The Beginner’s Glossary of Affiliate Marketing Acronyms


An issue that many professionals face when they are new to the industry is actually just getting a good grasp on what they are reading and hearing about from others in the affiliate marketing space. One of the reasons behind this because many articles and forums use acronyms when they discuss various topics. These articles are designed for intermediate to advanced affiliates who already have a good understanding of the acronyms being used. However, less experienced people in the industry may not be familiar with all of the acronyms they see and hear. STM recently released a helpful report for affiliates called “What’s Working in Affiliate Marketing in 2018” , and at the end of this guide, they included a glossary of the acronyms they used in their report.

Since many new affiliates may not be familiar with some of the acronyms they see on various resources, we have listed out some of the ones that are used most often with a short description of each of them.

  1. Algo: Algo is short for algorithm, which “is a sequence of instructions or a set of rules that are followed to complete a task.” (BBC)
  2. AM: Most commonly refers to an affiliate manager. Affiliates are assigned affiliate managers who provide them with support regarding new offers, payouts, lookalike audiences, and more.
  3. Autosub: Refers to automatic subscriptions. This is a billing scheme where the customer is billed in a reccuring fashion.
  4. B2B: Business-to-Business
  5. BH: Refers to black hat marketing. Black hat marketing uses more deceptive marketing tactics, such as making unrealistic claims. Black hat marketing is more common in certain verticals, like casino, nutra, and adult.
  6. Biz Dev: Biz dev is short for business development, which refers to pursuing strategic business opportunities.
  7. Biz Op or Bizopp: This refers to business opportunity offers, for example offers promoting working from home.
  8. CBD: Refers to Cannabidiol, which is a compound found in cannabis. It accounts for approximately 40% of the plant’s extract.
  9. COD: COD refers to Cash-On-Delivery. This is a payment method where the customer only pays upon delivery of a product as opposed to paying in advance.  
  10. CPA: CPA refers to Cost-Per-Action, which is a payment model in which a person or business is paid after a specific action is performed by the client. For example, with a CPA model, an affiliate promoting a sweepstakes offer will get paid after a user fills in their personal information to enter for the give away.
  11. CPC: CPC means Cost-Per-Click, which is another payment model used in online marketing. With the CPC model, marketers are paid when customers click on an ad or link, and are redirected to a particular product or service website.
  12. CPE: CPE refers to Cost-Per-Engagement. CPE is a payment model that is based on the level of user engagement. For example, with a CPE model, an affiliate might only be paid when an individual spends over 10 seconds on a landing page.
  13. CPI: CPI refers to Cost-Per-Install, which is a payment model that is specific to mobile traffic. With this model, a marketer will only be paid when user installs an app on their phone.
  14. CPL: CPL is the short form for Cost-Per-Lead. With this payment model, marketers are paid when a user signs up or fills in their personal information to learn more about an offer. For example, an affiliate promoting solar panels will be paid when a person fills in their personal information in order to receive more information about the offer.
  15. CPM: CPM refers to Cost-Per-Thousand, which is a pricing model based on the cost per 1000 impressions on a web page.
  16. CPS: This refers to Cost-Per-Sale, which simply means that a marketer is paid based on the amount of sales they close.  
  17. CTR: CTR means Click Through Rate, which is determined by the number of individuals who click a particular link vs. the number of individuals who see the web page, or advertisement.  
  18. DCB: This refers to Direct Carrier Billing. DCB is a form of billing where a purchase is charged directly to a customer’s phone bill.
  19. DSP: DSP stands for ‘Demand-Side Platform’. This allows advertisers to purchase traffic from ad exchanges.  
  20. Ecom: Ecom is short for Ecommerce, which refers to physical products being sold online.
  21. ED: ED refers to erectile dysfunction. Some of the most popular nutra products are ED products.
  22. GDN: GDN is the acronym for Google Display Network, which is a part of Google AdWords. Using GDN, businesses can place display advertisements on several websites.
  23. GDPR: GDPR refers to General Data Protection Regulation. GDPR is a piece of legislation regarding data protection for citizens of the European Union.
  24. Geo: Geos are locations (country, cities). Geos are an important for affiliates to consider when they are setting up their campaigns and identifying their target audiences.
  25. KPI: KPI stands for key performance indicator. A KPI is used to measure a company’s performance and how well they are reaching their key objectives.
  26. Leadgen: Leadgen refers to lead generation, which is the process of developing customer interest and enquiry in a given product or service.
  27. MID: MID is the acronym for merchant ID number. An MID is a unique code that payment processors provide a business with prior to a merchant processing a credit card.
  28. Nutra: Nutra refers to nutraceutical products, which is one of the biggest affiliate verticals. Some examples of nutra products are diet pills, and ED products.
  29. Pop: Pop is a short form word for popup/popover and popunder traffic.
  30. PPE: PPE stands for page post engagement on Facebook. PPE is when a user engages with your page by performing an action, such as liking a post or commenting on a photo.
  31. PPV: PPV refers to pay-per-view, which is a payment model where a person would pay for ads as they are viewed by consumers. This is typically used with popup ads.
  32. Push: Push is the shortened term for push notification, which is a notification that appears on people’s desktop screens or on their mobile phone screens. People need to subscribe to push notifications to receive them.
  33. ROI: ROI refers to return on investment. Your ROI is calculated by dividing your profits by associated costs (Profit/Cost).
  34. RPM: RPM stands for revenue per mille. This is your approximate earnings per 1000 impressions. It is calculated “by dividing your estimated earnings by the number of page views, impressions or queries that you received, then multiplying by 1000.” (Google)
  35. SEO: SEO refers to search engine optimization, which is essentially how high you rank on search engines. SEO determines your website’s visibility online.
  36. SOI: SOI refers to single opt-in. With single opt-in, people can simply insert their email address to opt-into an email subscription without having to confirm their email address afterwards.
  37. SSP: SSP stands for supply-side platform, which is a platform that allows publishers to sell digital ad impressions. (MarTechToday)
  38. Sweeps: Short for sweepstakes offers, Sweeps are contests where a winner is chosen and awarded a prize. For example, an affiliate might promote a sweeps offer to win a new iPhone. To enter the contest, users would fill in their personal information.
  39. TOS: TOS stands for Terms of Service, which are the conditions which someone agrees to in order to use a service.
  40. UA: UA refers to user acquisition, which is the process of gaining more users for your service or product.  
  41. WH: WH refers to white hat marketing. White hat marketing is done by the book. It involves being transparent with customers, and as such affiliates who run white hat offers avoid legal trouble.


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