For a newcomer, the language of affiliate marketing can be really confusing. This guide aims to help you navigate through the intricacies of affiliate marketers’ terminology. But before you will learn about affiliate offer types and the verticals they belong to, let’s make sure you’re familiar with some of the basic affiliate marketing terms.
Basic Affiliate Terminology
Offer – an offer is something you are trying to promote. It may be a game, an app install on the users’ phone, software they download, subscriptions to a video streaming site, shopping or travel deals or an online service. Most of the affiliate offer types are digital. As Charles Ngo explains in one of his articles there may be exceptions when affiliate programs include the promotion of tangible goods (for example, e-commerce offers). But overall, when talking about affiliate offers, we mean digital products or services.
Offer URL – the destination URL where users will be redirected after clicking the link or the banner.
Vertical – all offers belong to a particular industry (some marketers also use the word “niche”). Vertical is a broad category, incorporating and standardizing offers from one industry with similar topics or characteristics.
Mainstream / Adult – all affiliate offer types and their verticals are usually divided into two groups – mainstream and adult. This division determines if an offer can be promoted on adult or mainstream traffic.
Mobile / Desktop – the most basic offer targeting is mobile and desktop. Mobile offers aim at users who surf via their tablets or phones, desktop offers focus on users who are connected via their laptops or home computers.
GEO – a country/region your offer is targeting.
SOI (Single Opt-In) – all offers with a simple registration process which requires users to complete just one step to subscribe.
DOI (Double Opt-In) – offers which require more than 1 step to be completed to consider conversions valid.
Pre-Lander – in simple words, this is a page which appears before your offer. Many advertisers use pre-landers as an initial incentive to attract users. Typically, such pages are concise, ignite initial interest from the user’s side, and work as a smooth transition to the offer landing page.
Landing Page – the final page of the offer you promote. Efficient landing pages provide detailed information and benefits of the advertised product or service and clear and enticing call to actions.
Conversion – The definition of a conversion varies between industries and verticals and depends highly on the payout model of the offer. The cost or payout model determines which user actions qualify to be considered a conversion – a subscription with further verification steps, software download, app install, a product/service quote inquiry, a sale, or lead acquisition (when prospect customers fill out digital forms, subscribe to a service or a newsletter, share their basic contact details, become members of communities etc.).
Now let’s a have a look at the most popular affiliate offer types and verticals out there.
All Affiliate Offer Types and Verticals
Lead Generation (a.k.a. LEADGEN) – a vast vertical which covers offers from other categories. Most of the affiliate offers available on the market at the moment are LEADGEN, as they aim to deliver leads (potential customers) to advertisers. These are offers that collect some kind of information about the customer in exchange for a benefit or access to a service.
Utility & VPN – offers which promote utility applications and software, designed to help analyze, configure and optimize device performance. All products related to VPN and online privacy protection also fall into this category. Typically, such offers aim to convince users to download apps and software.
Antivirus – applications and software, offering antivirus protection for mobile and desktop devices. Similar to Utility & VPN vertical, Antivirus offer.
Dating – social media (applications and websites) for dating purposes. Usually CPA-based. Typically, users need to subscribe to a dating service, install an app etc.
Casino & Gambling – websites and mobile applications, promoting online casinos and gambling offers (please note, promoting gambling in the US and AU is prohibited by law). These are mainly CPA-based offers, REVSHARE ones or hybrid CPA+REVSHARE. Conversion for such offers will be user registration with a deposit.
Games – online games for mobile and desktop devices. User action: game install or download.
Surveys & Sweeps – offers that give users a chance to win something (usually shopping coupons and vouchers or smartphones) by participating in a survey. Sweepstakes can also be categorized as lead generation offers or PIN Submit ones.
Sports Betting – websites and mobile applications that promote sports betting ones (i.e. football bets, horse racing bets etc.). User action: similar to gambling offers.
Crypto Offers – all offers related to the topic of cryptocurrencies – websites and applications, facilitating cryptocurrency exchange, investments, crypto news, tools for cryptocurrency mining. These are mainly lead generation offers.
PIN Submit – all offers where users are asked to provide basic contact information, such as a phone number or an email address. The PIN Submit category covers a wide range of offer types from app installs, to video streaming, surveys & sweeps and etc. Please note, if you have an offer with the number to call, then it is a not a PIN Submit offer! It is Pay Per Call!
Pay Per Call (PPC) – also known as Cost Per Call, similar to other lead generation offers PPC offers pay for a call that meets certain requirements – call duration, a conversion, a sale etc. Typically, these are lead generation offers.
Smartlink – campaigns with special URLs which contain many rotating offers in them. Users click on one link but there are several destinations (offers) the link can take them to. Usually, smartlink offers have an optimized algorithm to automatically redirect users to the most profitable offer. So, offer rotation, in this case, represents offer A/B testing.
Mainstream VOD / Streaming – promotion of video streaming services and video on demand platforms. Very often VOD/Streaming offers are categorized as PIN Submit ones as users have to provide their basic contact information (in most cases, phone number or an email) to start using the service.
Insurance – promotions of all kinds of insurances, i.e. life insurance, car insurance, health insurance etc.
Loans – promo campaigns from banks and legitimate financial organizations, offering loan services.
Investing – all offers, promoting investment services from legitimate financial organizations; investments services in traditional assets, such as bonds, shares, mutual funds etc.
Real Estate – everything related to deals with property – apartment rentals, property sales, and acquisitions; real estate investment services.
Binary Options/Trading – offers related to trading or binary options and promotion of financial products, such as derivatives (swaps, futures, forwards, options etc.).
Careers – mobile applications and websites, offering job search services and other career-related information.
Services & Repairs – offers related to any kind of service and repairs, i.e car repairs, plumbers, tax services, etc.
Education / Personal Development – all offers related to personal development and education – courses, educational materials, news etc.
Hobbies & Interests – blogs and online resources related to free-time activities.
Travel Booking Sites – all travel-related offers, such as hotel reservation promos, booking websites & applications ads, travel ticket deals & vouchers, and other special travel offers etc.
Shopping – everything related to e-commerce.
Pharmacy – promotions of legitimate websites and mobile apps, selling medicines in general (i.e. online pharmacies).
Recreational Drugs – legit offers, promoting recreational drugs or weed legally, and their accessories.
Nutra & Diet – health and diet supplements, vitamins, skincare and beauty products etc.
Adult – all offers with landing pages and/or promoted product or service, containing nudity and adult-related content from legitimate sources fall under the adult category. The eligible affiliate offer types of the adult category are the following:
- Adult – Smartlink
- Adult – App
- Adult – Cams/Tubesite
- Adult – Dating/Social Networks
- Adult – Shopping
- Adult – Games
- Adult – Nutra & Enhancement
The list of affiliate offer types keeps on changing as new verticals and flows keep finding their way to affiliate marketing. If you think, we missed something, please feel free to leave a comment below.