Smashed on the Keystones: Affiliate Marketing Glossary

TwinRed Affiliate Marketing Glossary

Hosts of terms and acronyms can put pressure on any affiliate. This glossary is made for helping you avoid being kicked out of the game in the opening minute! 

No matter if you are an aspiring affiliate or an experienced one, you have probably come across various acronyms which are quite difficult to understand. Without knowing terminology, it seems almost impossible to develop in any sphere. Affiliate marketing is no exception. In TwinRed, we often face the challenge that some people contaminate basic terms and concepts. That’s why we have collected the most common acronyms that are crucial for the field and put them into five groups: General Terms; Pricing Models & Payment Schemes; Targeting; Traffic Analysis; Others. Let’s dive into them!


The Ultimate Affiliate Marketing Glossary

General Terms

  • AM — Affiliate Manager — a person who is in charge of the company’s affiliate program and the point of contact for affiliates.
  • TOS — Terms Of Service — a set of rules and regulations that should be accepted in order to use a service. In the field of affiliate marketing, TOS is often used to refer to agreements between networks and arbitrators.
  • IO — Insertion Order — an agreement between an advertiser and a publisher or partner to run a campaign. It is the final step in any ad proposal process.
  • VAT — Value Added Tax — a consumption tax added to goods and services in the EU.


Pricing Models & Payment Schemes

  • CPA — Сost Per Action — a pricing model whereby the payment or commission is based on specified actions. 
  • CPC — Cost Per Click — a pricing model whereby one pays for one click. 
  • CPM — Cost Per Mille — a pricing model in which one pays for one thousand impressions. 
  • CPI — Cost Per Install (also PPI, or Pay Per Install) — a payment scheme in which one gets paid for each app installation. 
  • CPL — Cost Per Lead (also PPL, or Pay Per Lead) — a payment scheme whereby one gets paid for each generated lead that meets certain criteria. 
  • CPS — Cost Per Sale (also PPS, or Pay Per Sale) — a payment scheme one gets paid for each sale. 
  • RevShare — a payment scheme meaning that an affiliate receives a certain percentage of profits made by the client they refer. 



  • BL — Blacklist — sources which we do not want to get traffic from as they did not perform well for a specific product. 
  • WL — White List — sources with the highest performance that we want to keep buying or even increase volumes on.
  • FC — Frequency Capping — an action of limiting the frequency a user sees a certain advertisement within a set period of time. For instance, if FC is 1/24, a user is able to see an ad once in 24 hours.
  • GEO — Geography — a country or a region which are usually arranged into three groups: Tier 1 (the wealthiest and most competitive countries), Tier 2 (countries with lower average income), and Tier 3 (developing countries with the lowest purchasing power).
  • ISP — Internet Service Provider — a company that provides personal and business customers with access to the Internet. That criterion is often taken into account while targeting.
  • RON — Run Of Network — a form of a campaign where an ad is positioned across a wide collection of zones. One of the main reasons is testing an offer on various websites and identifying the best options.


Traffic Analysis

  • CAC — Customer Acquisition Cost — the cost of converting a lead into a new customer which is a relation of all the costs it takes to get the customers to the number of customers you actually receive.  
  • CTR — Click-through Rate — the percentage of visitors who click on an advertisement and proceed to a landing page (the ratio of clicks to the number of views).
  • CR Conversion Rate/Ratio — the percentage of visitors who performed an action (subscribing, purchasing etc.).
  • EPC — Earnings Per Click  — the number that reflects average earnings per 100 clicks.
  • LTV — Lifetime Value  (also CLV, or Customer Lifetime Value) — the metrics estimating the revenue a customer generates throughout their relationship with a product.
  • ROI — Return on Investment — the metrics depicting the profitability of an advertising campaign. ROI = (Sales Growth – Marketing Expenses) / Marketing Expenses.
  • UV — Unique Visitor — a user who visits a website at least once within a reporting period of time. UVs are determined by their IP addresses.



  • API — Application Programming Interface — a set of programming code that enables data transmission between websites, applications and networks.
  • SOI — Single Opt-In — a subscription process whereby no user confirmation is required. 
  • DOI — Double Opt-In — a subscription process whereby a user submits their personal information and confirms it via an email, a text message or a push-notification.
  • CTA — Call to Action — an indication of what a user should do. It’s a short and clearly formulated sentence that usually begins with an imperative verb.
  • LP — Landing Page — a web page aimed to “warm up” a user before they perform an action. On the LP one can often find more detailed information about an offer.
  • RTB — Real-Time Bidding — is a subcategory of programmatic media buying using the practice of buying and selling ads in real time on a per-impression basis in an instant auction. 
  • SSP — Supply-Side Platform — a technology platform that enables managing, selling and optimizing advertising inventory in an automated way. 
  • DSP — Demand-Side Platform — a software that allows buying advertising with the help of automation.


This list is expected to shed light on the most commonly used terms and acronyms. In case of any questions, feel free to contact us — we are ready to help!

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