Dictionary of Terms
At ClickMagick, we work with a lot of people who are new to online marketing and new to the whole idea of tracking. We’ve found that these new marketers often get thrown by the terminology that their online mentor is using, or that we use ourselves when we’re not thinking about it.
We’ve compiled a list of terms that you’re likely to run across when learning about online marketing. This list doesn’t include all the terms you’ll need to understand as an online marketer, but it’s a good start.
This list of definitions is also pretty loose in that the definitions give a quick overview of how people actually use the terms in the context of click-tracking and funnel management. For example, the entry for “CNAME record” could go on for pages, but in terms of ClickMagick, the only use is for creating a custom marketing domain (see the CNAME entry) so that’s all that’s covered here.
An “A” Record is a DNS record that lets you set the hostname of a domain to a specific IP address using the actual IP address. (The hostname would be the
part of a domain like
, but it could be anything.)
Compare this with a CNAME Record which lets you set the hostname of a domain to a specific IP address by using the textual
name of the target domain, e.g.,
. The DNS mechanism will automatically convert the textual domain to the actual IP address when necessary. Because the IP address of
, these two DNS entries for
would do exactly the same thing:
A rotate 22.214.171.124
CNAME rotate clkmr.com
The one exception to this is when you don’t want a hostname at all, such as just
. In this case, you would set the hostname in the A Record to the
A @ 126.96.36.199
Setting a CNAME record to the
character causes subtle problems that may not be obvious at first so you should never
An “Action” simply means how many times an “Action Tracking Pixel” has recorded a conversion in the “A” column of your tracking stats. See “Tracking Pixel” for more information.
Action Tracking Pixel
Often shortened to just “action pixel.” See “Tracking Pixel” for a complete explanation.
An affiliate network is simply an online service that provides products or services for online marketers to sell without having to create those products or services themselves. Affiliate marketers drive traffic to the affiliate offers and collection commissions for what they actually sell. When you hear the term “affiliate link”, that is describing a link to a particular affiliate offer.
You can easily find the most popular affiliate networks at any time by searching online for “Top Affiliate Networks”. The key to being a successful affiliate marketer is being able to maximize the spread between the cost of your traffic and the amount of sales generated. That’s why tracking is so critical to any affiliate marketing effort. ClickMagick has Knowledge Base articles and a series of video tutorials that show how to set up tracking with affiliate networks.
When a tracking pixel fires or a postback is generated, the corresponding Action, Engagement, or Sales conversion is “attributed” to the tracking or funnel stats. The “conversion” is what happened; the “attribution” is where it’s recorded. For example, in the Pixel Builder, the attribution setting tells ClickMagick which tracking link should record the conversion.
The term “autoresponder” is used in a couple of different, but similar ways. In most cases, when somebody says, “autoresponder”, they mean the tool, or piece of software, that will automatically send out a series of pre-written email messages to somebody you put on an email list.
For example, if you’ve ever entered your email on a website and then got a series of email messages over the next few weeks, you were put on an autoresponder and that tool set you the pre-written emails you got.
Long ago, the word “autoresponder” meant the actual email message, not the tool. That’s because the original autoresponders were always just a single auto-reply message such as, “I’m out of the office until...” You’ll still see this antiquated form used every now and then, but it’s pretty much dead at this point.
See “Landing Page.”
Generally speaking, a “Checkout Page” is a page in a funnel where the visitor is asked to make some sort of payment. If the payment is processed successfully, the visitor is redirected to a “Thank You” page. See “Order Page” for a similar term.
Every time a click comes into ClickMagick, it is given a unique ID number. This is the “click ID”. Normally, you wouldn’t care about the click ID, except when you’re tracking sales with an affiliate network such as MaxBounty, ClickBank, and so on.
Affiliate networks generally allow you to track sales using either a tracking pixel or a Postback URL. Setting up a tracking pixel is really easy and if someone is new to tracking is probably what they should do initially.
Once someone is more experienced, setting up a Postback URL is the way to go because it’s more accurate if you’re working with slow loading pages or flaky connections. (For a tracking pixel to work, the page it’s on has to load or it won’t fire and record the sale. Postback URLs work whether the page loads or not since the affiliate network server and the ClickMagick server are talking directly to each other in server-to-server fashion.)
You can learn more about Postback URLs here:
How do I track sales using Postback URLs?
A CNAME Record is a DNS record that lets you set the hostname of a domain to a specific IP address using the textual name of the target domain, e.g.,
. Compare this to an “A Record” which lets you set the hostname of a domain to a specific IP address using the actual IP address. The DNS mechanism will automatically convert the textual domain to the actual IP address when necessary. These two DNS entries for
would do exactly the same thing:
CNAME rotate www.clkmr.com
A rotate 188.8.131.52
These behave identically because the IP address of
. The one exception to this is when you don’t want a hostname at all, such as just
. In this case, you would set the hostname in the A Record to the
A @ 184.108.40.206
Setting a CNAME record to the
character causes subtle problems so you should never do that.
When an pixel fires or a postback is made, that triggers a “conversion” which simply tells ClickMagick exactly what just happened. ClickMagick then needs to take that conversion event and record it in the stats of a tracking link. The exact place where the new stat is recorded is called an “attribution” because the conversion is attributed to it.
The word “cookie” is just a silly way of saying “data stored inside the browser” so the website can work better as you move from page to page. For example, a cookie might contain your username or account name. A cookie might contain your current preference settings for the website you’re on.
Think of a cookie jar full of sale receipts or other notes. You can add notes to the cookie jar, or take them out to review. Those notes are “cookies” even though they aren’t. In this case, the browser is the cookie jar and the cookies are just little pieces of data—like your username—stored in the browser. To some people “cookie” just sounds more sophisticated than “browser data”...
Cost per Action. This is how much you’ve paid for each Action. You’ll only see something here if you are tracking actions and you’ve entered cost data. See “Actions”.
Cost per Click. This is how much you’re paying for your traffic, expressed in terms of Cost Per Click. You’ll only see something here if you’ve entered cost data for your link in the Advanced Settings section of your tracking link.
Cost per Install. ClickMagick doesn’t explicitly report a Click per Install stat, but you will see it referenced in discussions about tracking stats.
Cost per Lead.
Cost per Million. This is the cost per millions of impressions on a website. Just note that one web page might have more than one banner or ad so the number of page views can be different from the number of impressions.
Cost per Sale. This is how much you’ve paid for each sale. You’ll only see something here if you are tracking sales and you’ve entered cost data. Note the the sale is the total amount for each Unique Click or Unique Visitor. For example, if one Unique Visitor bought 3 upsells in addition to the primary offer, that would be one total sale in the stats with a total sales amount of all 4 purchases.
Click Through Rate. The CTR is the percentage of people who click on a link, either on a web page or in an email message. For example, if you send an email with a link to your offer and nobody clicks on that link, your CTR for that link would be 0%, which is really bad... If you have a low CTR for a link, that’s an opportunity to improve something someplace. This is where split-testing can help you out by allowing you to test a modified version of your web page or email against your current one to see which version produces a higher CTR.
In ClickMagick, a “custom domain” is a personalized domain that you would buy from a domain registrar and then configure to work with ClickMagick. For instance, if you marketed skateboards for kids, you could register a domain like
and use that instead of ClickMagick’s generic
domains in your tracking links. For online marketers, it’s considered a Best Practice to always use custom domains with the online services that you use. That includes your tracking service, your autoresponder, your Page Builder, and so on. If you use the generic domains for these services, those domains are shared with thousands of other marketers and any number of them can get the generic domain blacklisted for a short time while things get sorted out. You avoid that possibility by using your own custom domains.
In computer software, the word “deprecated” means that a feature is no longer officially supported and is likely to be removed in the future. In other words, if you discover that you’re using a deprecated feature, you should stop using it as soon as possible and use the suggested replacement instead.
Basically, marking something as “deprecated” is rather like marking it as “obsolete”, “discontinued”, or “unsupported”.
See “Primary URL”.
Direct Linking describes the practice of sending your visitors directly from an advertiser such as Google Ads or Bing to your affiliate link without any pages in between. Google Ads and Bing hate this practice because you don’t provide any additional, unique value to the affiliate offer compared to the thousands of other affiliate marketers promoting the same link. You would not
be Direct Linking if you first sent the visitor to a pre-sell page or opt-in page before sending them on to the affiliate offer.
See “Custom Domain”.
A Domain Registrar is a service where you can search for unused domains, buy them, and set them up for use in any way you want. GoDaddy is one of the best-known domain registrars, but there are literally thousands of companies that provide this service. With ClickMagick, you would use a Domain Registrar to buy a domain that you could use as a Custom Tracking Domain. See “Custom Domain”.
A Downsell is typically a lower-priced offer that is made when a visitor rejects a higher-priced offer. For example, if the visitor was offered a $997 ticket to a live event and that offer was rejected, then a downsell offer could be a $197 audio recording of the previous time the live event was held.
An “Engagement” simply means how many times an “Engagement Tracking Pixel” has recorded a conversion in the “E” column of your tracking stats. See “Tracking Pixel” for more information.
Engagement Tracking Pixel
Often shortened to just “engagement pixel”. See “Tracking Pixel” for a complete explanation.
This an old name for what we are now calling a “flagged” click. We changed the name because the word “filtered” implied that clicks were being filtered from delivery when, in fact, only their counts were being filtered from the UC stat and added to the FC stat instead.
See “Primary URL”.
In ClickMagick, a “flagged” click is a click that ClickMagick has determined is probably not a click that you want to include in your tracking stats. Typically, these clicks would be coming from bots or other automated computer programs and not coming from actual people who have clicked on your link. Flagged clicks are recorded in the FC column of your stats and then redirected to the Primary URL of your tracking link as usual. By keeping these clicks out of the stats for Total Clicks (“TC”) and Unique Clicks (“UC”), the rest of your stats that are computed using the TC and UC values are much more accurate and meaningful. Also note that flagged clicks do not go through normal processing, so any tokens (
, etc.) that you use in the Primary URL of the link will not be replaced with actual values.
“FOMO” is an acronym that stands for “Fear Of Missing Out”. It’s a marketing term used to describe ways to make prospects sense a fear-of-loss if they don’t act quickly on something.
A funnel is a series of web pages that takes a visitor through a pre-designed, controlled, exposure process, usually ending in a purchase.
HTML stands for “Hyper Text Markup Language”. HTML is the formatting language used on web pages. It’s the formatting language (along with CSS) that makes characters bold or italic on the screen, gives characters their size and color. HTML positions text and images properly on the page, and so on.
For a quick introduction to HTML, just spend an afternoon going through the first handful of lessons this comprehensive course:
“Landing Page” is a somewhat generic term that means the first page of your funnel. A landing page could be an email opt-in page, it could be a video sales page, or any other type of page. The key point is that it’s the first page your visitor sees after they click on your traffic link.
See “upsell” and “downsell”. An order bump is an additional sale made after the primary sale.
An “Order Page” is a page where a user is asked to make some type of exchange, usually by entering some sort of payment information, but it doesn’t have to be. A “Checkout Page” pretty much always means a payment page, whereas an Order Page includes non-monetary exchanges as well. For example, maybe you have a page that converts video files from one format to another. The page where the person uploads their video could be considered an “order” page, and the converted video would be returned on the Thank You page that’s displayed next.
“OTO” is an acronym for “one-time-offer.” A one-time-offer is a sales approach that uses fear-of-loss to get you to buy something by suggesting that you will only be given a discounted offer a single time.
A Page Builder is a tool that helps people build their websites much more quickly than writing everything directly in HTML. Page Builders provide pre-built web pages that you then modify to suit your needs. Page Builders can be a desktop or mobile applications, but more often than not, they are online web development tools. If you’ve ever seen an advertisement promoting that you can build a website “in minutes,” that’s a Page Builder.
A Postback URL is a special URL used in server-to-server communications. Simply, when you’re working with a system such as an Affiliate Network that supports Postback URLs, you would give that system a URL to invoke once a sale (or other action) is made. This URL then passes back the sales information to ClickMagick. For this to work correctly, you need to do two things. First, you need to send the Affiliate Network a piece of information that identifies each click that it’s sent and, second, you need to set up URL that that Affiliate Network should use when a sale is made.
With ClickMagick, each click process has a unique “click ID”. You can easily pass this click ID to the Affiliate Network in your tracking link.
To create a ClickMagick Postback URL for a specific Affiliate Network, use ClickMagick’s Postback Builder tool.
When you create a tracking link in ClickMagick, the URL that the click is sent to after it has been recorded is called the “Primary URL”. Other tracking systems might call this the Destination URL, Final URL, or Target URL. Basically, when you’re tracking clicks, you’ll direct those clicks to a tracking link and once the tracking system has recorded the click, the tracking system will then redirect the click to the page you actually want the visitor to land on.
Hiding or “blanking” your referrers so the sites you’re sending traffic to can’t tell where it’s coming from.
To learn more about how to blank your referrers, read this article:
How do I completely hide my referrers?
Within ClickMagick, a “Sale” simply means how many times a “Sales Tracking Pixel” has recorded a conversion in the “S” column of your tracking stats. See “Tracking Pixel” for more information.
Sales Tracking Pixel
Often shortened to just “sales pixel”. See “Tracking Pixel” for a complete explanation
You can pass data through links in two different ways: in a “query string,” or in a “slug.” A slug is a descriptive piece of text that is preceded by a slash “/” in your link. Here’s a visual difference in how you would pass the word “bottle” or “case” to a wine website, first using query strings, then using slugs:
ClickMagick uses slugs to differentiate between different tracking and rotator links. Other websites, like WordPress, use slugs to determine which page you want to see.
A “squeeze page” is a generic term for any type of page where you’re collecting information from your visitors. An email opt-in page is the most common type of squeeze page. You can remember this by thinking of “squeezing information out of them.”
In ClickMagick, a Sub-ID is an optional piece of information that you can add to a tracking or rotator link that allows you to gather more information on how that tracking or rotator link is being used. To add a Sub-ID to a link, simply add the “/” character to the link followed by the Sub-ID data. For example, if your tracking link is...
...you could add up to 5 Sub-IDs to that link like this:
To see how you would use this extra data, read this article:
See “Primary URL”.
Thank You Page
A “Thank You” page is a page in a funnel that the visitor is sent to after completing a task, typically one in which they were asked for some type of information, such as entering their email address, or making a payment. The Thank You page doesn’t have to say, “Thank You”. The page could be an upsell page, an eBook download page, or any other page that immediately follows an information request page.
A “token” is a piece of text used as a placeholder that will replaced at some point with an actual value. A real-life example of a token would be those sticky notes on financial documents that say “ SIGN HERE =>
”. In this example, you would replace every sticky note with your actual signature before the document is finalized and submitted. In the same way, when you read or hear that some part of a URL is a token, it simply means that that token will be replaced with a real value before the URL is actually used.
Tokens can be any piece of text, but in ClickMagick they are always surrounded with angle brackets for consistency. For example,
. Affiliate networks will sometimes use curly braces:
, etc. The MailChimp autoresponder uses tokens that look like
which will be replaced with the email recipient’s email address and first name before the email message is actually sent.
It really doesn’t matter what the tokens look like as long as you know they are
tokens and will be replaced with real values at some point before they are actually used.
See “Tracking Pixel” below.
For example, if you have an email opt-in page followed by a Thank You or Offer page and you were to put a tracking pixel on the Thank You or Offer page, then you could use the pixel information to count how many people had opted in to your email list since the only way to get to the Thank You or Offer page is to opt-in to your email list.
By extending this concept, you can place tracking pixels on all of the important pages in your funnel, allowing you to track exactly how many visitors are making it to each step. If you then find that a lot of visitors are not continuing on through a specific page, you can look at that page and work on optimizing it so that it performs better.
To make this easy to track in your stats, ClickMagick has three different types of tracking pixels: action tracking pixels, engagement tracking pixels, and sales tracking pixels. The only real difference between these tracking pixels is in which column they show up in your stats. Action pixels record in the “A” column. Engagement pixels record in the “E” column, and Sales pixels record in the “S” column. Sales pixels also update your sales statistics to include the sales amount that the pixel recorded.
Also, from a terminology viewpoint, when a tracking pixel is processed, that’s called “firing the pixel”. The count is called a “conversion” and the conversion is “attributed” to a specific tracking link. Take the phrase: “When the action tracking pixel fired, the conversion was attributed to the tracking link named ‘Callaway Golf Clubs’”. That simply means that the value in the “A” column of the “Callaway Golf Clubs” tracking link was increased by one.
For a really in depth explanation of tracking pixels and tracking code, read this article:
An upsell is an offer that is made after someone agrees to make an initial purchase. Unlike a downsell in which the followup offer is almost always a less expensive option, an upsell can be a small extra purchase, or something much larger. For example, if you ordered an online video course for $197, you might be offered a smaller $47 upsell for some bonus videos, or you might be offered a larger $997 upsell for a ticket to a live event. Split-testing can come in handy here to see what type of offer on the upsell can make the most actual sales for your particular product or service.
Article 222 Last updated: 07/12/2020 8:10:29 AM