GPT & CPA / Affiliate Network Industry Terms


  • GPT– The term GPT stands for ‘Get Paid To’ which in our context describes a type of site in which site members are rewarded with cash (delivered through an online payment processor such as PayPal, etc.), loaded on to a prepaid debit card (delivered via postal mail or the card specifics emailed), or via mailed money order or check, etc.) or prize rewards such as mailed physical prize (can be anything at all), services, site account upgrades, online game currency, or purchased (traded for points) online advertising, etc)
  • PTS– This term stands for ‘Paid To Signup’ and generally is used interchangeably with the term ‘GPT’ (though nowadays the term ‘PTS’ is in decline in favor of the more popular ‘GPT’)  PTS is also sometimes used more specifically to describe a type of ‘offer’ in which the advertiser pays only for registrations or ‘sign ups’
  • Affiliate Network– [Ad Network / CPA Network] A company which solicits, negotiates, and contracts with advertisers (in some (many) cases – other affiliate networks) maintains an inventory of ad campaigns and offers (sourced from advertisers) while also maintaining a stable of publishers / affiliates which have applied and have been pre-screened by the network to promote their listed ad campaigns.
    The advertiser purchases promotion services for their ad campaigns and offers from the affiliate network which in turn generally sets the lead rates (commonly calculated as a percentage portion of the advertiser lead rate the network receives), organizes and presents crucial offer promotion terms information (types of allowed promotion forms and offer restrictions, etc.), oversees publisher compliance with the offer terms, enforces offer fraud prevention, serves banner creatives and tracking links, facilitates (approves or denies) publisher access to each specific campaign, pays publishers based upon their individual performance, and utilizes a leased (usually) affiliate network tracking and management web site script.  In our (ShiftCode) case our own in-house proprietary Performa Network script is ideally integrated with our GPT site script product resulting in many advantages over all other (disjointed) commercial network scripts.                       
  • Advertiser– A company or individual with a goal of promoting a brand, product, or service by way of an advertising campaign and/or offer seeking to compel or entice the consumer (GPT site member / offer respondent / end user – in our context) to make a purchase, perform a certain action(s), be educated by the information provided (favoring their ‘brand’)  The advertiser is responsible for compensating the CPA / affiliate network for offer completions (leads and/or conversions) based upon the terms of the contractual obligations predefined or negotiated beforehand.
  • Publisher– In our context in this industry (online electronic) and in this day and age the term ‘publisher’ refers to a company or individual who has the role of promoting advertising campaigns and offers listed in the advertisement (ad) ‘inventory’ of the affiliate network and/or directly from the ‘advertiser’   The publisher has the responsibility of delivering publicly (or ‘publishing’) the advertisement(s) to the offer respondent most commonly by way of a web site (a prime example in our context would be a GPT web site though this may also take other forms such as a social network (Facebook, etc.), niche web site (or blog), etc.) banner ad and/or link , via email to a database list of newsletter subscribers the publisher maintains, and by other electronic means (though less common it doesn’t necessarily have to be electronic – some publishers may promote ad campaigns by way of printed hardcopy (physical) ‘flyers’, by postal mail, etc)
    The term publisher is often used interchangeably with the term ‘affiliate’ in the context of an ‘affiliate network’ though sometimes the use of the term affiliate may indicate a dual role as both advertiser and publisher in relation to an affiliate network.     
  • CPA– The term CPA stands for ‘Cost Per Action’ and describes a mode of offer delivery where the ‘advertiser’ pays only for a predefined and agreed upon specific ‘action’ performed or landmark point reached towards offer completion (what’s called an offer ‘conversion’ or a ‘lead’ generated)
  • Offer– An advertiser’s presentation of a product or service to the GPT site member (offer ‘respondent’) in the form of a web site or page linked to from a ‘banner’ (logo image, etc) and/or text link.  Am offer relays details of a specific deal(s) intended to entice the offer respondent towards completing a specific action(s) such as a purchase or a sales lead.   The terms ‘offer’ and ‘campaign’ are often used interchangeably (incorrectly in my opinion)  though technically an advertising campaign may contain one or more offers.
  • Campaign– An advertiser’s presentation in the form of one or more ‘offers’ toward the same or similar goal describing a specific brand, product, or service to the GPT site member (offer ‘respondent’)  An advertising campaign is a single offer or group of offers relating to the same or similar ‘deal’ presented to the respondent.
  • Incent vs. Non-Incent– (offer promotion types) Generally, you (we) ARE in the GPT site business and most all (if not 100%) of the offer promotion we will actually be doing (or ‘seen always’ by advertisers as doing) falls into the ‘Incentive’ (‘incent’ for short) category.  Incent promotion means that you will be offering an incentive to your GPT site members for them to engage in the act of what we (in the business) call ‘doing offers’  Incentives (sometime called ‘rewards’) come in all types (cash, points, virtual currency, prizes, site account upgrades, access to restricted content, etc.) and if you are providing ANYTHING AT ALL to anyone in return for them attempting and completing offers then you are indeed engaging in incentive based promotion methods (it’s best NOT to ever try to hid that simple fact – us being in this business)  Anyways, it is rather simple for advertisers and affiliate networks to distinguish what is incent type promotion traffic patterns versus non-incent patterns simply by glancing at the detailed traffic reports available to even the simplest of affiliate network administrator.

    Ok, we’ve covered incent type promotion but what about non-incent promotion?  Sure, non-incent offer promotion can basically be summed up simply by this test.  Is the offer respondent clicking upon the offer banner / link completely out of his own curiosity or desire to learn and know more about the brand, product, or service?  …or is the offer respondent click based upon anything (at all) that has been promised, implied, or reasonably expected based upon the type of site (GPT?) he is seeing the offer promoted on?  Even allowing access to privileged access ‘premium’ web site content IS considered INCENT promotion (it’s called a ‘content locker’)

    This looks like a perfect place to briefly mention that ‘tricking’ anyone to click on an offer link or fooling anyone into completing an offer is considered ‘FRAUD’ – the LEAST of your worries would be that your offer source will call you out for it being ‘incent’ traffic (they’ll be much more likely to suspend (or revoke) your publisher account without payment if they discover the deceptive practice you’re perpetrating upon their valued potential customers – while also implicating them (or their brand) in cheating the public in any way)  It’s dishonest FRAUD to trick, fool, or force anyone to complete offers you are promoting.  Just DON’T!
    With most all modern savvy advertisers and affiliate networks then there is no wiggle room or grey area here.  It is either clearly non-incent promotion (and if not, then it IS INDEED implied that it’s incent.)  It’s not something that is easily successfully argued about with the people who are paying for you to promote their ads.  If you become too argumentative or bold in your assertions that ANY of the traffic you are sending them after declaring that you are in the GPT site business is not incent type traffic then they will be more likely than not to reverse your credit for any questionably promoted offers previously approved – after the fact (and payment for those leads – called a ‘reversal’ or ‘charge-back’) than they would to pay you for risky (possibly fraudulent – on YOUR part) leads.

    Remember, in most all cases the people (advertiser or ad network) you are talking to also have people ‘upstream’ (traffic wise) that they will ultimately have to answer to about questionable leads (just as you are – with them)  …and they would rather not risk that they themselves will ultimately not get paid from their offer source (as much as (if not more) than YOU want to always be sure that you are getting paid for completions that you are paying (usually far in-advance) your own GPT site members for)  To sum it all up – don’t put yourself in the position of having to defend what are classic risky (looking) leads.  If you do legitimately have other web sites that are indeed non-incent sources of traffic then discuss the issue with your offer sources beforehand and if they give you an allowance that they trust you that you also legitimately have non-incent traffic as well (at other sites) then do yourself a favor by keeping incent traffic and non-incent traffic completely separate business by having separate publisher accounts for each traffic type (if allowed) with your offer sources.

  • Reversals / Charge-Backs / Holds– Your credit toward payment for offer ‘leads’ (credited offers – sometimes also called a ‘sale’ or ‘conversion’) is never set-in-stone!  The news will likely come in the form of an email from some obscure sounding ‘compliance department’ or ‘best practices’ part of your upstream offer source (ad network or advertiser)  Your first reversals (or batch of them) will not likely be your last.
    Everyone gets reversals once in a while for one reason or another it’s best not to succumb to your initial reaction to fly off the handle and get loud or emotional over it – and definitely don’t make rash decisions you may regret later on when you know more about the situation (don’t take an attitude or get loud when investigating further with your offer source – reversals are best dealt with by calmly investigating all the information your have on hand (usernames, IP addresses, etc) in an attempt to locate the culprit.  It’s not uncommon (unfortunately) for any of your upstream offer sources to reverse credit (payment) on any one lead (or sometimes even in bulk mass reversals) based upon a large number of factors a few (of many) of which reasons might be:
    — Fraud / Bogus Fake Information –Pay attention to these reports and if the same names of your GPT site members show up repeatedly over time then perhaps it’s time you send that / those members a polite but firm reminder to your specifically named site member(s) that them giving your valued advertising sponsors fake / false information is not at all acceptable.  Put them on notice that they have been noticed and if it happens again then go with your gut as far as suspending such a member.
    — Temporary / Disposable Email Addresses –  Yes, when you are selecting and writing your site’s Terms of Service (TOS) which are basically the rules (aimed at members) of your GPT site then you would want to mention that the use of fake / temporary / disposable email addresses are never ok to use while completing offers on your site.  Basically, the advertisers are paying for legitimate reliable contact information that they can use to build a database of real and truly interested persons with regards to their brand, product, or services (especially with ‘email submit’ type offers)  If a member is using a temporary disposable email address then that member is in-effect cheating the advertiser of their future opportunity to contact someone who has appeared to express an interest in seeking more information from the advertiser.  If the email address bounces a day later when the advertiser attempts contact then that will leave a bad-taste-in-their-mouth (so to speak) for the advertiser with regards to the quality of your site’s traffic quality – it will eventually reflect DIRECTLY on your own bottom line (members of your site – and the responses they give in responding to offers – represent your site’s overall traffic quality and the advertiser’s return-on-investment of their advertising dollar)

    Pixel Manipulation– Faked ‘firing’ of the ‘pixel’.  A tracking pixel is one of a multi-layered mechanism for tracking and crediting offer completions (a universal method adopted universally by the industry)  This fake pixel firing issue has been happening in the industry with increasing frequency and depth of depravity as years go by.  It’s an industry wide phenomenon though we can report that our (ShiftCode) security updates have nearly eliminated the issue on our systems.  Since this is a public web site and the subject is sensitive to the industry then we’ll choose not to go into any more detail here only to say that if you get curious then simply Google the subject (or if you are having an issue specific to your GPT site or network then feel free to contact ShiftCode support for help.

This Knowledgebase Article To Be Continued (a work in progress)
Page Last Edited and/or Expanded Upon by Wesley B (email suggestions) on
Monday Evening 11/23/2015

Copyright © 2015-16 ShiftCode & Performa Network
Innovative Affiliate Marketing/Networking Software, a division of Alisa Holdings Inc.
All This Documentation Authored by Wesley B / 'FreeCashPro'
- All Rights Reserved & Vigorously Defended - Do Not Copy / Steal !

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