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The Essential Affiliate Marketing Glossary: 40+ Affiliate Marketing Terms You Need To Know

Navigating the waters of affiliate marketing can sometimes feel like deciphering a foreign language. If you’ve ever been in a meeting and struggled to understand the affiliate marketing terms being thrown around, you’re not alone.

To help you feel more confident and fluent, we’ve compiled the ultimate affiliate marketing glossary designed specifically for marketers.

Let’s dive in!

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy where an affiliate earns a commission by promoting another company’s products or services. Essentially, you’re acting as the go-between linking customers to businesses.

Affiliate Network

An affiliate network is the meeting point for businesses and affiliates. They provide the tools and resources necessary for affiliates to promote products and services, as well as handling the payment of commissions.


The affiliate is the individual or business promoting another company’s products or services. When a customer makes a purchase using the affiliate’s unique link, the affiliate earns a commission.


A backlink is a link from one website to another. Besides directing traffic, backlinks can help improve a website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Brand Ambassador

Think of a brand ambassador as a vocal fan of a product or service. They use their platforms, like social media channels or websites, to promote these products or services, often receiving a commission for each sale.

Click Fraud

Click fraud is the unethical practice of clicking on affiliate links without any intention of purchasing the promoted product or service. This malpractice can lead to inflated costs for advertisers and damage the reputation of the affiliate marketers involved.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR is a key metric that shows the percentage of people who click on an affiliate link after viewing it. It gives insight into the effectiveness of an affiliate marketing campaign.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategy that uses valuable and relevant content to attract and retain a target audience. A well-executed content marketing campaign can effectively generate leads and sales for affiliate marketers.

Conversion Rate

This metric shows the percentage of people who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter, after clicking on an affiliate link.

Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking is how marketers monitor the number of conversions generated from an affiliate marketing campaign. It’s a critical step in assessing campaign effectiveness.

Cookie Stuffing

Cookie stuffing is an illicit technique that some affiliates use to create fake cookies, tricking visitors into clicking on affiliate links. Engaging in cookie stuffing can result in severe penalties.


In the affiliate marketing world, a cookie is a small file stored on a visitor’s computer when they visit a website. It tracks browsing activity and identifies returning visitors.

Cookieless Attribution/Marketing/Tracking

With increasing numbers of people using ad blockers and enhanced privacy settings, cookieless attribution, marketing, and tracking are becoming vital. These methods track conversions and visitors without the use of cookies.

Data Feed

A data feed is a file that contains information about the products or services available for sale through an affiliate marketing program. Affiliates use it to create links and monitor their campaign performance.

Deep Linking

Deep linking is a strategy that directs users to a specific page or section of a website after clicking on a link. It enhances user experience and increases conversion chances.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a strategy that involves sending emails to a list of subscribers. It’s a powerful way to generate leads and sales for affiliate marketers.

EPC (Earnings per Click)

EPC is a profitability metric calculated by dividing the total commission earned by the total number of clicks generated.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging involves writing a blog post on someone else’s website to promote a product or service. It’s an effective way to reach a new audience and build relationships with other bloggers.

Influencer Marketing

In influencer marketing, brands collaborate with influencers—people with a substantial following on social media or another platform—to promote their product or service.

Landing Page Optimization

This process involves improving a landing page’s performance by enhancing its user-friendliness and persuasive power, which can significantly boost conversions and the ROI of an affiliate marketing campaign.

Landing Page

The landing page is the webpage a visitor lands on after clicking an affiliate link. Effective landing pages are designed to convert visitors into customers.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting visitors into potential customers or ‘leads’. It’s an essential part of any affiliate marketing campaign.


A lead is a prospective customer who has expressed interest in a product or service. Leads can be generated through various channels, including affiliate marketing.

Link Cloaking

Link cloaking is a method used to hide the affiliate link from visitors. It can make affiliate links more visually appealing and helps prevent them from being blocked by ad blockers.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are less competitive and have lower search volume than short-tail keywords. They can be incredibly useful for affiliate marketers targeting a specific niche.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is designed to blend in with the surrounding content. It’s frequently used in affiliate marketing campaigns to promote products or services in a way that’s more likely to be seen and clicked on by website visitors.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The NPS is a metric that gauges customer satisfaction and loyalty, crucial for measuring an affiliate marketing campaign’s success.


A niche refers to a specific market segment. To more effectively target their marketing efforts, affiliate marketers often specialize in a particular niche.

Pay-Per-Action (PPA) Advertising

PPA is an online advertising model where advertisers pay each time someone takes a specific action, like making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

In PPC advertising, advertisers pay a fee each time someone clicks on their ad. It’s a common method used in affiliate marketing campaigns.

Pay-Per-Lead (PPL) Advertising

With PPL advertising, advertisers pay each time someone generates a lead. It’s often employed in affiliate marketing campaigns.


Retargeting is an online advertising strategy that shows ads to people who’ve previously visited a particular website. It’s a powerful tool for reminding potential customers about products or services and encouraging them to make a purchase.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

ROAS measures an advertising campaign’s profitability. It’s calculated by dividing the total revenue generated by an advertising campaign by the total cost of the campaign.

Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI measures the profitability of an investment. It’s calculated by dividing the total profit by the total amount invested.

Revenue Sharing

In revenue sharing, an affiliate marketer receives a percentage of the revenue generated from a sale. This model is often used in affiliate marketing programs offering high-ticket items.


In affiliate marketing, a sale is a completed transaction where a customer purchases a product or service. The primary goal of affiliate marketing campaigns is to drive sales.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing involves promoting a product or service on social media platforms. It’s a potent method for reaching a broad audience and generating leads and sales for affiliate marketers.

Squeeze Page

A squeeze page is a landing page designed to collect a visitor’s email address in exchange for something valuable, like a free ebook or a discount coupon. It’s a highly effective method for generating leads for affiliate marketers.

Tracking Code

A tracking code is a unique identifier provided by an affiliate network and added to an affiliate’s website. Tracking codes allow affiliate networks to monitor and evaluate the performance of affiliate marketing campaigns.

Viral Loop

A viral loop is a marketing technique encouraging users to share a product or service with their social network. It can be particularly effective for affiliate marketers promoting products or services with high share potential.

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is a marketing type that relies on social media and word-of-mouth to spread the word about a product or service. Viral marketing can efficiently reach a large audience and create buzz about a product or service, making it an attractive strategy for affiliate marketers.

By understanding these terms, those working in affiliate marketing, particularly at companies managing affiliates for brands, can better navigate this complex and rewarding field. Whether you’re new to affiliate marketing or a seasoned pro looking to brush up on your terminology, this glossary is a valuable resource to keep you ahead in the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape.


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