Affiliate marketing is a form of online marketing where an affiliate earns a commission for promoting someone else’s products or services. In other words: with affiliate marketing, you can earn an online income without having to sell your own products, keep stock, manage shipments and returns, or do customer service.
That’s affiliate marketing in a very tiny nutshell. It’s what makes it alluring to so many would-be online entrepreneurs out there. Affiliate marketing brings with it the promise of making money while you sleep.
Of course, there’s much more to affiliate marketing. Which is why in this article, we’ll answer the question “what is affiliate marketing” by answering 36 additional questions about affiliate marketing, to which any affiliate should know the answer.
- Affiliate marketing meaning
- Affiliate marketing definition
- How does affiliate marketing work?
- Affiliate marketing program definition
- Benefits of affiliate marketing
- Which companies do affiliate marketing?
- Difference between affiliate marketing and network marketing
- What are affiliate marketing links?
- How does commission work in affiliate marketing?
- Is affiliate marketing legit?
- Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?
- Types of affiliate marketing
- What is an affiliate network?
- Benefits of affiliate marketing software
- Benefits of affiliate marketing network
- What is an affiliate marketing agency?
- What is direct linking in affiliate marketing?
- What is PPC affiliate marketing?
- What is SEO affiliate marketing?
- What is an affiliate marketing website?
- Affiliate marketing website examples
- What does JV mean in affiliate marketing?
- How does affiliate marketing for YouTube work?
- What is a niche in affiliate marketing?
- What is high ticket affiliate marketing?
- Is high ticket affiliate marketing legit?
- What is EPC in affiliate marketing?
- How do affiliate marketing cookies work?
- What is cookie duration in affiliate marketing?
- What does impressions mean in affiliate marketing?
- Types of affiliate marketing programs
- What is CPA affiliate marketing?
- What does conversion mean in affiliate marketing?
- What does CPS mean in affiliate marketing?
- What does CPL mean in affiliate marketing?
- What is CPI in affiliate marketing?
1. Affiliate marketing meaning
Let’s start at the beginning of things: what does affiliate marketing mean exactly? Simply put, it is one of the many possible channels in online marketing. Just as with most forms of marketing, a company (the advertiser) pays a third party (the publisher, or “the affiliate”) for promoting their products.
What makes affiliate marketing a little bit different from other forms of marketing, is that it’s usually performance based. This means that as an affiliate, you will be paid due to the extra sales or revenue you’ll acquire for the advertiser.
Being an affiliate marketer means that you’ll promote other people’s products or services, and earn a commission over every sale you accomplish for them.
Say that I have a website about home improvement. I want to promote some products that my readers could benefit from, but I don’t have the storage space to manage my own stock or shipments. Affiliate marketing means that I can link to relevant products that other webshops are selling. Every time one of my readers buys something after clicking one of those links, I’ll earn a commission as compensation.
2. Affiliate marketing definition
Let’s try and make it a little more concrete by answering the question: “what is the definition of affiliate marketing?”.
Trying to define affiliate marketing can be a bit tricky, because of the many possible ways to leverage this marketing channel. But as we’ll see, the act of trying already brings new insights to the table.
Oxford Languages offers the following definition of affiliate marketing:
“a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.”
This is quite an effective way to define affiliate marketing. It covers the fact that an affiliate is paid a commission for promoting another retailer’s products or services. Furthermore, it also takes into account that the commission can either be based on traffic or sales, depending on the applicable conditions of the collaboration.
However, it falls short in other aspects. First, while affiliate marketing is primarily an online form of marketing, there are ways for offline retailers to leverage it as well. Second, an affiliate can use many other ways to drive traffic and sales than just a website. Think, for example, of an influencer promoting products via their social media channels or e-mail lists.
So what is the definition of affiliate marketing? In our opinion, that definition should look something like this:
“Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing where an affiliate promotes the products or service of another company, also known as the advertiser. The affiliate and advertiser agree upon a reward for this promotion, being a commission based on sales, downloads, page visits, or any other form of desired action from traffic that was generated by the affiliate.”
3. How does affiliate marketing work?
Now that we have a clearer understanding of what affiliate marketing is, it’s time to take a look at how affiliate marketing works.
First, we’ll give you an idea of how affiliate marketing works step by step.
For the affiliate, the first step is to decide on a niche and start a website. A niche is the topic your website will be about. Try to narrow this down as much as possible: an affiliate website with a good focus on a specific topic has a higher chance of success.
Next, you’ll need to find an affiliate program or network to sign up to. You can read more about what affiliate programs and networks are later in this article. For now, it is important to understand how an affiliate network works in the broad sense. An affiliate network acts as an intermediate between affiliate and advertiser, making it easier for the affiliate to find products to promote and manage clicks, conversions, and earned commissions. Look for an affiliate network that features webshops and products that fit the niche that you have chosen.
Then it’s time to create content, answering questions that your audience is looking for. In this content, you’ll be linking to products and services that’ll help your readers to accomplish their goals. To do this, you’ll use a special affiliate link, that enables the program or network to track whoever clicks your link and visits the page you are linking.
As an advertiser, affiliate marketing works the easiest by signing up to an existing affiliate network. This enables you to get your webshop promoted by all the affiliates that are enrolled in the network and you’ll get the necessary help setting up. You can also opt for building your own affiliate program. You have more control in this way, but will need to find the affiliates to promote your products yourself and ensure that tracking is in order.
4. Affiliate marketing program definition
An affiliate marketing program is an arrangement in which a company offers a commission to other people who are promoting their products or services. This commission can be based on the number of visitors that another website is sending their way, or on a predetermined action that those visitors have to take, like downloading a white paper or placing an order.
One of the most important aspects is tracking, which ensures that someone who clicks on an affiliate link and takes an action on the website of the advertiser, leads to the owed commission. This can then be made visual on an affiliate dashboard, which makes it easy to see the performance of links and campaigns in one glance.
Affiliate programs can be part of a wider web of programs, called an affiliate network. More information about affiliate marketing networks can be found under entry 13 in this list.
5. Benefits of affiliate marketing
We now have a better understanding of what it is, but what are the benefits of affiliate marketing? We can divide those benefits in two categories.
The most important benefits of affiliate marketing for the merchant are:
- Paying for performance. Other than in many other forms of online marketing, you won’t have to pay until a sale has been made. This makes affiliate marketing low risk and available at low start-up costs.
- You’ll get highly targeted traffic, since it’s in the publisher’s best interest to ensure that the people they sent your way are actually interested in your services.
These two factors combined make the ROI on affiliate marketing generally pretty high. It also allows the merchant to scale up or down pretty easily.
The benefits of affiliate marketing for affiliate marketers are mainly that it is an ideal way to monetize your own specific knowledge, or the audience that you have already acquired. The benefits of affiliate marketing for affiliate marketers center around the fact that it is a way to build a passive income for yourself from a website or blog that you can work on whenever and wherever you want.
Pros and cons:
Pro: affiliate marketing is extremely flexible, both for the merchant and for the affiliate marketer. Since it is a performance-based form of marketing, it’s in both parties’ best interest to strive for maximum results.
Cons: for the merchant, it can be time consuming to find the right publishers to market their products. For the affiliate marketer, building a website or an audience takes up a lot of time, and there is no guarantee for success.
6. Which companies do affiliate marketing?
If you’re reading this and are starting to get interested in affiliate marketing, chances are that you’re beginning to wonder which companies actually do affiliate marketing. This is an important question, because as an affiliate marketer, you’ll be dependent on the range of products and services that you can promote. What if you can’t find an affiliate program for the stuff you’re trying to build a website about?
No need to worry. By now, there are thousands of companies that are active in affiliate marketing. Practically all the major ecommerce players have their own affiliate program, like Amazon, Bestbuy, Home Depot, Etsy, and Geekbuying.
So you won’t have to worry about finding a program with the right kind of products for you. Still don’t believe us? Just read this article explaining why affiliate marketing is still worth it, that shows the exponential growth that affiliate marketing is going through.
7. Difference between affiliate marketing and network marketing
This is a good place to write a little about the most important difference between affiliate marketing and network marketing. The two share the same basis: a third party promoting the products from a particular merchant.
However, affiliate marketing focuses on bringing awareness and traffic to the website or -shop of the merchant. Actual sales are being made there, and a commission is paid accordingly.
Network marketing on the other hand, refers to an approach where a network of distributors sell products person-to-person.
This means that the main difference between affiliate marketing and network marketing lies in the fact that an affiliate is compensated through commissions for generated traffic or sales, while a network marketer earns money through actively selling the products themselves.
8. What are affiliate marketing links?
Affiliate marketing links are links containing additional URL parameters and ID’s that are unique to each affiliate. This makes it possible for the merchant – or the affiliate program or network – to track where a person visiting the merchant’s website is coming from. That way, purchases or other actions that a visitor does on the website can be attributed to the right affiliate, in order to pay them the commission.
You can choose to hide or disguise the fact that you’re using affiliate links, by leveraging link cloaking. This means that you’ll use a redirect link to send people to your affiliate link, so they won’t see the affiliate link when hovering over the link or button.
9. How does commission work in affiliate marketing?
Commission in affiliate marketing works by tracking the performance of an affiliate through the affiliate links we discussed above, based on a predetermined goal that needs to be reached.
That goal can simply be visiting the website, which means that the height of commission will be based on the number of visitors that an affiliate sends to the merchant’s website. Or it can be downloads of a white paper, signups for a newsletter, or commission can be a percentage of the realized revenue.
10. Is affiliate marketing legit?
Yes, affiliate marketing is a legit form of online marketing. In fact, figures show that it is one of the most popular and fastest growing forms of (online) marketing. Affiliate marketing is based on a good synergy, thrust, and understanding between affiliate and merchant.
It is in both parties’ best interest to strive for an optimal performance. The publisher will benefit most from sending quality traffic to the site of the merchant. On their part, the merchant needs to ensure that the conversion of that traffic is optimized and tracked, so that the publisher feels they are getting enough from the traffic they’re sending over.
This need for a mutual trust and understanding between affiliate and merchant makes affiliate marketing a very legit and sustainable marketing channel.
11. Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?
No, affiliate marketing is not a pyramid scheme. A pyramid scheme works by attracting people to invest money, and then getting others to invest as well, thus making their own original investment worth more.
Affiliate marketing is not like this at all. It is a collaboration between a merchant and an affiliate, who is promoting the merchant’s products in exchange for a commission. The affiliate is not invested personally in the merchant’s products and doesn’t benefit from other people investing in it.
12. Types of affiliate marketing
There are different types of affiliate marketing that you can focus on to drive traffic or sales for a merchant. Here are the most important types to get you inspired:
- Comparison websites focus on helping people find the right product for a specific need. For example, they list the best pressure cookers on the market, with pros and cons off each pan. Of course, every comparison article would be filled with affiliate links to where readers can buy the products.
- Coupon websites offer deals for the online bargain hunter. A merchant can promote deals or discounts via these platforms by offering a coupon code that earns a commission for the coupon website whenever it’s used to buy something from the merchant. Cashback websites take a similar approach.
- Content websites focus on creating relevant and valuable content around a specific topic. This can include – but isn’t limited to – comparison content, or might throw in a coupon code whenever relevant.
- Bloggers are very similar to this approach, but they generally focus on writing about their life to acquire a following of readers and then promote items to them, whereas a content website mostly focuses on writing about a certain topic.
- News platforms focus on attracting readers by sharing the latest news about a certain topic, then monetize that audience by using affiliate links.
13. What is an affiliate network?
We already teased this one a little bit in the section on affiliate programs, so let’s answer the question: what is an affiliate marketing network and what are its prime advantages?
An affiliate network is a group of affiliate programs. An affiliate that is enrolled in the network can easily promote all the associated programs. In this way affiliate networks act as an intermediary between publishers and the affiliate programs of advertisers, making it easier for affiliates to find the right products or services to promote and for merchants to reach potential publishers.
Affiliate networks can get pretty big. To give you an idea, here are some numbers on the biggest affiliate networks out there.
Affiliate software is often seen as an alternative to using affiliate networks. But what is the advantage of using affiliate software instead of an affiliate network exactly? In fact, both offer different benefits.
14. Benefits of affiliate marketing software
The benefit of using affiliate marketing software is that you don’t have to pay hefty fees to the affiliate network. As a merchant, it can be costly to be allowed to enrol in a network, thus canceling out the low start-up cost advantage of affiliate marketing that we mentioned earlier.
Transparency is a major benefit of affiliate marketing software. For you as an affiliate, you might not want to be dependent on the data that an affiliate network offers you. It can help you grow your business more efficiently when you leverage your own affiliate dashboard, showing you exactly what you need to see on a daily basis, via real time tracking and reporting.
Tracking and attribution provided by affiliate marketing softwares is an essential tool in order to properly analyse your data and scale your affiliate performance. You’ll be able to integrate your commission and sales data in the marketing tools you use like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Facebook ads and many other ad networks.
15. Benefits of affiliate marketing network
The most important benefit of an affiliate network is the reach. As an affiliate, you won’t have to scour the internet to find that one merchant with an affiliate program that fits your content. Similarly, merchants won’t have to find and approach many possible publishers individually, but can reach a massive crowd of possible affiliates by simply putting their offer out there.
16. What is an affiliate marketing agency?
An affiliate marketing agency helps merchants to leverage affiliate marketing in the right way that will make their business grow. They can help the merchant to set up the right affiliate marketing program, connect through a network, find the right affiliates and influencers, and manage the overall performance of the affiliate marketing efforts.
Pros and cons:
Affiliate marketing agencies can help businesses to leverage the right types of affiliate marketing strategies. A downside of using an agency for this, however, could be that the agency doesn’t know the market like the company itself does. If the agency isn’t well equipped to empathize with the market and its customers, this could lead to the wrong type of affiliate marketing strategy being chosen.
Some examples of affiliate marketing strategies can be found under question number 12. They entail the way in which the affiliate marketing deal is being promoted, like using voucher codes or promotion of an ebook.
Just like there are different types of strategies, there are many examples of business models for affiliate marketing to choose from. The most common include payment based on the number of clicks, number of installations, or revenue. An agency can help a business to choose the right affiliate marketing business model, comparing the pros and cons of every model for the product at hand.
Agencies can also play an important role, finally, in choosing from the different types of affiliate marketing publishers out there. For a product that’s focussed on quality, leveraging product comparison websites might be the best way to go. When price is the primary selling incentive, choosing a coupon website might be the better fit. If the product is not known yet and tailored at a particular audience, the affiliate marketing agency might play a role in finding the right (micro) influencers to promote it.
17. What is direct linking in affiliate marketing?
Direct linking in affiliate marketing is when an affiliate links straight to the website of the advertiser from their own advertisements in ad networks.
Normally, an affiliate would use advertisements to attract people to their own content, in which a link to the merchant is made. So something like:
Ad in Google > Affiliate’s comparison article > Merchant’s offer page.
With direct linking campaigns, this becomes:
Ad in Google > Merchant’s offer page.
Pros and cons:
An advantage of direct linking is that there are less steps between your promotion activities and the final offer of the merchant, meaning less places where your audience might drop out. Another one is that you can still track the conversions using affiliate marketing softwares and integrate them in your campaigns which will allow you to optimise your bidding strategy based on real conversion and sales data.
However, many affiliate networks don’t allow direct linking in the way mentioned above, since it is regarded as deceiving the customer by making it look like you’re advertising as the merchant. At the same time, you’re not really adding value, but simply competing with the merchant’s own advertisements.
When you’re promoting a certain discount for your merchant, you could instead choose to urge people to sign up for your own email list instead, sending them the (affiliate) voucher in return for the subscription. There are tons of examples of affiliate marketing emails that have achieved really well in this way. What’s even better: you’ll build up your own email list of people that are interested in your niche, making it easier to promote future affiliate offers by sending out additional affiliate marketing emails.
18. What is PPC affiliate marketing?
PPC affiliate marketing – or pay-per-click affiliate marketing – is a form of attribution where the affiliate receives a commission whenever someone clicks on the ads or links on their website.
Pros and cons:
With PPC, you’ll earn a commission everytime someone clicks one of your links or promotions, which is the easiest way to get a lot of conversions. Another definite pro is that you’re not dependent on the conversion rate of the merchant. If their website isn’t optimized to convert the traffic you’re sending their way, it’s their problem and not yours.
The downside, however, is that commissions are usually very low, mostly just a few cents per click.
Interested in discovering more about PPC, to find out if it’s the right fit for you? Platforms that are a good way to connect visitors to the right type of content via PPC affiliate marketing, include Taboola and Outbrain.
19. What is SEO affiliate marketing?
SEO affiliate marketing is when you, as an affiliate, leverage SEO to attract readers to your affiliate content. SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is the art of writing great quality content that reaches high rankings in Google, which leads to a continuous stream of free (also called “organic”) visitors that find your website through the Google result page.
Pros and cons:
SEO and affiliate marketing are often used together. Since it allows you to reach an audience without having to spend money on advertising, it is easier to make a profit from the commissions that you are earning.
Once you’ve managed to claim some good rankings with your content, those pages will continue to bring in a stream of free visitors, thus helping you to scale and build that passive income that is the dream for many affiliate marketers.
However, using SEO the right way can be tricky. Which is why we asked some SEO experts about their greatest SEO and affiliate marketing tips and tricks.
Another downside of SEO is that it takes time. While advertising in Google or Bing can bring you new visitors just moments after launching your campaigns, reaching the positions in Google that will get you noticed might take weeks, months, or even longer.
20. What is an affiliate marketing website?
An affiliate marketing website is a website that has as its main focus to earn money through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing websites are often targeted on a specific niche topic, or a specific type of content.
Focusing on a narrow topic niche allows the affiliate marketing website to get better results in Google and attract the right kind of audience for the products or services they are promoting.
Websites that mainly create a certain type of content are, for example, comparison websites or product review websites. This is another tactic that is leveraged to reach better positions in Google, while at the same time offering content that converts extremely well.
Pros and cons:
The most important pro of an affiliate marketing website is that it offers you the opportunity to work and make money whenever and wherever you want. That is to say: every place that has an internet connection can be your office when working on an affiliate marketing website.
A con that you have to keep in mind is that an affiliate marketing website is dependent on many factors out of your control, the most important being the channels that you get your traffic through and the merchant whose affiliate program you are promoting. If affiliate marketing is your sole source of income, or you’re relying heavily on one source of visitors or one industry, you’re vulnerable.
When you rely solely on SEO or social media traffic, for example, an algorithm update in Google or Facebook might wreck the affiliate marketing website that you have put so much effort in. This was evidenced a few years ago, when Facebook decided to limit the organic reach of many businesses and pages, slashing the reach of their content.
The same goes for leaning heavily on just one or two merchants, who might go out of business or decide to change the conditions of their affiliate program. An example of this is when Amazon decided to lower the commission rates of almost all of their product categories, which got many Amazon affiliate marketing websites in trouble.
21. Affiliate marketing website examples
As we’ve mentioned before, there are many different types of affiliate marketing websites, so we could make this list endless if we wanted to. Above, we already gave some great examples of affiliate marketing websites from the perspective of the marketer.
So let’s look at some successful affiliate marketing websites from the affiliate’s viewpoint.
An example of a successful comparison affiliate website is Datingsitekeuze.nl. This is a website that is doing well because they chose a specific niche with a big audience, namely dating sites, and offer their audience some high quality content that really helps them solve their issue (in this case: which dating platform offers me the biggest chance of finding the right partner for me?). You can read more about their road to success in our case study.
Qoala, on the other hand, is an affiliate marketing coupon website, that helps people to find the right coupon code for the webshops they are visiting and automatically apply them. What’s interesting is that you only have to sign up to Qoala once, and they will help you to locate coupon codes and other discounts to any webshop from then on. This approach makes Qoala a very successful example of affiliate marketing websites.
Examples of affiliate marketing blogs
An affiliate marketing blog can be any blog that uses affiliate links to monetize their visitors. As we’ve mentioned, these are typically personal blogs, where people write about their life and favorite products.
For our purposes here, however, we’ll list some examples of affiliate marketing blogs that write about affiliate marketing. Not only are these some prime examples of how to build an affiliate empire (these people are the best of the best when it comes to affiliate marketing), they also offer a ton of knowledge to anyone who wants to learn more about affiliate marketing.
Here are our favorite examples of affiliate marketing blogs:
- ShoeMoney, by Jeremy Shoemaker
- CharlesNGO, by Charles NGO
- Income School, by Jim Harmer and Ricky Kesler
- Smart Passive Income, by Pat Flynn
- Side Hustle Nation, by Nick Loper
You can read about these – and even more! – affiliate marketing bloggers and teachers in our comparison of some of the rockstars of modern affiliate marketing.
22. What does JV mean in affiliate marketing?
Asking the question what does JV mean in affiliate marketing can be a little misleading, since it suggests that JV is something that is used in affiliate marketing. This is not the case.
JV stands for Joint Venture, and someone can be a Joint Venture Partner to a business just like someone might be an affiliate.
A Joint Venture Partner typically refers to a relationship that goes deeper than the one between affiliate and advertiser. An affiliate simply promotes the advertiser’s products or services in exchange for a commission. In a Joint Venture, other arrangements and a more personal collaboration are made. This could include, for example, other forms of compensation or input from the Joint Venture on building the website, developing the product, and tackling promotion.
Typically one would choose a JV over affiliate marketing to get the big players in your particular niche aboard by making them a part of your business, instead of just letting them promote the product from the sidelines as an affiliate. In this way, the JV can be tempted to bring in a lot of business at once from their extensive network, or contribute to the further development of the product with their expertise.
We once saw what JV means to affiliate marketing described as a Joint Venture Partner being an affiliate partner on steroids, which is kind of a nice way of putting things.
23. How does affiliate marketing for YouTube work?
Affiliate marketing in YouTube works in the same way as other forms of affiliate marketing. This means that you can earn an income via YouTube affiliate marketing by adding tracking links in the description of the videos that you upload to your channel.
When your audience follows the links that you recommend with your YouTube videos in this way, you’ll earn a commission.
Other social media channels can be leveraged in much the same way. In our software, we have built in Facebook conversion tracking, making it even easier to automatically track and integrate all your affiliate sales and lead conversion data in Facebook’s Pixel to properly optimize your campaigns, ad sets, ads and audiences.
More questions about affiliate marketing
Did you think we were there yet? Well, think again, because there are still a lot more questions about affiliate marketing to cover. Coming up: questions – and their answers – that cover the foundations of successful affiliate marketing.
After reading this section, you’ll know everything that you need to know for getting started as an affiliate marketing. From the importance of niche-picking to the difference between CPA, CPS, and CPL.
24. What is a niche in affiliate marketing?
A niche is your way to specify and target the information, products, and affiliate programs you’ll be promoting. In a niche, you’ll focus on a specific target audience, that is looking for specific information and products that you’ll be providing.
One of the biggest mistakes that many newcomers in affiliate marketing make, is choosing to broad a niche, which makes it hard for them to compete with existing, bigger platforms. For example, when you choose to focus your affiliate website on the “losing weight niche”, chances are you won’t be able to compete with the hundreds and thousands of people already targeting that niche.
You might, instead, choose to focus on something narrower, like “losing weight using the primal diet”.
The narrower your niche in affiliate marketing, the higher your chances of success will become. So, choosing the niche you’ll be targeting is one of the biggest and most important choices of your budding affiliate marketing career.
The niche that you’ll choose is a part of what – in affiliate marketing – is called a vertical.
What are verticals in affiliate marketing?
So, what does vertical mean in affiliate marketing, you ask? A vertical is a broad segment of the online demographic that tells you something about how they are behaving online. To give an example: the dieting niche that we described before would be part of the “health and nutrition” vertical. Other examples of verticals in affiliate marketing include:
- Home decor and improvement
- Online education
It is good to have an idea of the vertical in affiliate marketing that you are active in, even if you’re focusing on a very specific niche area of that vertical. This helps you to get a broad view of your competitors, content ideas for your type of audience, or perhaps people targeting another niche in your vertical that you might collaborate with.
25. What is high ticket affiliate marketing?
This is a very popular form of affiliate marketing, high ticket affiliate marketing meaning earning higher profits on fewer sales. Obviously, this is like the holy grail for any online entrepreneur. Typically, high ticket affiliate marketing is applicable to high-grossing verticals and niches, like insurance, high-end jewellery, and finance.
Whereas many affiliate products would earn you a few dollars per sale, with high ticket affiliate marketing you might be looking at hundreds or even thousands of dollars per conversion.
Because of those lucrative commissions, high ticket affiliate marketing deals are usually very competitive. This means that it’ll take a lot of time and effort to get your content to rank, build up an audience, and get the traffic flowing through your tracking links.
High ticket affiliate marketing is therefore only worth your while, usually, in evergreen markets.
What does evergreen market mean in affiliate marketing? An evergreen market in affiliate marketing is a market that is not time-bound. This means that once you’ve built your audience and your ranking, people will keep coming to your content. Evergreen markets aren’t seasonal, and aren’t hype-related.
People will always be looking for advice on mortgages, personal loans, or the right way to combine pearls with evening attire. Those are the kind of evergreen markets that you want to target in high ticket affiliate marketing.
26. Is high ticket affiliate marketing legit?
High ticket affiliate marketing is just as legit as any other form of affiliate marketing. When dealing with specific niches and verticals, however, you need to consider the local laws regarding giving advice on that specific topic.
Also keep in mind that Google has become more cautious in ranking content on sensitive topics.
Especially with verticals like health and personal finance, the potential risk for your audience when they are given bad advice is quite big. Google calls this “Your money or your life searches”. This is why Google has become much more strict about whether or not they rank your website on topics like these, making it even harder to attract an audience when you target those verticals.
If you’re promoting this kind of product via paid advertisement it is quite likely that Google, Microsoft or Facebook will suspend your account within some time.
27. What is EPC in affiliate marketing?
One of the most important metrics that you’ll use to monitor the success of your affiliate marketing endeavors, is called EPC. But, what does EPC mean in affiliate marketing exactly?
The EPC meaning in affiliate marketing becomes clear once you know it’s an abbreviation for “earnings per click”. Simply put: EPC stands for the average amount of commission you make when someone clicks on your affiliate link.
You can go about boosting your total revenue a couple of ways. One is increasing the number of times someone clicks your link. Another way is to increase the amount of money that you make for every click, in other words: the EPC.
In this regard, it’s also interesting to ask: what is the meaning of upsell in affiliate marketing? An upsell is when you persuade a customer to choose a more expensive version of the product they were originally buying, or buy additional add-ons, increasing the total revenue on that one customer. Upselling, then, is a great way to increase the value per conversion in affiliate marketing, and thus to boost the potential earnings for every click you realize, or: the EPC.
28. How do affiliate marketing cookies work?
Affiliate marketing cookies work by connecting the action of someone clicking one of your affiliate links, to someone placing an order or converting in some other way on the platform of the merchant.
In other words: affiliate marketing cookies make it possible to track the actions of a visitor over different websites, ensuring that you’ll get the right amount of commission for your efforts. Once someone clicks a tracking link on your platform, the affiliate software will take care of the placement of the cookie, allowing for the tracking of that person after leaving your website and entering that of the merchant.
29. What is cookie duration in affiliate marketing?
An important aspect of a cookie is the cookie duration that is being offered by the merchant of the affiliate program. This is mostly measured in days. So, what does cookie days mean in affiliate marketing?
Cookie days are simply the number of days that someone will be tracked after clicking one of your tracking links.
Let’s say that someone clicks one of my affiliate links today, but isn’t ready to buy immediately. They might save the page of the offer, or write down the url somewhere. If, in a few more days, they have decided to buy the product, they probably won’t go to the offer through one of my links again. But, I’m still the one that made them originally aware of the offer.
Therefore, the number of cookie days – also called the cookie duration or the cookie lifetime – ensures that the transaction a few days after originally clicking my link, will also be attributed to me.
30. What does impressions mean in affiliate marketing?
Impressions are another way of looking at the performance of your content and offers, impressions meaning in affiliate marketing the number of times someone has seen the offer you are promoting.
Compared with the number of clicks on that same promotion and the actual sales, this gives you a good indication of the success of that particular offer. If, for example, the number of impressions are very high, but there’s not a lot of sales, that particular promotion might not be a good fit to your audience.
31. Types of affiliate marketing programs
We’ve already covered different types of affiliate marketing websites under question number 12. Now, let’s take a look at the different types of ways that commissions are attributed.
The most important types of affiliate marketing programs come in one of the following forms:
These types of affiliate marketing programs refer to the way in which commissions are attributed, based on the action that is required to earn a commission. We’ll wrap up this affiliate marketing guide by discussing each of them below.
32. What is CPA affiliate marketing?
The most broad type of affiliate marketing program is CPA. Great, so what does CPA mean in affiliate marketing? So glad you asked. CPA stands for “cost per action”, and it allows for a merchant to pay their affiliates based on a specified action that their visitors need to fulfill.
In other words: CPA meaning affiliate marketing is quite broad. It can mean that you – as an affiliate – are paid for any number of actions that your audience might take on the website of the merchant. Those actions can be, for example:
- Subscribing to a newsletter
- Downloading an ebook
- Clicking on a banner or promotion
- Creating an account
- Adding an item to their cart
- Making a purchase
Every time someone makes that specific, desired action, this is considered to be a conversion.
33. What does conversion mean in affiliate marketing?
A conversion in affiliate marketing is when a visitor meets the specified requirements that were set between merchant and affiliate. This typically means making a purchase, but a conversion could also be one of the aforementioned actions.
Simply put: a conversion is when someone has clicked one of your affiliate links and thereafter takes an action that earns you a commission.
34. What does CPS mean in affiliate marketing?
CPS in affiliate marketing stands for “cost per sale”, and it is a more specific variety of the CPA model. Whereas in CPA, any action might be considered a conversion, in CPS performance and commissions of an affiliate are entirely linked to the number of sales that the affiliate causes.
Cost per sale is the most common type of affiliate marketing program, especially with e-commerce platforms. Commission is then usually a percentage of the racked up revenue.
35. What does CPL mean in affiliate marketing?
CPL – or “cost per lead” – is yet another type of affiliate marketing program, that is most commonly used in the service sector where direct sales are less common than in e-commerce.
Leads affiliate marketing meaning any of your visitors that show an interest in the service that you are promoting. Typically, this interest is shown by filling out an online form to request more information or make an (online) appointment, but someone who downloads an ebook or brochure might also be considered a lead.
A lead, then, is anyone that has shown interest in the services of the merchant in a way that makes it possible for said merchant to follow up on that interest, and try and get that person to become a customer.
36. What is CPI in affiliate marketing?
CPI in affiliate marketing is the abbreviation for “cost per install” affiliate programs, and it means that as an affiliate, you’ll get a commission for any installation of an app or piece of software that you’ll accomplish for the merchant.
This is a popular practice with “software as a service” companies, and they’re usually amongst the most lucrative affiliate marketing programs to promote. The commission rate on software is usually high, thanks to the fact that the merchant doesn’t have additional costs for selling an extra piece of software.
If you’re interested in selling software as an affiliate, you should take a look in our list of the best SAAS affiliate programs out there.
By answering the 36 most asked questions about affiliate marketing, we hope to have given you a concise overview of everything you need to get started, or improve your success as an affiliate marketer.
If after reading all this, you’re excited about upping your affiliate marketing game, we encourage you to take a look at all our integrated affiliate networks, to find those affiliate programs that are going to make a difference for you. Use our attribution dashboard to keep an overview of all the clicks, sales, installations, and other actions that are coming your way, and find the right focus for your optimization efforts.