Glossary of Terms

The Internet marketing industry uses terminology that can be confusing. This Glossary of Terms will help guide you through the jargon. Each of the terms is listed in alphabetical order. 

If you are interested in understanding more about Analytics distinct measures, refer to the Glossary of Measures


Term Definition


An event (sale or lead) on an advertiser’s website for which an advertiser pays a commission to a referring publisher.

Acquisition Date

Organizing data by "Acquisition Date" allows the platform to associate Re-bill and Recurring transactions to the Initial transaction that initiated the order.

Acquisition Date is the date that the original order was placed and allows Analytics to present data in an appropriately connected way. Specifically, Acquisition Date associates Re-bill and Recurring transactions (Cycles 1…X) to the Initial transaction that initiated the order. When calculating many measures, disassociating the recurring transaction types from the date of origination (the Initial transaction) causes arithmetic inconsistencies and brings incorrect and misleading results - and ultimately incorrect business decisions.

As an example: measures that incorporate time-phasing and transaction type correlation into the calculation: think Re-Bill rate or Chargeback Rate; they both associate a transactional event to other components of the overall order within a timeframe.

That being said, there are instances where you may want to simply see the count, or value, or count by transaction type, of transactions within a period. When this type of analysis is performed it will be noted as such.

Also see Transaction Date.


Data analysis showing advertisers the specific marketing campaign investments that contribute to specific conversions. Attribution helps advertisers determine the effectiveness of campaigns and where the budget is spent along the customer lifecycle.

Lime Light has made attribution a high priority since Advertisers have historically been challenged to properly attribute campaigns across verticals, channels, and affiliates.

Average Order Value

A measure of the average total of every order placed with a merchant over a defined period of time. It is calculated by dividing the total value of all purchases by the total number of purchases over a given time period.


An acquiring bank (or acquirer) is a financial institution that processes credit/debit card payments on behalf of an advertiser. The term acquirer indicates that the advertiser accepts credit card payments from the card-issuing banks within an association (i.e. Visa or MasterCard).

BIN (Bank Identification Number)

The first 6 digits of the credit card number, which identifies the institution that issued the card. BIN stands for Bank Identification Number. Some major BINs include: Amex (34xxxx, 37xxxx), Visa (4xxxxx), MasterCard (51xxxx - 55xxxx) and Discover (6011xx, 644xxx, 65xxxx).


A specific, defined series of activities and parameters used to bring product(s)/service(s) to market.


A channel is a specific medium used to reach an intended audience, such as search, affiliate, email, social media, display advertising, etc.


See Merchant Chargeback (MCB).


The incentive a publisher receives from an advertiser for generating leads or sales through its website.

Cost of Goods Sold (GOGS)

The total cost of producing a product up to the point of sale. This would include costs such as manufacturing costs, packaging costs, pre-sale shipping or import duty costs, etc.

Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

CPA stands for Cost per Acquisition and is an advertising pricing model based on paying for direct results. The direct correlation between the action taken and the payment for the advertising that led to the action.

Cost per 1,000 Impressions (CPM)

An advertising pricing model based on an estimate of the number of impressions of a particular creature in a particular media at a particular time. The vast majority of online banner advertising is priced using the CPM model. The "M" is the Roman numeral for 1,000. The cost is aggregated per thousand for convenience; the cost for individual impressions would be very small.

Cost per Click-through (CPC)

An advertising pricing model based on paying only for those ads that experience a click-through. CPC can be considered a measure of direct response but is not a measure of true action taken by a user.

Cost per Lead (CPL)

A CPA pricing method that typically pays a fixed fee for the acquisition of a customer lead, such as a filled out form or an opt-in email address.

Cost per Sale (CPS)

A CPA pricing method that typically pays a transaction percentage for the acquisition of a customer that makes a purchase.

Customer Acquisition Cost

The cost associated with acquiring a new customer.

Term Definition

Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)

The profit a business makes from any given customer (sometimes as LTV, CLTV or CLV). The purpose of the CLTV measure is to assess the financial value of each customer.


An event that occurs when a consumer makes a purchase.

Conversion Rate

The percentage of orders divided by visits. For example, if one in every hundred visitors site makes a purchase, then the conversion rate is 1%.


Indicates that the credit card charge to the consumer has not gone through.

Earnings per Click (EPC)

Defined as the average earnings per 100 clicks, a relative rating that illustrates the ability to convert click-throughs into commissions. For example, if a publisher sends 1,000 clicks/visitors and is paid.

Effective Processing Rate (ePR)

The average cost of processing orders. For example, if the total cost of processing 100 orders is $10, the ePR is $0.10. The ePR is a good measure to compare the cost of one gateway/merchant account to another.

Expense Assumption

Expense figures (actual or estimated) incurred in the ordinary course of business.

Frequency - Purchase

The average number of times a user has purchased over a period of time.


The payment gateway (NMI, Salt, etc) and payment processor (TSYS, First Data, etc) combination that facilitates payment (sales & refunds). The “payment gateway” passes data to the “payment processor” to complete transactions.

Gross Revenue

The total amount customers actually pay when they make their purchases.

Initial Transaction

Often called an “Initial”. The first transaction in the scheduled series of transactions in a trial subscription program. A non-trial subscription will not have an Initial Order.


A KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is an actionable "scorecard" that helps to keep strategy on track. KPI's demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. 


A type of action in which a consumer registers, signs up for, or downloads something from an advertiser's website. A prospective customer filling out a form on an advertiser’s website is also a type of lead.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

See Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV).

Merchant Account Reserve

See “Reserves.”

Merchant Chargeback (MCB)

A demand by a credit-card provider/card association (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, etc) for an Advertiser/Merchant to make good the loss on a fraudulent or disputed transaction.

MCB Lost Revenue

MCB Lost Revenue is total Gross Revenue lost within the designated time period as a result of chargebacks only. Specifically, the measure is calculated simply as Sum(Gross Revenue of Transactions Charged back). The benefits of representarent are not reflected in the MCB Lost Revenue calculation.


A Measure is a result of a quantitative calculation or aggregation using data elements. For example, measures include Average Order Value (AOV), Decline Rate, Refund Rate, Net Profit, etc.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Income from Initial orders that are on subscription. MRR does not count Initial order but includes rebill and subscription orders.

Net Revenue

Net revenue refers to Gross Revenue minus the cost of sales, including the cost of goods sold.

Net Profit

Revenue remaining after total expenses and taxes are subtracted.


A customer agreeing to the terms of a sale. An “Order” can include any type of transaction or set of transactions, such as

  • Straight Sale
  • Trial Subscription (initial + rebill + recurring transactions)
  • Subscriptions (defined set of recurring transactions)

Rebill Transaction

A transaction immediately following the trial transaction. A Rebill Transaction is the receipt of payment for a product at the end of a defined trial period and is generally a financial transaction only, usually not including the shipping or delivery of a product or service.

Recurring Transaction

The on-going transactions based on the defined schedule of a subscription. Recurring Transactions include both financial payment and the shipping or delivery of a good or service.


A set amount of the advertiser’s money that is put aside by the acquiring bank as a security deposit. This safeguards the financial institution from unplanned liability.

Sub Affiliate

An individual working under an affiliate who drives traffic to a website in exchange for a commission when the desired action (i.e. visit, sale, form submittal, etc) is completed.

Tracking Pixel

A tiny, transparent graphic that is placed with each link as a means of tracking link performance. The 1x1 pixel is used to track impressions and is one of two tracking methods used by affiliates. Using Tracking Pixels is the standard tracking method for CPA advertising to determine if an order has been made.




See “Initial Order.”


See also “Affiliate.” The terms Affiliate and Publisher are often used interchangeably. The owner of a website that chooses to display or promote an advertiser's products or services. Publishers agree to place ads on their websites or promote an advertiser's offers via search or other means authorized by the advertiser. In return, publishers can earn commissions, which vary by advertiser, on click-throughs, leads, or purchases made through the links on their websites.

Publisher Fraud

Fraudulent behavior by publishers to increase sales or skew numbers. Publisher fraud is covered by the publisher Service Agreement (PSA) and Code of Conduct (COC).


The period of time a user is active on a site or app. By default, if a user is inactive for 30 minutes or more, any future activity is attributed to a new session. Users that leave a site and return within 30 minutes are counted as part of the original session.

Session Duration

The amount of time a visitor spends on a web page or website they visit.

Source ID (SID)

Tracking parameter identifier (usually numeric) used to determine the origin of traffic, such as an affiliate, search engine, or referral partner (


An individual working under an affiliate who drives traffic to a website in exchange for a commission when the desired action (i.e. visit, sale, form submittal, etc) is completed.

SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)

A unique number that identifies an advertiser's product.

Tracking Link

URL tracking is the process of adding unique identifiers to destination URLs.

Tracking Pixel

A snippet of code that includes a reference to an image pixel hosted on Affiliate servers that enable tracking conversions.


A term that refers to the number of users that land on an advertiser's website after clicking on a publisher-generated link.

Unique Customers

A unique customer is determined by a unique customer ID.

Unique Visitors

The number of distinct individuals requesting pages from the website during a given period, regardless of how often they visit.


A vertical is a specific group of people within an industry. With verticals, you’re dealing with entire sections of a market. For example, within the finance vertical, there are several niches such as credit cards, insurance, credit scores, stocks, etc.


Any user who goes to a particular website.

You may find the following Help Center articles relevant to Analytics helpful.

  1. Analytics Overview
  2. Glossary of Measures
  3. How to use Filters
  4. Analytics Vs. Reports - Data Calculation Methodology