advertising). For affiliate marketers, generating and optimizing traffic is crucial to earning commissions.

Traffic Source

The origin or the medium through which visitors arrive at a website. Common traffic sources include search engines (like Google), social media platforms (like Facebook), direct entries, email marketing, and paid advertisements. Understanding and optimizing traffic sources is vital for affiliate marketers to maximize their campaign performance.

Two-Tier Affiliate Program

A type of affiliate program structure where affiliates not only earn commissions on their own sales or conversions but also receive a smaller commission for sales or conversions made by affiliates they refer to the program. Essentially, it adds a second “tier” of commissions, incentivizing affiliates to recruit other affiliates.

Unique Click

Represents the number of individual users who clicked on an ad or link. Unlike total clicks, which can count multiple clicks from the same user, unique clicks count each user only once.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The USP, or Unique Selling Proposition, is a specific factor or benefit that makes a product, service, or business stand out from its competitors. It’s what differentiates a product in a crowded marketplace. For affiliate marketers, understanding the USP of the products or services they’re promoting is essential. It allows them to communicate more effectively with potential customers and highlight the unique benefits that make that product or service preferable to others.


A sales technique where the seller induces the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or add-ons in an attempt to maximize the value of the purchase.

User Experience (UX)

UX stands for User Experience. It refers to the overall experience a user has while interacting with a product, system, or service, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use. UX encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with a company, its services, and its products. This includes the design, usability, functionality, and overall feel of the experience. In the context of digital platforms, like websites or apps, UX takes into consideration the navigation, layout, visuals, content, and responsiveness. For affiliate marketers, providing a good UX can lead to better engagement, longer site visits, and higher conversion rates.

Vanity URL

A URL that is specifically tailored for marketing purposes. It’s usually more memorable, descriptive, and shorter than the typical URLs, making it easier for users to recall and type.

Vertical Market

A vertical market refers to a specific industry or niche where businesses cater to the needs of a particular group of customers. Unlike a horizontal market where products or services can be used across multiple industries, a vertical market is more specialized. For instance, software tailored specifically for dental practices would be part of a vertical market. In affiliate marketing, understanding different verticals can help affiliates choose products or niches that align with their expertise or audience’s interests.

Viral Marketing

A marketing strategy that relies on individuals to share a message or content, spreading it rapidly much like a virus. The aim is to produce content that users will naturally want to share, amplifying its reach.

Voucher Code

A series of numbers and/or letters that consumers can enter at checkout to get a discount on their purchase. Also known as promo codes, discount codes, or coupon codes, they are often used in affiliate marketing as a tracking method. Affiliates may be given unique codes, allowing merchants to track which sales come from which affiliates, and also giving an incentive for customers to use them as they often come with discounts or special offers.

Web Hosting

A service that allows individuals or organizations to post a website or web page onto the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers. For affiliate marketers, choosing a reliable web hosting provider is crucial to ensure their affiliate sites are always accessible and load quickly.


A seminar conducted over the Internet. Webinars can be live, where participants log in at a specified time to watch and participate, or on-demand, where the content can be accessed at any time. They are often used for educational purposes, product demonstrations, or sales presentations. In the affiliate marketing world, webinars can be an effective tool for promoting products or services, especially when high engagement or education about the product is necessary.


An individual responsible for managing, maintaining, and optimizing a website. The webmaster’s roles can vary from content updates, ensuring website functionality, monitoring site performance, to SEO optimization. In the realm of affiliate marketing, a webmaster might also be responsible for integrating affiliate links, managing tracking systems, and ensuring the site adheres to the guidelines of affiliate programs.

White Hat SEO

Ethical SEO practices that are in line with search engine guidelines. These tactics aim to provide a better user experience, rather than just optimizing for search engines alone.


A list of approved entities. In the context of affiliate marketing, a whitelist could refer to a list of approved publishers or traffic sources that are permitted to promote an offer.


A small software application with limited functionality that can be installed and executed within a web page by an end-user. In affiliate marketing, widgets can display products, price comparisons, or other relevant information dynamically.

XML Feed

A type of formatted document used by affiliates and merchants to share product information and other data across platforms. It’s structured to be both human-readable and machine-readable.

Wrapping Up

In the ever-evolving world of affiliate marketing, understanding its intricate terminology is essential. From driving web traffic to optimizing user experience, each term carries weight and importance. Whether you’re a seasoned affiliate marketer or just beginning your journey, this affiliate marketing glossary serves as a comprehensive reference to navigate the industry more effectively. Stay informed and leverage this knowledge to propel your affiliate endeavors forward.

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