Infographic – Preferred Affiliate Marketing Vocabulary

Peter Hamilton

Are you speaking the right affiliate lingo?

We recently created a survey to find out what vocabulary people in our industry prefer to use. If you’ve been doing affiliate marketing for very long you know that communication can be a huge barrier since people are coming from many different online advertising backgrounds. This infographic breaks down what 200 industry professionals had to say.


Infographic - Preferred Affiliate Marketing Vocabulary


As you can see, there was a least a majority for each vocabulary question, but there are certainly still some pretty large discrepancies.

The most conclusive question looks to be what the event generated by a user should be called in affiliate marketing, and I’m happy to see that it’s a “conversion.” Though “action” might be a little shorter and simpler, the word conversion really describes that there is now something different about the user. They have completed something that now signifies that they are some type of customer. Though affiliate marketing does not always focus on paying out for these types of events, I think it’s what sets affiliate marketing apart from any other channel. You can pay affiliates for real sales, real leads, real customers. You’re paying for something that actually makes you cold hard cash, allowing you to scale your budgets in radically new ways.

There is plenty more data where this came from, so you can look forward to some sweet infographics in the future.

What do you think about these poll results? Agree with the vocabulary winners? What would you like to see differently?

Peter Hamilton

A performance marketer by background, Peter is the CEO of TUNE, the world’s leading mobile marketing platform. Peter has lead the company to 10 offices around the world and nearly 400 employees, now trusted by companies like Expedia, Starbucks, Supercell, and Uber.
Follow @peterhamilton

  • I’m glad you did this survey because it seems every company offering an affiliate program wants to make up their own terminology. I’ll always be an ‘affiliate’ and never a ‘publisher’, I’m sure there are businesses out there that are losing out because they call their affiliate program by some obscure word or phrase.

    “Creatives” I can just about live with but it does seem like a vain attempt to sex-up the word banner!

  • Karl

    Great survey. Also, I hope that you come out with affiliate marketing dictionary for terminology. It will be a great help for some who is new in the business. It will be a great help.

  • While affiliate makes more sense than publisher, the term affiliate unfortunately has a bad connotation and many companies are wary of “affiliate marketers”

    Also, while “tracking pixel” is used more often, it’s not technically accurate. The term originates from using images for tracking. Since these images were not really pictures, they were set to a height and width of 1 pixel. Now with javascript and iframe tracking, pixel isn’t very accurate.

  • Peter,
    Awesome infographic. The “publisher” vs. “affiliate” is the only issue with which I have a concern, echoed in Arthur’s comments too. It is the term that has gotten in the middle of the sales tax debate because it has a legal meaning that defines a much stronger business/selling partnership than what performance marketers do. I don’t know if we can switch trends, but we’re going to promote the use of ‘publisher’ as the preferred term. It is also much more accurate, and implies an advertising relationship.

    thanks for the great visual!

  • @arthur @rebecca – I totally agree with both of you. There are many problems with the term “affiliate.” At HasOffers however, we’ve found it imperative to keep using the term affiliate for simplicity sake. Somehow, “affiliate” became synonymous with the CPA world and “publisher” with display. To be honest, I’m not completely sure which way it should go. The largest brands we’re working with now preferred to talk about their “affiliate programs,” rather than publisher programs and from my perspective, much of the negative connotation is beginning to wear off.
    – with that said, we are starting to use the word publisher in many of our new technologies including

  • This shows how horrifically wrong many people in our industry get the lingo….(including the surveyor)

  • @Aaron ooo… that stings. Which terms do you have the biggest problems with?

  • I agree with Karl above. You need to come up with a full-scale dictionary. It takes awhile to understand the terms, especially if you are a beginner. Thanks for the survey. Keep ’em coming! Bob Miller

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  • Jaime

    I like this were can I get more of this affiliate definitions?