Marketing Vocabulary Explained

by Marketing

Ever sit through a conference call and think “What are they talking about?” There’s a lot of jargon associated with even the most basic marketing tasks.

So, bookmark this page for the next time someone wants to increase their ROI by optimizing their CTR and A/B testing their CTA. Yeah, we went there.

Index


A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

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W

X

Y

Z

A

A/B Testing – is the process for comparing test group A and test group B. In other words, you’re taking two variations of the same variable and seeing which one works best with your audience. Testing involves splitting your audience into two, equal-sized groups and sending each of them one version of your test. You can test marketing copy, subject lines, calls-to-action, colors, layouts, landing pages, and audience segments.

Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing. A company pays the affiliate for each customer they bring in. In contrast to influencer marketing, companies with an affiliate program pay per referral instead of per promotion. So, bloggers, YouTubers, and social media marketers promote the products of often established companies and earn a commission on each purchase made.
See “Influencer vs. Affiliate Marketing.”

Analytics – This is a program that records the various data points that occur on your website. This includes visits to your site, clicks on certain elements of your website, and conversions. This can help you analyze trends, and develop strategies that are data-driven.

API – API stands for Application Programming Interface. APIs allow you to get information from a particular service. An API calls another application and gets the information requested, then carries it back to your own application. For instance, an API installed on your website may talk to your customer database so that your website recognizes when someone in your database visits your website.

B

B2B – stands for Business-to-Business. A B2B company sells their products or services to other businesses. For example, an industrial paper company (*cough Dunder Mifflin*) would be considered a B2B business because they sell their paper to other businesses, rather than selling for personal use.
See “Influencer Marketing for B2B Brands.”

B2C – stands for Business-to-Consumer. This is the opposite of B2B. These businesses sell to consumers and include any business whose products or services are meant for personal use. For example, retailers, ecommerce websites, and boutiques are all B2C businesses.

Backlinks – For Search Engine Optimization, these are the links from other websites that lead back to your website. By having backlinks, search engines will recognize your site as an authority on the topics discussed on these linked pages.

Blogging – This is short for web log (I know, welcome to Y2K). A blog is a website that has articles, posts, or other content. Blogs can be valuable to brands because of the SEO benefit. When blogs address the customers’ questions, search engines will list your posts when they search for that answer.

Bottom of the Funnel – See Conversion Funnel. The bottom of the funnel are people who are ready to convert and make a purchase with your brand. They are far along in the buying process and ready to make a decision.

Bounce Rate – A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who landed on a particular page then left without clicking on anything or going to another page. In other words, these would be people who visited your site, then closed the website without doing anything.

An email bounce rate is the rate of emails that weren’t able to be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. This means that the email address was not valid, the inbox was full, or that you have an issue with your email provider.

Buyer Persona – This is a list of attributes and fictionalized account of your target customer. Your buyer persona should include their gender, age, spending habits, income, education level, and anything else that will help to inform your marketing decisions. You should do market research and collect real data (through your analytics) to inform this persona.

C

CAN-SPAM – Stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing.” This 2003 U.S. law established the rules regarding commercial emails (all emails from brands).  Recipients have the right to have a business stop emailing them. This is why emails typically have an unsubscribe link at the bottom.

CASL – Stands for “Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.” This 2013 Canadian law covers emails, texts, instant messages, and automated cell phone messages sent to Canadian devices.

Churn Rate – This measures how many customers you retain and how many are lost. It is calculated by: Customers lost during a certain time period / customers at the beginning of this time period. Churn rate can help you see if your marketing is successfully promoting repeat purchases.

Closed-Loop Marketing – This is a series of trackable marketing events that can show how your marketing affected the bottom line. For example, a web visitor is tracked from the first visit to the site to their first purchase. Open loop marketing would have lost track of this visitor somewhere along the way. Closed-Loop Marketing isn’t an actual marketing strategy, but is instead a phrase that exemplifies the best practice for marketing. In other words, always be able to track your marketing efforts from beginning to end. Close the loop!

Content Management System (CMS) – This is the software that you’re using to create, edit, and manage your content. This includes your overall website and your blog/marketing materials. Examples of CMSs are WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, and Wix.

Conversions – When a web visitor takes the action that you wanted them to take, it is considered a conversion. In most cases, conversions are purchases for ecommerce stores. However, if your landing page has a CTA (See CTA below) to sign up for your emails, then someone who takes this action would be considered “converted.”

Conversion Path – The conversion path is all the steps that your consumers need to take from beginning to end. For example, a customer can visit a landing page on your website, fill out a form to receive a coupon code, then make a purchase with that coupon. These steps were all part of that customer’s conversion path. Conversion path tracking and analytics can help you find out which steps are deterring people from purchasing so that you can optimize the conversion path and maximize your revenue.

Conversion Rate – A conversion rate is calculated as the number of people who converted divided by the total audience size. Conversion rates are usually expressed as a percentage. For example, if 100 people visit your website and 3 people make purchases, then you have a 3% conversion rate.

Conversion Rate Optimization – Increasing your conversion rate means that you increase the number of people who convert on your site, while the number of visitors stays the same. The process for optimizing your conversion rate can involve testing different designs, different checkout flows, and landing page/website optimization.

Cost-per-Lead (CPL) – This is the total cost spent on advertising or marketing efforts to get a lead (See Lead below). This cost influences your Cost-per-Acquisition as well.

Cost-per-Acquisition – This is the total cost spent on advertising from the beginning to the end of the conversion path. If you spent $100 on advertising and 5 people convert, then your cost per acquisition is $20. Also known as Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).

CSS – stands for Cascading STyle Sheets and is basically the playbook for your website. It lists the fonts, font sizes, colors, and layouts of your website. It also defines the rules for mobile responsiveness. This term will probably not factor into your marketing that much, but is important when discussing the look of your website with your web developer.

CTA – stands for Call-to-Action. A CTA is any link, button, image, or graphic that drives an action for your website visitors. For example, a CTA could be a button that says “Buy Now” where the action is to buy the product on that page.

CTR – Click-through-rate. This is typically represented by a percentage of people who saw the ad, versus people who clicked on it. At times, it can also be helpful to compare the reported CTRs of different platforms to verify the data. For instance, Facebook tends to over-report the CTR from their ads, while Google Analytics will give you a more accurate picture of people who actually made it back to your website.

Customer Persona – See Buyer Persona

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – A software program for managing your leads and customers. The CRM will log all their activity and their contact information so that you can create marketing that is tailored to your audience.

D

Dropshipping – Dropshipping is a business model in which the business sells products that they do not keep stock of. When an order is placed, it is passed to a third-party supplier who ships and fulfills the order of the business. A dropshipping business can set up a store with very little overhead and start selling right away.
See “Influencer Marketing for Dropshipping Stores.”

Dynamic Content – When you have dynamic content, you are personalizing your web content to each visitor. This allows you to display different content to different segments of your audience. This requires a little more web customization, but you can then trigger content based on your customer’s behavior or the demographic group that customer belongs to.

E

Ebook – This type of content can be used to generate leads. These are electronic book sthat go in-depth on a given subject. In many cases, businesses can get extra use out of their longer blog posts by converting them into ebook format.

Editorial Calendar – This is your plan for content creation. This could include the different pieces of content that you’ll be creating, where you plan on sharing this content, and even who is responsible for each piece of content. It can be as detailed or simple as you like, but it should drive your team to create content on a schedule.

Engagement Rate – This rate measures the number of people who acted on your content compared to how many people saw your content. An action on your content could include likes, shares, or comments. These interactions are an indicator of the success of your content and how much your content resonates with your audience.

Evergreen Content – This is content that doesn’t age. Evergreen content continues to be accurate and up-to-date no matter when your reader discovers it. For example, “How to Make Money Through Shopify” is an evergreen piece of content because the tips are not likely to become out-dated and old. However, “15 gifts for Mother’s Day 2019” is not evergreen content because it becomes dated after Mother’s Day AND after the year 2019. Evergreen content is valuable, quality, SEO-friendly, and timeless.

F

Facebook – Facebook is a social network and a popular way to reach consumers with your brand.
See “Influencer Marketing on Facebook.”

Facebook Ads Manager – Facebook Ads Manager is the dashboard within Facebook where your Facebook and Instagram ads are managed. You’ll be able to see your Campaigns, Ad Sets, and Ads within this dashboard.

Facebook Business Manager – Facebook Business Manager is offered to businesses to help them manage their assets. Think of it as a box that can help you organize all the different pieces of your business on Facebook. Within this view, you’ll be able to see the different pages, ad accounts, Instagram Accounts, users, and Facebook pixels that are associated with your brand.

Friction – Anything that prevents your visitors from converting. This could be a confusing step in your checkout flow, a distracting feature, or having too much text on a page.

G

Guerilla marketing – an unusual or unconventional marketing strategy that is typically accomplished with minimal resources. For example, a flash mob may be considered an unconventional way to market a brand and may work well for brands with limited resources.

H

Hashtag – Also known as “#.” On social media, hashtags are used to associate posts and conversations with a certain theme. Users can click on the hashtag to find the rest of the posts that mention this topic. Hashtags can be a simple phrase, spelled without spaces, such as #OutfitOfTheDay or #puppiesofInstagram.

HTML – Stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, this is a coding language used for websites. HTML provides the basic structure of websites, while CSS and JavaScript provide additional styling and functionality.

I

Inbound Marketing – inbound marketing is a type of marketing that tries to attract visitors to a website, rather than having sales people or marketers go out to attract attention for the brand. Examples of inbound marketing could be blogging, which allows customers and visitors to find the site through their organic searches. If your content is aligned with your target audience, then you will attract them to your website as they search for answers and interesting content.

Influencer – An influencer has an audience that they can engage with through content creation. Influencers are people that can educate, engage, and influence a large number of people through their content.

Influencer Marketing – At its core, influencer marketing is the process of using external content creators, or influencers, to advocate and engage with your brand’s message. As part of this, the influencers present their content to their audience, increasing brand awareness and helping to convert their audience into your customers.
See “What is Influencer Marketing?

Infographic – This is a graphic that lists and displays a lot of information. It should be a way of distilling concepts and presenting them an a compelling and visually interesting way. Infographics are a great way to display the findings of a blog post or piece of long-form content in a way that is extremely shareable on social media.

Instagram – Instagram is a social network for sharing photos and other images. Instagram is owned by Facebook, so advertising is handled within the Facebook Ads Manager.
See “How to Market Your Shopify Store on Instagram

J

JavaScript – is a programming/coding language that allows web developers to add functionality to a website. Forms, dynamic behavior, pop-ups, animated CTAs, and other interactive features use JavaScript in order to function.

K

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – This is any metric that can be used to evaluate performance of a marketing effort. KPIs are used to track the success of a marketing strategy. Examples include traffic, conversions, Customer Acquisition Cost, and engagement rates.

Keyword – Keywords are the topics identified by search engines. If you write content that is about a particular topic or keyword, it will increase the likelihood that your website will show up in the search results when someone searches for that keyword.

L

Landing Page – This is a website page that has been optimized for a specific marketing goal. A landing page could display a marketing offer, or could be advertising a particular product. Landing pages can also be used to attract leads, or to have visitors input their information to sign up for a special offer or more information. Landing pages should drive customers to act on a specific CTA and shouldn’t have any other distractions or competing CTAs.

Lead – This is someone who has show interest in any of your products or services. They have taken some specific action to show their interest, such as filling out a form or adding an item to their cart. Leads are the perfect target audience for your retargeting efforts and can eventually lead to conversions.

Lead Nurturing – A series of communications that help the lead, or potential customer, to learn more and eventually to make a purchasing decision. This could use social ads, email marketing, or any of your other marketing channels.

LinkedIn – A social network focused on letting professionals network with each other and share their career achievements. It can be an important marketing channel for B2B businesses.

Lifecycle Stages – Lifecycle stages are broken down into three parts: awareness, evaluation, and purchase. Each stage requires a different type of content in order to nurture your leads into the next stage of their buying decision. This is similar to the Conversion Path, in that both are tracking prospects to their eventual purchasing decision.

Lifetime Value (LTV) – This is a prediction of how much a customer will spend on your website over the entire future relationship with that customer. In other words, it is calculating the projected number and amount of repeat purchases that a customer will make in their lifetime. To calculate, you’ll take the revenue paid by a customer for this given time period, subtract the gross margin, then divide by the estimated churn rate for that customer. An alternate way of finding this number is finding out the total number of purchases the average repeat customer will make. If a customer pays $100 per order, the gross margin is 50%, and they are expected to make 4 purchases on your website, then their LTV is $200.

Long-Tail Keyword – A long-tail keyword is simply a targeted search phrase that contains three or more words. For example, “marketing” is considered a short keyword, but “influencer marketing for Facebook” is considered a long-tail keyword.

M

Marketing Automation – the process of making your marketing run on autopilot. This uses tools to automatically deploy the right message for each audience segment. For example, a triggered email that sends when a customer abandons their cart is an example of marketing automation.

Microsite – A website that advertise and promotes a specific subset of your products or services. This creates a different online experience for your prospective customers that is optimized for that particular product or service. Microsites have their own domain name and their own navigation that is separate from the parent site.

Middle of the Funnel – On the conversion path or funnel, the middle of the funnel refers to the stage when leads are aware of the company and learning more before making a purchasing decision.

Mobile Optimization – Since more and more marketing is appearing on mobile devices, you’ll need to make sure that your marketing is designed and formatted for mobile devices. You can also make your designs responsive, so that the design changes to fit the screen size of the device it’s viewed on.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) – For subscription-based businesses, this is the amount of revenue that they receive each month. This includes the new accounts they can expect to attain, any churn rate that they have, and anything they are able to upsell to their existing subscribers.

N

Native advertising – Online advertising that doesn’t feel like advertising because it is done in the same format and provides the same experience as the other pieces of the content on that website or platform. For example, a sponsored blog post that mentions a brand and its products is considered native advertising because it is done in the same style as the other blog posts on the site.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) – On a scale of 0-10, this is the rating of how likely people are to recommend your company to others. This lets you know if your brand is keeping customers happy and providing a great customer service experience. It can also help you identify problem areas for your customers.

News Feed – This is an aggregated page full of news on a website. On Facebook, the news feed serves as the homepage so that users can see all the latest updates.

No-Follow Link – This is a link on a website that is marked so that the search engine doesn’t follow the link or give credit to the linked website. This is a way to include links without associating your content with the linked website.

O

On-Page Optimization – For Search Engine Optimization, this is the process of making sure that the on-page elements of the content include the keywords that you are trying to rank for.

Off-Page Optimization – For Search Engine Optimization, this refers to all the backlinks, incoming links, and other outside factors that impact a webpage’s ranking.

P

Page View – When a web page loads for a visitor, it is counted as a page view. This metric is used by marketers to see how their web page is performing.

Pay-per-Click (PPC) – This is a model for how online ads are paid for. The advertiser only pays the publisher when an ad is clicked on. On most search engines, PPC ads appear when a person searches for the associated keywords, then the ad can direct traffic to the advertiser’s website.

Pinterest – Pinterest is a social network that helps users “pin” their favorite ideas from around the internet to their Pinterest boards. Pinterest allows marketers to serve paid ads to these users, but it can also be a useful marketing planning platform.

PR List – A list of contacts that you can send marketing announcements for public dissemination. This list may include media outlets, influencers, content creators, and other people who can help you spread the word about new product launches, press releases, and other announcements for your business.
See “The Differences between a PR List and Influencer Marketing

Q

Qualified Lead – This is a lead (See Lead above) that is interested in learning more and has expressed interest in your company. This activity and engagement from the lead should let your sales and marketing teams know that the lead is ready for additional information.

QR Code – This is a barcode (typically in a square shape) that is readable by QR readers and some smartphone cameras. QR codes can lead to a webpage or landing page when scanned. QR codes are a great way to connect your off-line marketing efforts to an online landing page. For example, a postcard in an event’s swag bag can have a QR code so that people have an easier way to get to the product they’re looking for.

R

Responsive Design – These are web designs that adapt to the size of the screen that it is being viewed on. The website will recognize the device or screen size and automatically generate a page that is optimized for that space.

Retargeting – This is marketing that reaches a segment of your audience that has already seen content from your brand. You are reaching your audience with more content that moves them further down the bying process.
See “Running Instagram Ads & Retargeting Campaigns for Your Shopify Store.

Retweet – On Twitter, a retweet is the re-posting of someone else’s tweet to your own profile. It is a way of sharing your favorite tweets so that your audience can see them.

ROI – Return on Investment. It is a measure of performance to determine the efficiency of an investment. It is calculated by dividing the benefit of the investment by the cost (or invested amount).

S

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This is the process of optimizing a website so that it appears in search results. A webpage’s on-page elements, such as keywords, can affect how it appears in search results, as well as the off-page elements such as backlinks. Title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure, and backlinks all affect how a page appears in search results.

Sender Score – This is your reputation rating from 0-100 that is checked by a mail server when receiving an email message. If you have a good score, your email is delivered to the inbox. If you have a low sender score, your email may end up in the spam folder.

Service Level Agreement (SLA) – SLAs are agreements between a company’s sales and marketing teams. This will define the goals for each team and help the teams to work together to achieve these purposes.

Small-to-Medium Business (SMB) – these are companies that have between 10 and 500 employees.

Smarketing – This is a slang term to imply the connection between the sales and marketing teams. Smarketing involves the marketing team passing off qualified leads to the sales teams, so that they can continue to seek conversions.

Snapchat – A social network where users can send photos or “snaps” that disappear after a certain time period. Users can add filters, text, and drawings to their images for a fun experience that appeals to the younger generations.

Social Media – These networks and platforms allow users to socially interact with others through different content publishing. Examples include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Social media allows brands to attract prospective customers so that they can learn about your brand and eventually visit your website or make a purchase.

Social Proof – This is a psychological phenomenon in which people follow the previous decisions of others. For example, if a piece of content has a lot of comments, then the user is more likely to interact with the post as well, because they are following the example of the other users before them.
See “The Psychology of Influencer Marketing.”

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – Any software that is hosted by another company, which you access through a cloud or portal. For example, Carro is a SaaS brand for your influencer marketing.

Subdomain – This is a partitioned part of your website that can host a different CMS (See CMS above). For example, your main website may be website.com, but you may have subdomain.website.com to host your files or a different part of your site.

T

Top of the Funnel – This is the first stage of the customer journey in which customers are first learning about your brand, identifying a problem and looking for a solution. At this stage, general information can help nurture these leads to the next stage of the buying process.

Twitter – A social network that shares “tweets” in 140 characters or less (now 240 characters or less).

U

Unique Visitor – This is a person who visits a website more than once. This metric only counts that person once, even if they view multiple pages. This helps marketers see how many people are visiting their website, instead of just looking at page views.

URL – URLs, or Uniform Resource Locators, are the addresses of content on the internet. URLs allow you to find pages on the internet. URLs should include your keywords so that your URL is optimized for search.

User Experience (UX) – This refers to the overall experience that a user has on your site. A user’s experience can be full of friction (See friction above), or it can be optimized for conversions.

User-Generated Content – This is any content that your users or customers share online. This could be Instagram posts about your products, or Facebook contest entries, or anything that talks about your brand in a public way.
See “The Ultimate Guide to User-Generated Content.”

User Interface (UI) – This refers to the interface that a user interacts with. This includes the menu bar, toolbars, CTAs, and other elements of the site. These items should be as user-friendly as possible so that you are directly affecting the User Experience (See User Experience above).

V

Viral Content – This refers to a piece of content that has been shared across the internet by a large number of users. Viral content is typically unexpected and picks up steam as more and more users share the content to their own social followers.

W

Website – A website is the headquarters for a brand’s online presence. It includes all the web pages under a single domain.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing – This is marketing that relies on users sharing about their experience with friends and family. Users who share about a product to their social media, or who pass along business cards to their friends, are participating in word-of-mouth marketing.

Workflow – A workflow includes all the automated triggers and events for a specific marketing campaign. A workflow allows you to keep all the automations in one sequence.

X

XML Sitemap – This is a file of code that tells search engines and crawlers how to travel through your site. It lists all the files and relevant URLs on your site.

Y

YouTube – A social and video-sharing platform. Content creators can share their videos, while users can watch, comment, and like the videos.
See “Best Practices for Influencer Marketing on YouTube

Z

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