An affiliate program is a form of business cooperation between an advertiser and an affiliate where the affiliate takes part in an ad program and the advertiser pays the affiliate a reward.
Advertisers are companies that own e-stores, banks, travel agencies, and other establishments that advertise their products or services on the Internet.
Publishers are affiliates, meaning users with an active presence on the Internet who post notifications or ads, as well as owners of web resources, communities in social networks, and online applications or games. In short, they are users who are able to send traffic to the advertiser's site.
A reward may be paid as a percentage of the sales or as a fixed amount per target action performed by a client who was brought by the affiliate.
At the start of the affiliate program, the advertiser usually indicates the terms of ad placement, the payment method for the affiliate reward, the technical details (hold time and cookie lifetime), the requirements to traffic quality and its sources, and also provides creatives and access to various additional resources. For example, the advertiser can share the XML feed for its products or permit publishers who use retargeting to place a code on the pages of its website using the ReTag tool.
The approval rate (or confirmation rate) is the ratio of the number of approved target user actions to the total number of potential target actions.
Depending on the specific program features, target actions can be approved in a number of ways. For example, in the case of an e-store with a "Paid Order" rate, a potential target action can be a confirmed order because the user who confirmed the order may pay for it or may cancel the purchase. In any of these cases, the target action will be granted to the publisher by the system, but in the case of rejection, it will not be approved by the advertiser and no fee will be credited to the publisher.
Let's consider the following case: 300 users sent by publishers confirmed their orders, but 90 of them later canceled. The remaining 210 users received their orders and paid for them. Hence, the advertiser will account for these users' actions as executed ones. Thus, in this case the approval rate will be calculated this way:
In the case of a bank affiliate program with a "Granted Loan" rate, the loan application can be considered a potential target action. This action will be approved only after documents have been processed and the funds are transferred.
CMS (or WCMS – Web Content Management System) is a software solution for creating, editing, and managing Web pages and their content. It was developed to speed up and simplify the work of website owners, especially those who are not familiar with programming.
Sometimes working with CMS means populating existing templates of e-stores, blogs or personal websites with your content. The user has simple visual editing tools that do not require the use of markup language, and is able to preview the final result before uploading the data to the server. CMS is also used for editing database content, that is, replacing or editing text and graphics without changing the website design.
Cookies are text data that a web client (usually a browser) receives from a website server, stores and sends back every time a user accesses the site.
Cookies can be used to collect data on user interests, preferences and search requests, as well as to track the access session and save personal interface settings. These data are stored in the user's computer.
In affiliate marketing, cookies make it possible to trace where the visitor came from to the advertiser's website and whether a person performed a target action (lead or sale). Once a user clicks the link issued by the advertiser to the publisher, the user is marked by a unique publisher cookie and is directed to the seller’s website. Even if the user does not make a purchase immediately, but does it at any other time when visiting the website during the cookie lifetime, the user will be considered a buyer brought by this affiliate and the affiliate will get a reward from the advertiser.
There are per-session cookies, which are deleted after the session, and persistent cookies, which are deleted after a set validity period. Persistent cookies are used in CPA marketing to store a user's association with the publisher, even if the user does not perform the target action during the first visit to the advertiser’s website.
The cookie lifetime is the validity period during which a cookie received by the user's browser and associating it with a specific publisher is stored in the user's computer. If the user performs a target action during this period, this action will be considered a user brought by the publisher even if a person had closed the browser or turned off the computer.
A repeated target action performed by the user during the cookie lifetime will also be credited to the publisher, unless otherwise specified in the affiliate program description.
At the end of the cookie lifetime, it is automatically deleted by the browser and the user's actions will no longer be associated with the publisher until the user clicks that publisher's affiliate link again.
In Admitad, the cookie lifetime is specified in the description of any program. This value is also called a PostClick cookie. Obviously, publishers prefer programs with longer cookie lifetimes because this increases the chance of users performing target actions. For example, after thinking about it, they may decide to make a purchase at the advertised e-store.
An event that occurs when a visitor click-throughs a link and makes a purchase from or generates a lead for an advertiser. Publishers earn commissions when conversions occur.
CR stands for Conversion Rate, which is the ratio of the number of target user actions to the total number of transitions (clicks) to the advertiser’s page:
It shows the percentage of users who came to the advertiser's site and converted into buyers.
For example, suppose that 1,000 visitors came to an e-store. 50 of them were so interested in the store and its product offering that they became buyers and carried out transactions. In this case, the website conversion rate is the following:
The website actually had a 5% success in accomplishing its task, which is to motivate as many visitors as possible to make a purchase. But in fact, for a real case this is a pretty high value.
The conversion rate is influenced by many factors, such as the content quality, the ad materials, incoming traffic, the convenience of the interface, and minimum interference for potential buyers. Advertisers continually work on developing the website design and making the interface clearer and easier in order to increase the conversion rate and sales volume.
The concept of conversion can be interpreted in different ways by sellers and content providers. For a seller, successful conversion means turning a visitor into buyer, while for a publisher, successful conversion may mean user registration on the advertiser’s website, subscription to a mailing list, or any other action included in the list of target actions for which the publisher will earn a reward.
Along with eCPC, the conversion rate is another program profitability indicator. It is also the most important criterion of a website's success and efficiency.
In Admitad, the conversion rate specified in the program description is calculated based on transitions and actions performed over the latest 20 days with completely closed payments. It is updated on a daily basis.
CTR is the Click-Through-Rate of the creatives (promotional materials). It is equal to the ratio of clicks to the number of impressions:
Banner ads, flash videos, text links, and so on can serve as promotional materials. Clickability is influenced by many factors, such as banner size, the location on the page, interactivity, content, brightness and contrast, and users' interest in the banner subject. Banners that rotate when the mouse cursor is placed on them or banners presented as mini-games are particularly attractive and users are very drawn to clicking them.
CTR can be seen as a measure of the quality and creativity of promo materials. However, in CPA marketing, the conversion rate (CR) is more important because it accounts not just for all clicks, but clicks that resulted in a sale.
eCPC is the effective Cost Per Click. It is used as an indicator of the affiliate program's profitability in respect to Cost Per Action (CPA) or Cost Per Sale (CPS).
It is calculated as the ratio of the publishers’ earnings to the number of clicks for a certain period:
For example, let's consider an online game program.
The rate is $1 per active player.
Suppose that publishers brought 10,000 users to the game website during the month, of whom 500 became active players.
Hence, the publishers earned 500 x $1 = $500 for the month.
Thus, the program eCPC will be as follows:
In Admitad's All Programs, this value is calculated for the period of 20 "closed" days, that is, days with completely processed payments for the affiliate program. The reports are moving and calculated daily.
Hold time (maximum processing/approval time) is the maximum time allotted to the advertiser to verify user actions. If the actions are approved, the publisher will receive a well-deserved reward. Otherwise, the reward will not be credited. The verification is required primarily to combat fraud by dishonest publishers under programs that provide payment for registrations, subscriptions to updates etc. During this time, the advertiser can track further activities of users who came to the website and make sure they are real people. Or, as in the case with the e-store, a period of time is allocated for order delivery and payment by the buyer.
The Average processing time is the actual average hold time, or time that the advertiser actually spent to verify the activities.
Retargeting is an advertising technique where online advertising is sent to users who have viewed the product or visited the advertiser's site, but did not make a purchase. The main objectives of retargeting are to bring users interested in the product back to the website or to attract new users whose search queries indicate an interest in the product.
Technically, this is executed through ad networks or via advertising agencies that purchase impressions at various ad spaces. A special code is placed on the advertiser’s website that records a variable in the user's cookie if the user performs certain actions, such as registering or browsing products. This variable is the user's ID at other websites or it is recorded in a database of the platform providing retargeting services. When the user visits a website that collaborates with the platform, a banner code at this website reads cookie and based on this identifier, selects and shows the user the corresponding banner ads.
Admitad gives its advertisers a special tool called ReTag to make it easier to insert the code on their site. ReTag is a universal container that is installed once as a script on the required website pages, for example, on the pages of product categories or product cards. It takes only a few clicks to add the script of any retargeting affiliate to the container. The script is added by the affiliate with whom the advertiser agreed to cooperate, and there is no need to edit the website's HTML code. This approach greatly simplifies the code's installation on an e-store website. Otherwise, the process is usually very time-intensive for advertisers’ programmers and may even take as long as several months. And most importantly, there is no need to do this repeatedly for new affiliate scripts.
Targeting is an advertising technique that makes sure ads are displayed only to users that meet specified criteria. These users are called the target audience. The criteria may include age, gender, geographical location (geo targeting), hobbies and interests etc.
Using targeting, the advertiser can significantly reduce its advertising costs by working only with users who are potentially interested in its product.
Teaser advertising is a form of advertising where an intriguing, provocative and often false message, or an image that provokes curiosity, is used in the advertising content.
The ad may be about an unrelated subject, such as "Famous actress diagnosed with a terrible disease". In this case, clicking on it may lead to another teaser ad website, while the landing of the advertised product will open in a pop-up window in the browser.
Direct teaser advertising of the product can be used as well. In this case, the ad will often provide information about the product, although the actual product will not be obvious yet.
As a rule, teaser advertisements tend to have higher CTR than conventional banners − something that users have already gotten bored with.
An XML feed is an updatable set of structured data used to quickly supply fresh content to the final destination. In most cases, it is a link to a code page in XML language.
It is widely used to import products from e-stores, in particular in CPA marketing.
This type of import can be used to organize the following:
- E-shopping comparison sites
- Affiliate e-stores
- Automatic e-mail notifications with a product description and image
- Promo sites with product ads
– In short, any place that requires automating work with a large and frequently updated product feed.
The XML description of a product consists of elements, that is, various tags and their contents. Each element describes a certain product characteristic. For example, the <name></name> tag contains the product name, the <price></price> tag contains the price, the <picture></picture> tag contains a reference to the product image etc. Here is an example of an XML description of sandals at an e-store:
<offer id=»844483″ available=»true»>
<name>Paris Commune sandals</name>
<model>Paris Commune 5-506171201</model>
Usually one XML document contains a description of many products and is put together by the advertiser.
The website that accepts an XML feed reads the values from the corresponding tags of the feed and substitutes them in its own product feed. Thus, the affiliate website database can have a reference directly to the source and it can update automatically, for example, when the product price or availability changes, or when a new product range appears.
This frees up a lot of time for publishers working with an XML feed, which they would otherwise spend manually adding items to the affiliate store or monitoring changes on the seller’s website.
Admitad enables publishers not only to perform one-time XML downloads of products in the form of a file, but also to connect to the XML feed of a particular store, and even to generate the required feed for categories of stores, categories of products, as well as brands and products within a given price range.