Merchant or Advertiser: an online business that markets and sells goods or services. Merchants establish affiliate programs as a cost-effective method to get consumers to purchase a product, register for a service, fill out a form, or visit a Web site.
Affiliate or Publisher: a Web site owner that earns a commission for referring clicks, leads, or sales to a merchant.
Performance Marketing is any form of online advertising in which a merchant/marketer pays purely for desired results, rather than paying for frequency and reach.
Software Solution Provider: A company that provides the basic tools necessary to administer an affiliate program, including, but not limited to, the ability to register affiliates, provide advertising to affiliates, and to track all activity at the affiliate level.
Network Solution Provider: In addition to providing the tools necessary to administer an affiliate program, these companies also have large numbers of website owners who participate in affiliate programs registered with them. These affiliates then have the opportunity to review and join merchant programs offered through the network.
Affiliate Program Manager: An individual or group within an organization responsible for the success of the affiliate marketing channel. Key functions include: new affiliate acquisition, marketing training and support to affiliates, relationship development, and much more.
Outsource Program Management: An external organization that expertly fills the role of the Affiliate Program Manager for its merchant clients. Such companies typically have deep knowledge of the affiliate marketing arena and key relationships in place.