Affiliate Marketing Terms Every Marketer Should Know

At first glance, affiliate marketing can seem like a puzzle with all its strange words and ideas. Understanding the lingo is super important if you want to do well in this world. Whether you’re new to affiliate marketing or just want to get better at it, learning the lingo is the key to really getting it and being successful. But don’t fret, as I’ve put together a list of essential terms to boost your success in this exciting world. Let’s explore these must-know words that will empower you to thrive in the field!

Affiliate Marketing 

Affiliate marketing is like teaming up with companies to boost their online presence. You, the affiliate or publisher, help drive more people to their websites and persuade them to make purchases. The cool part? You get paid or get awesome perks for being a promoter. It’s a win-win situation – you and the company both come out on top!

Affiliates or Publishers

Let me explain this with an example. Imagine you’re browsing the internet, and you come across a website or a blog. On that website, you see a recommendation for a product, like a cool gadget, a book, or even a service, like online courses. You decide to click on the link and maybe even make a purchase. Now, here’s the interesting part: the person who owns that website isn’t the one selling the product. They’re like a friendly guide who helps you discover cool stuff. When you buy something through their recommendation, they get a small thank-you reward from the company that actually sells the product. These helpful folks who run websites or blogs and guide you to great products are called affiliates or publishers. They earn a little something for bringing customers to businesses. It’s a great deal because you discover fantastic products, and they receive a small reward for their guidance.


A sub-affiliate is like having a helper in the world of affiliate marketing. Just as you work with a company to promote their products or services, a sub-affiliate is someone you partner with to further expand the reach of those products or services. They assist you in bringing in more customers or visitors, and in return, you share a part of your earnings with them. It’s like building a team to achieve even greater success in affiliate marketing.

Now, let’s add an example:

Imagine Jane is the main affiliate for a popular online cosmetics store. On the other hand, Sarah, who is a YouTube influencer, does not have a direct relationship with the store. So instead of letting it go, Sarah works with Jane as a sub-affiliate. Now, whenever Sarah refers customers, she will earn commission for it from Jane on a revenue-sharing basis.

Affiliate Program

An affiliate program is basically a partnership between the merchant (seller) and the publisher (you). This partnership binds the merchant to pay you commission as a reward for all the sales that are referred by you. To track your referred sales, the merchant gives you a tracking link.

The most popular example of an affiliate program is Amazon Affiliate.

Advertisers or Merchants

In affiliate marketing, advertisers or merchants, which are like the companies or brands selling things, are super important. They want to sell more of their products or services and be more visible online. So, they team up with affiliates, which help spread the word about the advertisers’ products to more people. The advertisers trust the affiliates to bring in more website visitors, get people interested, and, in the end, make more sales. The advertisers give the affiliates some money, called commissions, or other rewards.

Affiliate Network

Think of an affiliate network as a mediator between merchants and affiliates. Affiliate networks help connect businesses that want to sell their products with affiliates who can help promote those products.

So, if I have a blog or a website, I can join the network and find businesses that are willing to pay me a commission for sending customers their way. The network makes it easier for both of us to find each other and work together. It’s like a helpful middleman that brings opportunities to my doorstep.

CPA (Cost Per Action)

CPA means you earn money only when someone takes a specific action you want, like making a purchase or signing up. For example, a company may pay you $10 every time someone buys a product through your unique affiliate link. So, you get paid for the specific action of a purchase, making CPA a straightforward way to earn online.

CPL (Cost Per Lead)

CPL is like a reward for attracting potential customers. It’s what advertisers pay when you successfully convince someone to show interest in their product or service. For instance, if you run a blog and a company pays you $2 for every person who signs up for their newsletter through your site, your CPL is $2. You’re essentially earning money by helping that company build a list of potential customers.

CPC (Cost Per Click)

CPC is like a pay-as-you-go model for online ads. Advertisers pay a small fee each time someone clicks on their ad. Imagine a company promoting a new app for phones. They decide to pay $1 for every click their ad gets on any publisher’s website. If your website, as a publisher, generates 10 clicks, then you will receive $10 from the company.

EPC (Earnings Per Click)

Earnings per click (EPC) is a way to measure how much money you make for each click on your affiliate link. It helps you see the value of your marketing efforts. For example, if you earn $50 from 100 clicks on your link, your EPC would be $0.50 per click. This shows you the average earnings for each person who visits your affiliate site and clicks on the links you’ve shared.

It helps affiliates gauge the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. A higher EPC indicates that an affiliate is earning more revenue for every click they drive, which is generally considered a positive outcome.


A commission is a reward that affiliates receive for promoting products or services from advertisers (merchants). If you recommend a particular product and people buy it, the company gives you a small percentage of the sale as a commission. It’s like a reward for bringing in new customers to the business. So, in simple terms, a commission in affiliate marketing is like getting a thank-you gift for sending customers to a company.


Attribution in affiliate marketing is like giving credit where it’s due. It means recognizing which affiliate (publisher) gets the praise and the payment for a sale. For example, if a customer clicks on two different affiliate links before making a purchase, attribution ensures the right affiliate gets rewarded for bringing in that sale. It’s like making sure the right player scores the goal in a soccer match, even if the ball touches a few others on its way to the net.

Tracking/Affiliate Link

An affiliate link is like a special web address that helps companies track who sends them customers. When you click on this link, it tells the company that you came from a particular affiliate’s promotion. If you buy something after clicking that link, the affiliate earns a commission or a reward. It’s like a secret handshake on the internet that ensures the right person gets credit for bringing in a customer.

Deeplink URL

A Deeplink URL is an affiliate link that directs users to a specific page or product within an advertiser’s website rather than the homepage. Imagine you’re in a huge library, and you want to go straight to a specific book on a shelf instead of wandering around. A deeplink is like a shortcut that takes you directly to that book. Deeplinks are used to target users more precisely, improving relevance and conversion rates.

Affiliate ID

An affiliate ID is a unique identifier assigned to each affiliate by the advertiser or affiliate network. It is embedded in affiliate tracking links to attribute referrals and conversions to specific affiliates. Basically, it helps in offering commissions to the correct publishers.


A cookie is like a digital tracking tag. When you click on an affiliate link to a product or website, a cookie is placed on your device. This tiny file helps remember that you came from the affiliate’s link. If you make a purchase during the “cookie’s” lifespan (usually 30-90 days), the affiliate gets credit for the sale, and they earn a commission. It’s a way for affiliates to get paid for their marketing efforts, even if you don’t buy right away. So, cookies make sure the right person gets rewarded for bringing you to a website.

Conversion and Conversion Rate


Conversion refers to a successful action taken by someone who clicks on an affiliate link. This action can vary; it might involve making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form. When conversions occur, the affiliate marketer earns a commission or payment from the business they’re promoting.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete the desired action (conversion) out of the total number of visitors who clicked on an affiliate’s link. A high conversion rate means more of your clicks turn into earnings, while a low rate suggests you might need to improve your strategies to persuade more visitors to take action.

Payout Threshold

It’s the amount of commission earnings you must accumulate from promoting products or services through affiliate links before the advertiser sends you your earnings. For example, if the payout threshold is $50, you need to make at least that much in commissions before receiving a payment.

Postback URL

A postback URL is like a notification system in affiliate marketing. It’s used to inform an affiliate about a specific action, such as a sale or lead, that has occurred on the advertiser’s website.

Example: Let’s say you’re an affiliate promoting an online store’s products. You have a postback URL set up. When a customer you referred to makes a purchase on the store’s website, the postback URL sends you a message or data indicating that the sale was successful. This allows you to track your earnings and performance accurately.

In essence, the postback URL ensures that you’re promptly informed and compensated for the actions generated through your affiliate efforts.

Referral Bonus

A referral bonus is like a little extra reward for bringing in new friends to the affiliate program. Imagine you recommend a cool restaurant to a friend, and when they dine there, you get a free dessert as a thank-you from the restaurant. Similarly, in affiliate marketing, when you refer someone who joins the program and makes sales, you earn a bonus on top of your regular commissions as a way of saying thanks for spreading the word. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Niche and Niche Marketing

A niche in affiliate marketing is like a specialized group or category of products. For example, instead of promoting everything in a big department store, you focus only on sneakers. That’s your niche. Niche marketing means targeting and promoting products to a specific group of people who are super interested in that niche. So, if you love sneakers, you’d share sneaker deals with fellow sneaker lovers, making it easier to connect and earn commissions from sales in your favorite shoe category.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO, which stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” is like making your website or stuff you share online more attractive to search engines like Google. It’s like giving your website a makeover so it shows up higher when people search for things on the internet. Affiliates do this to get more people to visit their websites or see the stuff they’re promoting, and they don’t have to pay for it; it happens naturally.

Link Cloaking

Link cloaking in affiliate marketing is like putting a disguise on your affiliate links. It hides the long, complicated link and makes it look shorter and more appealing. This helps improve click-through rates and makes your links appear more trustworthy. It’s like putting a nice wrapper on a gift to make it more attractive.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text within a hyperlink. For example, if you are promoting a product, you can add a hyperlink to the product’s page, and the anchor text for that link would be something like: Check out this product. People will find it easy to navigate to the page where the product has been listed.

No-Follow and Do-Follow Links

No-Follow Links

These are like a “no entry” sign for search engines. When you use a No-Follow link, you’re telling search engines not to follow that link and not to give any credit to the website it points to. This is often used when you don’t want to pass on SEO benefits to the linked site, like in paid promotions or ads.

Do-Follow Links

These are like open roads for search engines. When you use a Do-Follow link, you’re telling search engines that they should follow the link and consider it a vote of confidence for the linked website. This can help with SEO and can be valuable in affiliate marketing when you want to endorse a product or service.

Data Feed

A data feed is a structured file or document provided by advertisers to affiliates. It provides details about the products they offer, like names, prices, descriptions, and images. Affiliates use this data feed to showcase these products on their own websites or in their marketing materials. It makes it easier for affiliates to promote specific products and earn commissions for sales generated through these promotions. Think of it as a handy tool that helps affiliates quickly access and display the advertiser’s products to potential customers.

CouponAPI and LinkMyDeals are excellent examples of platforms that provide coupon feed available across various stores and affiliate networks.


In wrapping up our journey through the world of affiliate marketing terms, it’s essential to emphasize how these words and phrases can help you in this exciting field. Understanding these terms would be beneficial for boosting your income.

Remember, Affiliate Marketing is about collaboration and mutual benefit. By grasping these terms, you’re equipped to communicate effectively, negotiate better deals, and build strong partnerships. Your journey has just begun, and the future is full of opportunities waiting to be seized. Happy affiliating!