Affiliate marketing glossary

Are you new to the world of affiliate marketing? Or would you like to know what exactly is meant by CPL, cookies or conversion attribution? Check out our glossary to find out what these affiliate marketing terms mean.

All terms are listed in alphabetical order.


  • Ad Delivery
  • AdRank
  • Advertiser
  • Advertisement
  • Advertorial
  • Affiliate
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Affiliate programme
  • Agency
  • Approval rate


  • Banner
  • Blogger


  • Campaign
  • Cashback
  • Click through rate
  • Commission
  • Commission model
  • Commission groups
  • Conversion
  • Conversion rate
  • Conversion attribution
  • Cookie
  • Cookie length
  • Cookie stuffing
  • CPA
  • CPC
  • CPL
  • CPM
  • Credit note
  • CSV file
  • Customer journey


  • Deeplink
  • De-duplication
  • Discount code
  • Display advertising


  • eCPC
  • Email marketing


  • Fingerprint tracking
  • First party cookie


  • GIF


  • HTML


  • Javascript


  • Keyword buying


  • Landing page
  • Last cookie counts
  • Lead


  • Mastertag


  • Product data feed


  • Sale
  • Shared tracking
  • SEO


  • Tracking
  • Text link
  • Third party cookies
  • Tracking pixel
  • Transaction


  • View

Ad Delivery

Rotation banners

zanox Ad Delivery is our ad serving solution that makes implementing rotating banners on your website or blog very easy. It creates a script container that can be placed on any publisher's ad space. By adding different banners to your container, the tool automatically displays them on your website. The integrated analytics feature tracks and reports the performance of each banner and container and allows for ad optimization in real time.

Login URL

User documentation


zanox ranking

Ranging from 0 - 10, the AdRank shows the potential of a publisher or advertiser. The score is based on their performance data (click to sale conversion, percentage of sales approved, earnings per click, etc.) over the last months.


Merchant, webshop

In performance marketing, advertiser is the term used for the company (retailer or service provider) that advertises its product or service by means of a partner programme through a performance marketing network, such as zanox. The advertiser provides the publishers with the required ad media (e.g. banners, product lists) and sets the level of commission. Over 4,300 advertisers rely on our products and services and run partner programmes via the zanox network.


Ad media, banner, deep link, text link

An advertisement could be a text link, banner, advertorial, product data feed or any other advertisement used to market products and services of the advertisers. Publishers can place advertisements on their website, to promote these to their audience. Advertisements include a tracking code that measures which publisher was responsible for which transaction.


Text ad, infomercial, native advertising

A type of advertisement based on text, usually combined with an image. Publishers can create their own article or blog with their personal opinion about the products or services to promote. As advertorials are perceived as more objective, the click through rate is generally higher than for other advertisements.


Publisher, website owner, blogger, partner

Affiliates (or publishers) display advertisements on their ad space, which can be a website, blog, newsletter or a price comparison page. They can find relevant features of advertisers in an affiliate network, such as zanox. When visitors click on their advertisements and place an order at the advertiser's website, the affiliate receives a commission.

Affiliate marketing

Performance based marketing, performance advertising

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance based marketing, where publishers, advertisers and the affiliate network (e.g. zanox) work together. Advertisers provide ad media (e.g. text links or banners) in an affiliate network, where publishers can find them and integrate them in their ad space (e.g. website or blog). Advertisers pay publishers a fee or commission per pre-defined action (which can be a click, lead, order or sale). zanox is the leading affiliate marketing network in Europe where publishers can find over 4,300 advertiser programmes in the industries Retail & Shopping, Finance, Telecom and Travel.

Affiliate programme

Partner programme, advertiser programme

With an affiliate programme, advertisers can attract publishers to promote their products and services. The success of the programme depends on the programme conditions (e.g. commission model, cookie time, ad media), programme management (e.g. acquisition of new publishers, running promotions) and the quality of their online shop (e.g. conversion rate, relevance of products, trust in the online shop).


An agency is an independent company used by some advertisers to manage various pieces of online or offline marketing activity on their behalf.

Approval rate

The number of pending transactions (e.g. leads, sales) that are confirmed as valid by an advertiser.


Advertisement, ad media

A traditional type of advertisement, based on a graphic design. Banners exist in different formats and shapes, they can be either static or animated. The standard sizes (measured in pixels) are: 468 x 60, 120 x 600 (Skyscraper), 160 x 600 (Super Skyscraper), 300 x 250, 234 x 60 and 728 x 90 (Leaderboard).


Publisher, affiliate

A blogger is a type of publisher that publishes written and visual content on their website on a regular basis. Usually, bloggers focus on a specific niche such as fashion, food, lifestyle, travel, marketing, gadgets etc. They write about their personal experiences, reviews or tips & tricks in their market.


Advertisers with zanox can generate leads that are billed on a pure performance basis by means of a campaign. In contrast to classical partner programmes, campaigns are limited in terms of time or budget. The campaign goals in terms of clicks, visitors and leads are framed within these limits, together with the advertiser.

Examples of leads are: participation in a competition, a subscription to a newsletter, registration on a site, a request for information material or placement of an order for product samples.

Learn more about starting a performance based campaign at zanox.


A cash-back website is a type of publisher business model. They collect and provide links to various online providers. When a visitor clicks and buys something from one of the online providers, a part of the price will be provided to the visitor as a 'cash-back' discount. As soon as the payout limit is reached, the visitor receives the 'cash-back' discount at once.

Click through rate


The click through rate (CTR) shows the percentage of visitors that click on an advertisement (e.g. text link or banner). The click through rate can be calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of views.


If a consumer registers for an advertiser's newsletter via an ad on a publisher's website, purchases something or completes a contract, the publisher receives a commission.  This is automatically logged, credited and transferred to the publisher's account each month by zanox as an independent service provider. There are various possibilities for setting commissions, e.g. as a fixed amount or as a percentage of the order value. Advertisers predefine the amount of commission in their account. To motivate publishers to increase their transactions, they can set dynamic commissions: every time a publisher reaches a new performance level, the publisher is automatically assigned higher commissions.

Commission model

The success of a partner programme is highly dependent on the amount of commission the advertiser pays per successful transaction to the publisher. An attractive commission model will motivate the publisher to advertise the desired products and services. 

Commission groups

Commissions can be divided into groups in order to reward different amounts for different products purchased.


The measurable performance of a marketing metric is referred to as conversion. Examples include clicks on an ad medium, registration on a linked site or the placement of an order. The conversion rate denotes the percentage of users who have taken such a step. If, for example, 100 clicks and 1 sale are registered for a given ad medium, the conversion rate is 1%. The conversion rate is an important key indicator for measuring the performance of online marketing measures.

Conversion rate


The percentage of clicks that actually lead to a real outcome. That can be the purchase of a product or service (sale), the completion of a form or an email address (lead). If, for example, 100 clicks and 1 sale are tracked for a given ad medium, the conversion rate is 1%. The conversion rate is an important key indicator for measuring the performance of online marketing activities.

Conversion attribution

Conversion attribution is all about analysing which channels, touch points and campaigns contributed to a final conversion (e.g. lead or sale). The next step in conversion attribution is about awarding the value of the different channels.


A cookie is a text file stored on a visitor's computer that contains pieces of information, including which publisher website they visited before they clicked on the banner/link that took them to the advertiser's website. Cookie tracking is one of the tracking methods zanox has in place.

Cookie length

The length of time a cookie will remain on a user's computer; the industry standard is 30 days. This means that if a tracking link is activated by a visitor to a publishers' website who purchases an item within the next 30 days, that publisher will receive the commission (providing that publisher was the last referrer).

Cookie stuffing

This is a technique used to generate unethical publisher sales. A cookie or lots of cookies are placed on a visitors computer without them knowing. Subsequently, when they make a purchase the publisher is wrongly rewarded the commission. As we care about the quality of generated transactions, we have a network quality team in place to detect and avoid unethical behaviour.


Cost per action

Income (publisher) or expense (advertiser) per action. The action is pre-specified by the advertiser and can be an impression, click, completetion of a form (e.g., contact request, newsletter sign up, registration etc.) or a transaction. The advertiser only pays for actually completed actions. The fee can either be a fixed price or a percentage of the order value. 


Cost per click

Income (publisher) or expense (advertiser) per click on an advetisement. CPC is an ideal method of payment for advertisers who need to guarantee they only pay for those viewers of the banner that click on it and visit a page on their site. 


Cost per lead

Income (publisher) or expense (advertiser) per lead (potential costumer). CPL is a type of CPA where the advertiser pays for generated leads by the publisher as pre-defined action. A lead can be a completed contact form, the subscription on a newsletter or a registration.


Cost per mille

Income (publisher) or expense (advertiser) per 1000 views. This is an ideal method of payment for advertisers who want to guarantee only the number of people who sees their banner.


Cost per order, cost per sale

Income (publisher) or expense (advertiser) per order or sale. When a sale is completed, a customer aquired or bought something at the advertiser.

Credit note

A credit note is an automatically generated invoice for zanox publishers. The earned commissions that are approved and confirmed by advertisers are listed on the credit note, and can be found in the zanox marketplace. Publishers should release their credit note in the zanox system to receive their earnings. Credit notes of € 25,- or higher are paid within the same month.

CSV file

A CSV file (CSV = comma separated values) is a similar format as an Excel file. It contains columns and rows with numerical or letter data. The advantage of a .csv file is the standardised structure that can be easily integrated into any other database.

Publishers that work with product data feeds can take advantage of .csv files, however XML files are offered too. Every product is displayed in one row with the individual fields of data broken up with commas. At zanox, statistics can be downloaded in CSV format.

Customer journey

The customer journey is the 'road' from displaying or seeing the first ad media to conversion. It includes all experiences that customers go through when interacting with a brand or a company such as looking at a banner, clicking on a link, reading an advertisement or seeing a TV spot. Some products have a long customer journey including multiple channels, publishers and touch points.


A deeplink is a link that leads not to the homepage, but to an underlying category or product page of an advertiser. As deeplinks are very user and usability friendly, they are converting better than other links. To support publishers creating deeplinks with ease, zanox has the deeplink generator in place.


De-duplication is the process of attributing a sale to one online marketing channel on predefined conditions. If an advertiser runs its programme on two networks, de-duplication is essential to prevent paying for the same sale twice. This can occur when a customer has visited publisher sites from both networks, and ends up with two publisher network cookies on their computer.

Discount code

This is a code that advertisers offer to publishers to promote on their sites, giving consumers extra money off a purchase. Consumers can enter a discount code into a promotional box in the checkout process to obtain a discount on their purchase. Typical discounts are a percentage off purchase, free shipping, or other discount.

Display advertising

Display advertising is the term used to describe all forms of online advertising using graphic ad media. Such branding measures with performance based billing are becoming ever more popular as an alternative to traditional media investments. New trends, such as mobile traffic and context based targeting and retargeting, are also available to advertisers that wish to expand in these fields.


EPC, effective cost per click

The average earnings (publisher) or expenses (advertiser) per delivered or received visitor. The amount may vary by advertiser and publisher. A general rule is that the higher the eCPC is, the more attractive the affiliate programme is for the publisher. The eCPC is determined on the basis of the fees paid in zanox and can be calculated by dividing the total publisher commissions within a certain timeframe by the number of clicks that were generated.

Email marketing

Email marketing is the term given to advertising and customer retention measures conducted by email. Regular newsletters, which inform potential customers about news, special offers or deals, are one example. Email marketing is still one of the most effective strategies for establishing close customer relationships. Newsletter publishers can support advertisers in building up their customer base by means of targeted communication of your deal offers.

Fingerprint tracking


With this passive tracking method, zanox is able to track conversions, in addition to cookie tracking. In situations where cookies are not registered or deleted, fingerprint tracking makes it possible to identify which publisher initiated a sale. To make fingerprint tracking work, just as for other tracking methods, no personal data is stored. Learn more about our tracking methods here. 

First party cookie

First party cookies are cookies that are placed by the visited website on the visitor's PC, smartphone, tablet or other devices. Other than third party cookies, first party cookies are not placed by an external party (such as Google Analytics). First party cookies may be used by a website to make the website more user friendly. For example, to save language preferences, to remember passwords or to save the products in a shopping cart or wish list.


.gif, gif file

.gif (graphical interchange format) is a graphical file extension. Most banner advertisements are created in the GIF format. As they can be animated as well. They are generally more popular than .jpeg files.


HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is a programming language that is often used to write and create websites. Websites can also use programming languages such as JavaScript or PHP. Also advertisements can be written in HTML, to make them look nice on websites or in newsletters. 


HTTPS is a protocol used to secure communication over a computer network. As we believe in the importance of online security, zanox technologies support the HTTPS protocol. Learn more how you can switch to HTTPS here.


Javascript code, dynamic code

Javascript is a programming language that builds the HTML code of a website dynamically for each visit. If javascript is used for ad media, the advertisement will be refreshed and updated for each visit.

Keyword buying

Keyword buying is the practice of bidding on keywords to achieve a favourable position on the search engines results pages. A text ad is displayed when a search query matches the keyword. The most relevant ads are placed on top of the list. The advertising party is charged for every click on the ad. The most famous and dominating keyword buying programme is Google Adwords.

Landing page

In the purest sense, a landing page is any web page that a visitor can “land” on after clicking on a link. In affiliate marketing, a landing page is mostly a product page on the advertiser's website where a publisher links to. The more relevant the landing page is to the content of the publisher, the more likely that a click results in a conversion. 

Last cookie counts


When the last cookie counts principle is applied, the last publisher in the customer journey (by means of a click on an affiliate tracking link) gets rewarded with a commission. 


Leads are the successful establishments of contact between an advertiser and a potential customer. A qualified lead is when the potential customer confirms the interest, e.g. by registering for a newsletter or submitting a contact form – here, the contact is advanced and of high quality. In performance marketing, the advertiser pays a commission for this to the publisher whose website generated the lead.


Mastertag is a script container solution for the integration of third party, added value services and was specially developed by zanox. It enables a more flexible and agile process of optimising a website:

  • Simple, flexible integration of existing and future e-commerce services
  • Independence from release cycles enables swift reaction to market trends
  • Reliability and scalability thanks to well-engineered technology and infrastructure
  • Protection of your website from adverse effects of third party scripts
  • Control of data access for third party services via the dashboard

Product data feed

product feed, data feed

Data feeds are digital files containing the full or partial inventory of an online store. Every product is listed in a row, containing all relevant product information (depending on the industry, that can be colour, size, link, image, etc.). Data feeds are provided by the advertiser, processed by zanox, and implemented by the publishers on their website. Typically these feeds are used by price comparison sites or publishers wishing to list all of the advertisers' deals. Data feeds may be offered in a CSV or XML file. 


A sale is tracked when a visitor made a purchase on an advertiser's website. The advertiser pays the publisher a commission if a visitor buys something from the advertiser on the basis of an ad placed by the publisher. A sale can be rewarded with commissions either set as a fixed amount or as a percentage of the basket value. 

Sales can have three statuses in the zanox marketplace: open, approved and confirmed sales.

  • Open sales: a promotion led to sales or leads but still need to be approved by the advertiser. E.g. because of possible returns, cancellations, and credit checks.
  • Approved sales: the sales generated have been approved by the advertiser. They are ready to be paid.
  • Confirmed sales: the publisher will be paid as soon as the status is confirmed. Sales are confirmed if the advertisers account balance is sufficient.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a technique used to attempt to gain high rankings for an advertiser website within the natural search areas on search engines such as Google.


zanox tracking records which publisher is due payment for every single transaction. Based on the advertiser commission model, zanox automatically assigns each transaction a specific value. Tracking methods zanox uses are cookie tracking, ID tracking and fingerprint tracking. 

Text link

A text link is a type of advertisement that looks like a regular hyperlink. The only difference is that a text link contains a tracking code that allocates a transaction to a publisher that in return receives a commission. As a text link fits well into the content and design of a publisher's layout, it usually converts better than other types of advertisements.

Third party cookies

Third party cookies are cookies used by external parties. They place a cookie on n user's computer, smartphone or tablet on behalf of the website visited by the user. Examples of third party cookies are zanox or Google Analytics cookies. 

Tracking pixel

The tracking pixel is the piece of code that is placed on the confirmation page of an advertiser to record a lead or sale.


A transaction is a conversion that can be either a lead or a sale.



Number of times an advertisement of an advertiser has been viewed on the website of a publisher.


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