Glossary for Affiliates


Affiliate – A person, business or website who promote the products and/or services of another business to potential customers, in exchange for a commission on a sale or a successful conversion.

Affiliate Area – The area where affiliates can log in to view statistics, visits, referrals, earnings, and creatives.

Affiliate ID – A unique ID which is automatically assigned to each affiliate when they register. The affiliate ID appears in the affiliate’s referral URL when they are promoting products or websites so they can be tracked when visitors come to a website.

Affiliate referral URL/Affiliate referral link – The URL/link affiliates use to promote a site owner’s website or products. It has the affiliate ID or username appended to it so the affiliate can be tracked when a visitor or customer visits a website. If the customer successfully completes a conversion (sale), a referral will be generated and the affiliate will be awarded a commission.

Affiliate username – The affiliate username is a means of identifying an affiliate. The affiliate can use their username in their affiliate referral URLs instead of their affiliate ID.

Campaign – Promotional activity (and tracking) of a product or brand through marketing channels/mediums. Affiliates are able to use campaigns to track where referrals are coming from. Affiliates can name each campaign in the Affiliate Area when generating an affiliate referral URL, and the campaign name will be automatically appended to their affiliate referral link. They can then choose to place a campaign-specific URL in a specific marketing channel. This helps them see where they should focus their marketing efforts for maximum sales and referrals.

Commission – A percentage of a purchase total that is awarded to the affiliate each time a customer successfully makes a purchase via an affiliate’s referral link or coupon code.

Commission rate – The value which affiliates will receive when a purchase or conversion is successfully made. The commission rate is a percentage (i.e. 20-40%) of the total purchase, less any applicable tax and/or shipping costs.

Conversion – A conversion occurs when a person visits the site and makes a purchase.

Cookie – A small piece of data which is stored in a user’s web browser when they visit a website. We store three cookies:

  • affwp_ref_visit_id – This cookie stores the visit ID (the visit ID increments by 1 each time any referral link is used until the cookie expires or is deleted).
  • affwp_ref – This cookie stores the affiliate ID.
  • affwp_campaign – This cookie stores the campaign name when affiliates create a campaign to track referrals from specific sources of traffic (i.e. email, social media, their website, etc.).

Cookie expiration – How long the cookies stay in a customer’s browser.

Coupon – A code with a discount that a customer uses to receive a discount when purchasing a product from a website.

Creatives – Text links or banner images with embedded affiliate referral links which affiliates can use to promote a website or products. These can be accessed in the Affiliate Area once logged in to affiliate’s account.

Earnings – The total amount of commission an affiliate has earned and/or received:

  • Unpaid earnings – The total amount of commission an affiliate has earned that is yet to be paid.
  • Paid earnings – The total amount of commission an affiliate has been paid.

Lead generation – Qualifying and identifying potential customers or prospects through their interest or inquiry in specific products or services. Leads are often generated for potential customer sales (online and offline), mailing list acquisition, or other list-building purposes.

Plugin – A piece of software that adds a specific function or additional features and capabilities to an existing piece of software.

Pretty URLs – A website address or link that is easier to read and includes words which describe the content of the webpage. Pretty URLs are free from query strings, and are considered to be more search engine friendly as they “describe” the content of each page to search engine crawlers.

Product – A physical or digital item that is bought from a physical store or an online store.

Purchase – The acquisition of a product or service by paying for it.

Referral – This is the conversion and commission data recorded for an affiliate when a conversion is successful. A referral is generated when a visitor successfully purchases a product, after visiting your website via the affiliate’s referral link.

Referral ID – A unique ID that is automatically assigned to each referral for internal tracking purposes.

Referral status – when a referral is generated, its status is automatically set to Unpaid by default. This means the affiliate can see they have earned a referral and how much the commission will be (however it has not yet been paid to them). Below are the possible referral statuses:

  • Pending – the referral is not yet visible to the affiliate and can be reviewed by the site admin before it is “Accepted” and set to Unpaid status.
  • Unpaid – the affiliate can see the referral in the Affiliate Area, and the total owing to them is shown in their Unpaid Earnings.
  • Paid – when a commission owing to an affiliate has been paid to them via PayPal or check.
  • Rejected – if a referral is incomplete or customer has received a refund, issued chargeback, or made a return.

Sale – When a product or service is exchanged for payment, and the transaction between the seller and the buyer is completed.

Site owner – The owner of the business or website.

MLM (Multi-level Marketing) – A system that allows tiered affiliates or sub-affiliates to be recruited under one primary or “parent” affiliate. The parent affiliate recruits other affiliates to join an affiliate program, and is then compensated – on top of their own marketing efforts – when their sub-affiliates successfully refer a customer who completes a purchase.

Terms & conditions/Terms of use – An agreement or set of rules which users must abide by in order to use a product or service.

Visit – A visit is recorded when a visitor lands on your website after clicking on an affiliate referral URL. When a visit occurs, a cookie is stored in the customer’s browser. A new visit will not be recorded unless the stored cookie expires, or the visitor clears their browser cookies. These visits are visible to the affiliate when they are logged in to the Affiliate Area.

Visitor – An individual who lands on a website for the purpose of viewing content they are interested in, or potentially purchasing a product or service.