Affiliate marketing is a relatively new marketing strategy introduced in the mid to late 90s in the US, where companies and brands worked with people who had a following to promote a product or service. Affiliate marketing programs have evolved tremendously since then and it has become an industry in its own right that shows no signs of slowing down. These people who have partnered with a company or brand are known as affiliates.
Today it exists as a great way for people to make money online by promoting people to buy a product or service through different mediums. Mediums like social media accounts and websites online can display an affiliates’ content like blogs, articles, videos, streams, and podcasts. Since these affiliates can reach their dedicated audience from anywhere, it has become a great way to make money from home as either a primary or supplementary income.
Now that the concept of referral programs is clear let us look at some of the keywords or terms that are associated with the industry. Anyone who wants to make money online by becoming an affiliate marketer will find it useful to know these terms:
- Conversion: A conversion is a potential customer-generated event that is considered very valuable by the company or brand. These conversion events may not necessarily result in purchase but rather is an indicator that the company or brand has captured the attention of the potential customer. A conversion can be a purchase, installation of an app, credit card information submission, and signing up for a newsletter. The affiliates can earn money through conversions based on their agreement with the company or brand.
- Click ID: Affiliates want to transfer online traffic from potential customers to a brand’s or product’s website. Whenever a customer clicks on the affiliate link a number is assigned to that click which is the Click ID. The Click ID refers to a unique alphanumeric string that is used to identify the click. Click ID provides information about when the click was made including day and hour, information about the internet browser used, where the action was done, and so on. Click IDs are important when the company or brand pays the commission to affiliates.
- Token: Tied to Click IDs that affiliates use, an affiliate token is an alphanumeric string that an affiliate uses. This string ensures that the affiliates receive credit for bringing in traffic and sales for the company.
- Tracker: A software used to track and analyze when customers visit affiliate links and other types of conversions. There are different types of trackers available for a company or brand to use to measure their affiliate’s success.
- Direct tracking: Direct link tracking is used by affiliates to track the customer’s traffic based on scripts. This type of tracking is much faster than the other type of tracking known as redirect tracking. The affiliate can use it on google and Facebook.
- Redirect tracking: This type of tracking is more common among affiliates as it is easier to implement. Redirect works by using a tracking domain to record visiting data of customers.
- Cost models: Affiliates have to pay for traffic to get the most engagement for the product they are trying to promote. Cost per action refers to when the affiliate pays for traffic when a customer did a certain action such as a conversion. Cost per click refers to when affiliates pay for each and every click on their ad. Cost per view is when an affiliate pays for a single ad view. Cost per mille is when the affiliate pays for an ad every thousand views.
- Landing page: This refers to the web page that goes between an advertisement and an offer. The goal of this web page is to provide extra information about the product, provide alternative offers, and any other way to convince potential customers of ways to visit the website. It has been proven that landing pages increase the chances of a customer performing a conversion.
- Traffic source: A traffic source for an affiliate is a platform through which a potential customer has found or discovered where the affiliate is promoting a product or service. In simple terms, it is the place where an affiliate receives views on their promotion of a product or service. These sources include advertisement networks and demand-side platforms. A demand-side platform is a traffic source that offers traffic from various advertisement networks in one place. It also involves search engines such as Google or social media sites such as Facebook.
- Advertisement: An advertisement is a creative way for affiliates to promote the product on behalf of the company or brand. There are various types of advertisements available online for an affiliate to choose from such as push, pop, search, native and interstitial.
There are many more affiliate marketing terms out there but hopefully, the ones mentioned above will act as a base to get a better understanding of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a growing industry and a surefire way for someone who is looking for easy ways to earn money online.