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Understanding Affiliate Acronyms – The List

Posted on May 24, 2007 by Tim Schroeder

If you are going to get into the affiliate game, you are going to need to know how to play it. When you are new to affiliate marketing, it can often be confusing with all of the affiliate acronyms and jargon used. I’ve put together a large list of commonly used acronyms. Don’t let this list intimidate you. Some of them are more widely used than others and you can use the list below for future reference.

The acronym CPM stands for cost-per 1,000 impressions. CPM is usually used with banner advertising. For example, an advertiser may offer banner impressions at $5 CPM. You would then pay $5 per 1000 banner impressions on his website. So for example, 50k impressions would cost you $250 dollars.

The acronym CPC stands for cost-per-click. CPC is usually used with banner or text link advertising. For example, if you use Google Adwords to advertise your websites, you are paying them on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. If you use Google Adsense on your websites then Google is paying you on a CPC basis.

The acronym CPA stands for cost-per-action. CPA can refer to a lead, sale or click. For example, a merchant may offer its affiliates $0.25 per newsletter sign-up. The visitor has not actually purchased anything but the merchant will still pay you for the “action.” In this case the action is a newsletter sign-up. An action could also refer to filling out a free quote form among other things.

The acronym EPC stands for average earnings per 100 clicks.

The acronym EPM stands for average earnings per 1,000 impressions.

The Commission Junction affiliate network uses both EPC and EPM in your publisher performance reports. In addition you can sort merchants by the highest three month EPC or seven day EPC. This helps you sort out which merchants are not performing for their affiliates (poor conversion ratios).

The acronym CPL stands for cost-per-lead. A lead could be filling out a survey, filling out some type of form, joining a newsletter, or joining a forum among others.

The acronym PFP stands for pay-per-performance.

The acronym PPA stands for pay-per-action which is also the same as CPA.

The acronym PPI stands for pay-per-impression. It represents a single impression rather than the 1000 which CPM represents.

The acronym PPL stands for pay-per-lead.

The acronym PPS stands for pay-per-sale.

The acronym RON stands for run-of-network. If you purchase RON banner advertising, your banner will be rotated among a certain number of their network sites with no particular targeting used. For example, a website owner may sell you 50,000 banner impressions at $2 CPM, RON.

The acronym ROS stands for run-of-site. If you purchase ROS banner advertising, your banner will be rotated among all pages of a particular website (not multiple sites like a RON ad).

The acronym CR stands for conversion ratio. The CR is the percentage of something (clicks, views, etc.) needed in order to achieve a particular action (a sale, lead, etc.). For example, if one in a hundred of your website visitors sign-up for your newsletter, your website has a 1% newsletter signup ratio. CR is a critical part of affiliate marketing.

The acronym ROI stands for return on investment. If your $500 Adwords campaign earns you $1,000 in sales, your ROI would be an awesome 100%. You spent $500 but you made $500 in profit.

A “cookie” is used to remember information about a visitor to be used at a later time. A web server may set a unique cookie, small text file, which is used to track your usage of their website and sometimes customizes the site experience based on your tendencies.

Some affiliate programs use cookies with your affiliate ID to track sales you may send them. Cookie tracking alone is a somewhat poor way to track affiliate sales because so many people use computer software to block cookies or to periodically clear them.

InVue ads are like pop-up ads but they appear up front, blocking the website content behind it. You can’t drag an Invue window outside the browser window, unlike normal pop-up ads. InVue ads “live” inside an existing browser window.

An Interstitial advertisement is an ad, usually a full page popup, that’s delivered between the displays of another webpage. It usually must be viewed in its entirety, or the user must take a step to remove it from view. For example, if you click on a hyperlink to be taken to another content page, the Interstitial page appears after the user clicks on page one and before the user is moved to page two. There is usually a way to “continue” to the next page without you having to click on the interstitial ad offer.

Did I miss any? Please let me know of any affiliate acronyms you think should be added to the list.

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2 Responses to “Understanding Affiliate Acronyms – The List”

  1. Free Banner Maker

    - 27th May, 09 12:05am

    I really want to know more about affiliates programs so that I will be able to earn something from it. problem is, I don’t know where to begin in the first place.


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