Affiliate Marketing Definitions

Section 02 - Lesson 01

Essential jargon, acronyms and trade speak that affiliates need to know.

If you are new to "online advertising" go to Wikipedia and look up that exact phrase. This will give you a jumping off point for an all you can learn info buffet.

If you've been around affiliate marketing for a while, I use the same jargon and acronyms - CPA, CPC, CPM, RTB, Merchant, Lander - as everyone else. I also use a few new definitions like - ALOFT, WADS, PPA, PPS - which I'll explain here, in addition to clarifying some old ones.

Rather than put the definitions in alphabetical order, I've put them in order of importance.

ALOFT - This is my simple PPC strategy for fast and easy wealth, which was developed and perfected over a two year period. It's an acronym which stands for (Ad - Lander - Offer - Followup - Track). These are the five main components of the money making system.

WADS - This is an acronym for Web Advertising Delivery System. A WADS can be any of the following: a PPC (pay per click source), a RTB (real time bidding platform), ads on a search engine like Bing or Google, an in-house ad network like the ones run by Facebook, YouTube and dating sites, or any other platform, for delivering and serving ads to the public.

Affiliate, Affiliate Marketing - This is you. You sell other people's stuff and get a commission for doing so. Some people refer to the affiliate as the Publisher, because they put advertising on the pages they publish. But I think that's a poor analogy. It just confuses people. I call the people doing affiliate marketing the affiliates so there's no confusion.

Merchant - This is the store, the brand name, the warehouse, the shipper and fulfiller of goods. They are the ones who pay you a commission when you sell their stuff. Sometimes they pay you directly if they have an in-house affiliate program, or through a third party known as an affiliate network.

Offers - This is what the merchant is offering for sale. A merchant, or brand may have just one, or millions of items that you can sell. You make a commission when you fulfill the terms of the offer, which could be a product sale, or an action such as a sign up, application filled out, or lead generation, etc.

Merchant Sales Page - This is the sales page on the merchant's website that features the offer. A merchant may have just one, or thousands of sales pages on their website. This page is responsible for converting the visitor, or prospect into a customer by having them take some sort of action, or making a purchase. Some people refer to this page as the merchant's lander, or landing page, but that's confusing because the affiliate also makes landers. I call this the merchant's sales page for the sake of clarity.

Affiliate Network - These are portals where merchants bring their offers. Many merchants prefer going through an affiliate network, instead of the headache and hassle of setting up an in-house affiliate program, along with click tracking systems, mass payment systems, affiliate managers, etc.

CPA - This is an acronym for Cost Per Action. However, it would be better understood by affiliates if it was referred to as PPA (pay per action). It basically means that a commission is made without a sale taking place. It might be a signup, an application filled out, a lead generation system for services, or any other information that is submitted as the goal of the affiliate program.

PPS - This is an acronym for Pay Per Sale although some refer to it misleadingly as Cost Per Sale. This is where a commission is given by the affiliate program only after a sale is made. PPS can be very lucrative but it is subject to returned merchandise and commission reversals. So always check the return rate displayed by the affiliate network, before choosing to sell any product.

Campaign, Advertising Campaign - On the WADS it's often just a name that you create for your reference. On your computer, it's a folder on your drive containing things like; screen shots of the offer page, the merchant sales page, the ads you create, any ads provided by the merchant, etc. It's a good idea to come up with a naming convention from the start that includes codes for the affiliate network, offer name and offer number, on both the WADS setup and on your local drive, so you can find them quickly.

Ad Groups - These are like folders inside a filing cabinet, or subfolders on your local drive. There could be dozens or even hundreds of ad groups filed under each campaign. In terms of PPC advertising on the search engines, they want the ad groups and the ads inside them, to be as semantically and thematically tight as possible.

Ads, Text Ads, Display Ads - These are the advertisements that are created or sourced by the affiliate, or provided by the merchant. Theses ads can be text based like those which appear in search results, or they can be graphical display ads in standard IAB sizes.

IAB - The Interactive Advertising Bureau is a business organization that set standard sizes for display advertising on the internet. Some sizes perform better than others. According to Google, "The sizes we've found to be the most effective are the 336x280 large rectangle, the 300x250 medium rectangle, the 728x90 leaderboard, the 300x600 half page, and on mobile the 320x100 large mobile banner." (I've also had great success with the 160 x 600 Wide Skyscraper on desktop and the 320 x 50 on mobile.)

Banner Ads - An archaic term for display ads and display advertising. Some luddites still use the term to mean all non text ads on a website. Since you don't want to be perceived as a fossil, please refer to banner ads as display ads.

Retargeting, Remarketing, Behavioural Advertising - Cookie based advertising based on your previous actions online. For example, you search for info about a car, then ads featuring that car follow you around the internet. That's because the original page set a cookie on your computer. Retargeting can easily increase sales by 30-40%.

CPM - This means cost per thousand impressions. With PPC you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. With CPM advertising you pay by the impression, whether someone clicks on your ad or not. Since robots account for 52% of all web traffic, be sure you are advertising on legitimate websites, not fake ones with robotic traffic causing the impressions, which is a total waste of money.

RTB - This is an acronym for Realtime Bidding. It's a programmatic CPM system for showing display ads, based on realtime auctions. So using an RTB network, you bid a certain amount like $3.00 per 1,000 impressions . If you're the highest bidder, your ads will show.

PPC - It's an acronym for Pay Per Click advertising. You do not pay for ad impressions. You only pay when the ad gets clicked. This is the most effective type of advertising when using the ALOFT method. It's also good for brand building and website awareness, because some people will see your ad many times without clicking it. So it's like getting CPM, or ad impressions for free.

Branded Ads - When using display ads for CPM advertising, some ad networks and RTB networks require a domain name displayed somewhere on the ad. If the ad network doesn't require it, many of their customers do, so if you have an unbranded ad, the ad inventory you can buy will be limited. So it's a good idea to put the domain name, without all the http://www stuff, just yourname.com, in the bottom corner of the display ad in small, light grey type.

Brand Bidding - This is a type of PPC advertising where you bid on the brand name of the product. Many brands forbid it, so be sure to read the offer page. Some affiliate network prohibit brand bidding as a matter of policy, so be sure to read the affiliate agreements. All that said however, the offers with no restrictions, that allow brand and product category bidding usually make the most money for the affiliate.

Remnant Traffic - Popular websites usually sell their best ad placements, or ad inventory, through contract sales known as media buys to advertising agencies. The ad inventory they cannot sell, which can range anywhere from 10-80%, is sold through ad networks and RTB networks.

"In a category replete with books of theory, Michael W. Campbell stands alone as the one who tells us, "I did it, and here's how." The only downside is, if a guy doesn't "get it" after reading Clicking it Rich, you gotta' question his motivation, not the information. It's tough not having an excuse!"

Leslie Rohde

Track, Tracking, Link Tracking, Click Tracking - Usually the WADS, RTB networks, and affiliate networks have built in tracking. The affiliate link provided by the affiliate network has an identifier that's unique to you, so you can get paid commissions. In addition, affiliates often use their own, or third party, click tracking systems to verify clicks and cloak links through redirects.

Link Cloaking - A method of taking an obvious affiliate link and hiding it so competitors cannot spy on you. Link cloaking usually involves URL shortening, or link shortening, to make the link easier to remember. The cloaking can be provided through a link tracking service, click tracking software, a website plugin, or other methods.

Link Redirects, Redirecting, URL Forwarding - This is a way to take dozens, or hundreds of links used in promoting an offer, and have them all controlled through one central link. So if you have 100 ads promoting an offer, you can swap out all 100, simply by changing one single redirect link. It is essential to have some sort of redirect system in place for affiliate marketing. I'll tell you how to do it for free later on.

Direct Linking - This is when your affiliate link goes directly from the PPC ad to the merchant's sales page, without a landing page. This method of affiliate marketing isn't allowed by the search engines, but most other WADS permit it. In most cases, the search engines want the affiliate to link from the PPC ad, to a landing page, which is hosted on the affiliate's web site. There is an exception to the rule though. Direct linking is permitted if you are the retailer or wholesaler of a product.

Landing Page aka Lander - The landing page is a web page created by the affiliate that is hosted on their server. It is like a stepping stone between the ad on the WADS and the merchant's sales page. The purpose of the lander is to persuade the prospect that clicked on the ad, to continue onto the merchant's sales letter. It can also be used to generate email leads for the affiliate and drop cookies onto the prospect for retargeted advertising.

Popups aka Popovers, Popunders aka Pounders - These are web pages that either cover up content by popping over it, or go behind content by popping under it. They are usually in the form of full or half page ads. They are usually triggered when a page loads, but can also be triggered by some other action such as attempting to click on the browser's back button. Most WADS do not allow them, but some WADS specialize in them. So be sure to read the fine print before using them.

Followup - Following up with a prospect or customer involves some sort of interaction with them after the initial click, website visit or sale. It can be in the form of retargeting, an email autoresponder, a free download, a PDF report, ebook, private site membership, or some other method of continuing the relationship.

Whew! - Now that the affiliate marketing terms are out of the way, you can get started with the ALOFT method. If you find a phrase or concept that you don't understand, be sure to refer back to this page, or look up the phrase on Wikipedia.

Empty the coins from your purse into your mind, and your mind will fill your purse with gold.

Benjamin Franklin

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