What does the EPC mean in affiliate marketing?

Published: October 9, 2020

Category: Affiliate marketing guides

The world of affiliate marketing is vast and expanding by the day. Thus, any newcomer is bound to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of terms, abbreviations, and data they will need to remember. Not to mention the actual ins and outs of the business itself. Affie wants to help you start your journey the right way. Hence, here is our answer to the question What does the EPC mean in affiliate marketing.

What is Earnings per Click or EPC in Affiliate Marketing?

EPC is a payment model in affiliate marketing. It is also a mathematical formula you can use to determine how much money an affiliate makes with each click they send a partner’s way. EPC is most often used with a Pay Per Click, (or PPC for short) business model. Knowing your EPC can help you get a better understanding of profitable and not-so-profitable partnerships and offers. Then, you can make an informed decision when determining your next business steps. If you are an affiliate looking to boost your EPC profits, here is our input.

Why should you know what does the EPC mean in affiliate marketing?

EPC is one of the most important affiliate metrics, and it is perfect for affiliates only starting their businesses. This is true because with your EPC you will be able to see your earnings from multiple campaigns and adjust both your business and your partnerships accordingly. Merchants with nothing to hide usually disclose EPC information through analytic tools. Additionally, they are transparent with any changes they make to their business model. Transparency at all times is one of many reasons to join a white hat performance marketing network.

Three ilustration of data collection and monetization.
Data like EPC can help a campaign immensely.

On the other hand, there are merchants who will try to increase their own profit by reducing the affiliate’s cut. However, if you have partnered up with one of them, you shouldn’t despair. If you don’t have the necessary information at the ready, you can calculate your EPC on your own as well. We recommend checking your EPC regularly, so you can make sure you are still operating at full capacity.

5 EPC terms you should know

Our goal is to allow you to understand the elements of the industry so you can manage and optimize your campaigns and realize your goals as an affiliate. Here are some additional terms any newbie should know.

Pay per click (PPC) is a payment model in affiliate marketing. Advertisers who choose this model pay affiliates a fee every time users click their links or ads on an affiliate’s site.

Cost per action (CPA) is a pricing model most new affiliates use at the start of their careers. It is based on getting your site visitors to perform and action and making money from that action. The actions are diverse and depend on the merchant and the product or service you are selling. However, they usually come down to giving the merchant money for a product or a service.

Cost per click (CPC) is the amount of money you will pay for each time users click your ads, links, banners, etc. Basically, your goal is for your EPC to be higher than your CPC to have a successful campaign that makes money.

Click-through rate (CTR) is another important metric. It tells you the percentage of your site’s visitors who click on your ads as opposed to just seeing and ignoring them.

A call-to-action (CTA) is the text or an image within an ad that instructs visitors to click it. The more convincing a CTA is, the more clicks you will get.

Illustration of multiple people looking at a large tablet with a web page open.
There are many elements to a campaign!

What does the EPC mean in affiliate marketing and how to use it to your advantage?

You can not really overstate the importance of understanding how EPC functions. It is an integral part of getting exclusive offers and understanding which merchants you should avoid. It also allows you to see exactly which elements and campaigns work and tweak the lower performing ones to match them.


Comparison is an integral part of affiliate marketing. This is true because the market in many successful niches is getting saturated with different products and services that offer basically the same thing. It is your job to see which offers will bring you more money.

Another element you can compare is your own previous and current data from the same campaign. Hence, you will be able to see if it is still going strong or starting to slow down. Then you can either close the campaign or make changes to give it its second wind.

Additionally, you can compare two different versions of the same campaign (also called A/B testing) and see which one is performing better. We encourage you to experiment with

  • Colors
  • Calls-to-action
  • Copy
  • Headlines
  • Visual elements

to see if small changes can make your page more convincing.

Future planning

Affiliate marketing is a lot more complicated than gut feeling and trying your luck. Knowing your EPC will give you valuable information when it comes to planning your next steps, both with starting new campaigns and maintaining the current ones.

Let’s say a campaign offers $0.5 per a sign-up or $2 per sale. It may seem obvious the latter option is the better one since it pays more. However, with EPC data you can determine with great certainty if you should stick to the lower-paying but more secure option or take a risk.

An internet page with ads.
Challenge your layout.

If there is a concrete problem, such as an expired link or high bounce rate, you will be able to locate and fix it.

What does the EPC mean in affiliate marketing and how it can trick you?

As you have previously seen, EPC can help your business thrive. However, there are some cases when it can be misleading, and we recommend you pay great attention not only to this metric but the bigger picture as well.

Firstly, you need to watch out for outliers when it comes to the number of clicks you get. This is true as some types of traffic get a lot more activity by nature, such as push notifications.

Secondly, direct linking gets many more clicks than using a landing page, but the conversion rates of landing pages are far higher.

Lastly, you shouldn’t only rely on EPC when you have only started a campaign. Allow some time to pass and the campaign to reach more people before reaching a conclusion.

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