Above the Fold

Describes the part of an email message or web page that is visible without scrolling down the page. This term is important because all content above the fold is assumed to be more valuable to the reader as they see it first. The size of the ""above the fold"" area will depend on the resolution of the users computer monitor and the number of pixels their monitor displays. This term is derived from the newspaper industry, referring to the portion of the front page that is visible with the paper folded.

The person selling the goods or service; also knows as the merchant. The advertiser or merchant pays affiliates for sending traffic to the merchant's web site after a product or service is purchased.

An affiliate, also known as an associate or publisher, is a person or organization that earns money by placing on their website a merchant’s text, banners, pop-ups or any form of advertising. When this advertising generates an action agreed upon between the affiliate and the merchant, like a sale or a lead, then the merchant pays the affiliate a commission.

Affiliate Agreement
terms between a merchant and an affiliate that govern the relationship. This includes the terms on which the affiliate will be rewarded for the traffic sent to the merchant's web site.

Affiliate Information Page
A page on your web site that explains clearly and concisely the terms of your affiliate program including your commission rates, affiliate agreement, a link for existing affiliates to login, as well as a link to the signup page for new affiliates.

Affiliate Link
a piece of code or URL tracking link that identifies the affiliate and sends traffic to the merchant's web site. For example, a link might look like These links are unique in order to track the traffic coming from the Affiliate site. Typically these links can be simple text links, images, product links, etc.

Affiliate Manager
the manager of an Affiliate Program who is responsible for creating a newsletter, establishing incentive programs, forecasting and budgeting, overseeing frontend marketing of the program, and monitoring the industry for news and trends. The person responsible for running the merchant's affiliate program. This includes recruiting affiliates, establishing incentive programs, creating media for the affiliates, reporting on sales and paying affiliates.

Affiliate Marketing
A marketing technique that uses affiliates in order to generate leads.

Affiliate Program
Can also be called an Associate Program, Partner, Referral or Revenue sharing program. In such a program the merchant rewards the affiliate for web traffic, sales or leads on a pay-per-click, pay-per-sale, or pay-per-lead basis.

Affiliate Program Directory
A comprehensive listing of merchants' affiliate programs. The directories are typically categorized by industry and include the typical payout or commission rates.

Affiliate Software
A software program such as DirectTrack for running and managing an affiliate program. This typically includes signing up affiliates, managing links, tracking impressions, clicks, sales, leads. This also includes paying affiliates, etc.

Affiliate Tracking
The process of tracking a link uniquely by affiliate using an Affiliate Link.

synonym for affiliate.

Affiliate application process whereby all application are immediately accepted/approved upon submittal by the affiliate. This term can also be used to describe the process of automatically accepting all sales recorded by affiliates.

an email feature that automatically sends an email message to anyone who sends it a message.

A banner is an advertisement in graphic form placed on a website. It’s the most popular form of advertising on the Internet. Also known as electronic advertisement or billboard such as an animated GIF, Flash Movie, JPEG that advertise a product, service, or web site.

In online marketing terms, the auctioning of a placement for an online advertisement on Search Engines.

a client program (software), such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, or Opera, that is used to look at various kinds of Internet resources.


Call To Action
Used in ad copy to generate user response. Examples include phrases such as ""Click HERE!"", ""Act NOW!"", ""Join Today!"", etc. Good calls to action can help boost CTR rates, and increase the success of the campaign.

Charge Back
an incomplete or invalid sales transaction (i.e. merchandise is purchased and then returned) that results in an affiliate commission deduction.

Click & Bye
refers to the process of an affiliate losing the visitor to the merchant's site once they click on a merchant's banner or text link.

The action when a user clicks on a link and follows through to the merchant's web site.

Click-Through Ratio (CTR)
The percentage of visitors who click on a link to visit the merchant's website.

Co-branding occurs where affiliates are able to include their own logo and branding on the pages to which they send visitors through affiliate links.

Collaborative Commerce Networks
networks of merchants and web sites that work hand in hand as true business partners. Merchants treat their affiliates as sales and distribution channels worthy of any and all support that manufacturers would give to their resellers.

A commission is the amount an affiliate receives when he brings a paying customer to a merchant’s website. It could be either a percentage of the sale or a fixed dollar amount. A recurring commission is paid when a subscriber renews his subscription or buys something else.

matching your product or service offer closely to the visitors of an affiliate's site. Place the product or service in-context (closely related to the content it's next to) and more people will buy.

Contextual Link
integration of affiliate links with related text.

Contextual Merchandising
placing targeted products near relevant content.

Conversion ratio
The percentage of clicks that result in a commissionable activity (sale or lead). The conversion ratio is determined by dividing the number of click-throughs on a banner or link by the number of sales or leads those click-throughs generated.

A message given to a browser by a Web site. The browser stores the message in a text file. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. Cookie are stored on a user’s hard drive until it expires or until the user deletes the cookie. Cookies are used to collect information about the user, such as Web surfing behavior or user preferences for a specific Web site

small text files stored on the visitor's computer, which record information that is of interest to the merchant site. In affiliate software cookies are utilized to track which affiliate the web visitor came from and which banner or link they clicked. They can also store the date/time of the click for purposes of tracking the time elapsed between a click and a conversion to a sale or lead.

Cookie Expiration/Cookie Retention
When a cookie is planted on a web browser, a date when the cookie expires is defined. This date is important because affiliate sales can only be recorded before the cookie expiration date. This period will also determine if repeat sales will be recorded.

CPA (Cost Per Action)
The amount of cost for a conversion such as a sale or lead.

CPC (Cost Per Click)
Cost of an individual click when paying on a per click basis. Advertiser pays each time a visitor clicks on an ad. Clicks can be generated through banners, other graphics, text links, popups, etc.

CPL (Cost Per Lead)
Advertiser pays each time a visitor clickks on an ad, and fills out a signup form for something ""free"", whether it is fee information, a free trial offer, free download, etc. The purpose of this is to introduce users to the advertiser's product or service, provide information, dialogue, and ultimately ""upsell"" the user to become a paying customer.

CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions)
CPM is the cost of displaying 1000 advertisements. Additionally, this is how many emails and newsletters are sold (per 1,000 people the email is sent to).

CPO (Cost Per Order)
Same as CPA but refers specifically to sales.

The promotional tools advertisers use to draw in users. Encompasses banners, text links, buttons, email copy, popups, etc. Creatives are essential for generating user interest and response.

CTR (click-through ratio)
The percentage of people who click on an ad for every 1,000 views. CTR refers to the number of ad impressions required to persuade a visitor to click on the link referenced by the ad. This action is called a click-through, and is expressed by a percentage.

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Doorway Page
A doorway page is a web page made specifically to rank well in search engines for particular keywords. It serves as an entry point for visitors to pass through to get to the main content.

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E-mail Link
an affiliate link to a merchant site in an e-mail newsletter, signature, or a dedicated e-mail blast.

EPC (average earnings per (100) clicks)
Average earnings per 100 clicks. A relative rating that describes the ability to turn clicks into commissions. EPC is the method used to gauge the relative performance of different affiliate programs, and of different ad creatives within each affiliate program. The EPC is calculated by dividing the commission earned by the number of clicks required to generate that commission

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(Frequently Asked Questions) FAQs are documents that answer the most common questions on a particular subject.

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HTML code
the lines of code that affiliates use to put links on their Web sites. Affiliate solution providers often provide a tool where affiliates can simply copy the code for an affiliate link and paste it into their own HTML pages.

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Manual Approval
Refers to the process of validating an affiliate application and then approving them after validation. This can also refer to the process of approving sales after they have been validated.

The merchant is the company who offers a product or service to the online shopper, and pays the affiliate a commission if the sale is generated through a link placed on the affiliate’s site. The merchant is also responsible for processing the order and shipping it, and for customer service. Merchants establish affiliate programs as a cost effective method to get consumers to purchase a product, register for a service, fill out a form, or visit a Web site.

prefabricated HTML page for affiliates that displays new or specialized products with integrated affiliate links.

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Natural Search
Synonym for “Organic Search.” Traffic or search results that are a product of a Search Engine’s algorithm, rather than paid advertisements.

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When you opt-in to a newsletter or mailing list, you subscribe to it, usually by entering your email address into a signup form. A double opt-in is where a confirmation is required to activate the subscription.

Unlike an opt-in relationship, an opt-out arrangement can add your email address to a mailing list without your permission. You need to ask to be removed from the list to stop the email. This type of arrangement very closely resembles spam.

Organic Search
Synonym for “Natural Search.” Traffic or search results that are a product of a Search Engine’s algorithm, rather than paid advertisements.

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Paid Ads
The Search Engine results that are paid to be placed when a word is searched. They are usually placed in specified locations around the “organic search” results.

Pay Per Bid
Pay per bid is a search engine that allows you to place your page at the top, or near the top of specified search results. You must pay the search engine every time that particular keyword is searched for.

Pay per Click (PPC)
This is a method of advertising where advertisers pay a given amount each click of their advertisement. Program where an affiliate receives receive a commission for each click (visitor) they refer to a merchant's web site. Pay-per-click programs generally offer some of the lowest commissions (from €0.01 to €0.25 per click), and a very high conversion ratio since visitors need only click on a link to earn the affiliate a commission. This type of affiliate program is uncommon because of click fraud or fake clicks.

In a pay-per-impression program, the affiliate gets paid only for a merchant’s ad appearance on the affiliate’s site.

program where an affiliate receives a commission for each sales lead that they generate for a merchant web site. Examples would include completed surveys, contest or sweepstakes entries, downloaded software demos, or free trials. Pay-per-lead generally offers midrange commissions and midrange to high conversion ratios.

An affiliate marketing program that rewards affiliates based on each conversion to a sale such as when purchasing a product or service from the merchant's web site. Pay-per-sale programs usually offer the highest commissions but tend to have the lowest conversion rates.

Performance-Based Marketing
Marketing in which the merchant only pays commissions for results such as conversions to sales or leads.

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Recurring Commissions
The process of rewarding an affiliate on a recurring basis whenever the merchant charges a customer a recurring fee. For example, a web host that charges customers on a monthly basis might reward the affiliate a percentage of each month's payment from the customer.

Residual Earnings
programs that pay affiliates not just for the first sale a shopper form their sites makes, but all additional sales made at the merchant's site over the life of the customer.

stands for 'Return on Advertising Spending'. This is the amount of revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. For instance, a ROAS of €1 means you're generating €1 in sales for every €1 in advertising spend, and a ROAS of €5 means you generate €5 in sales for every €1 in spending.

stands for 'Return on Investment'. This is what all marketing managers want to see from the money they spend on their marketing and advertising campaigns. The higher the sales, the large the number of shoppers and the greater the profit margin generated by sales – the better the ROI.

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The act of designing a website such that Search Engines rank the website high in search results.

Strategic Text Links
Text links which are placed within relevant content of a website. CTR rates on text links can be many times higher than run-of-network banners.

A sub-affiliate joins an affiliate program based on your recommendation, and is a part of your second tier.

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Text Link
link that is not accompanied by a graphical image.

Tracking Code
Refers to the hidden 1X1 pixel tracking code that is placed on the confirmation page of your store for tracking sales conversions.

Tracking Method
the way that a program tracks referred sales, leads or clicks. The most common are by using a unique web address (URL) for each affiliate, or by embedding an affiliate ID number into the link that is processed by the merchant's software. Some programs also use cookies for tracking.

affiliate marketing model that allows affiliates to sign up additional affiliates below themselves, so that when the second tier affiliates earn a commission, the affiliate above them also receives a commission. Two-tier affiliate marketing is also known as MLM (Multilevel Marketing).

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Viral Marketing
the rapid adoption of a product or passing on of an offer to friends and family through word-of-mouth (or word-of-email) networks. Any advertising that propagates itself the way viruses do.

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