Glossary of Marketing Terms

In marketing, there's nothing like a bit of jargon. We sometimes forget that this means nothing to most people who nod along while we passionately ramble about CTR and CPC. Here, I have put together a glossary of marketing terms to help you understand what we're talking about. This will give you the tools to ask important questions about your marketing activity.


A/B Testing

Comparing two variations of a single marketing output to improve marketing efforts. This can be through email marketing (differences in the subject line or copy), calls-to-action (differences in colours or message), and landing pages (differences in content or call-to-action).

Ad Copy

Ad copy is content that is designed to get the reader to respond or take action and should include a powerful headline.

Ad Blocking

This is usually an add on to your web browser that stops advertisers showing you adverts.


Any form of marketing communication that has been paid for.

Advertising Network

This is a network of websites that sells advertising to people who want to reach a broad audience.


Advertorial is a piece of content that has been paid for, for example an article about the benefits of fruit juice that has been sponsored by an orange juice brand.

Affiliate marketing

This is a way of monetising your site by hosting links or ads to other sites' products or partnering with other sites that will promote your products; there is very little risk involved in affiliate marketing as you only pay for sales or leads that meet your criteria and you get paid for any sales that can be tracked back to your site.


Analytics is the unearthing and communication of patterns in data. In marketing, it’s looking at your data (website visitor reports, social, PPC, etc.), analysing the trends, and developing insights to make informed marketing decisions

Application Programming Interface (API)

APIs are a series of rules in computer programming, which allow an application to take information from a service and use that information either in their own application or in data analyses. APIs take information from one system and deliver it to another.


An autoresponder is a program that sends an automatic response to incoming emails.


B2B (Business-to-Business)

B2B describes an audience or target market, generally it means that you are selling from one business to another as the product is aimed towards business and not for the general public.

B2C (Business-to-Consumer)

B2C describes an audience or target market, generally it means that you are selling from a business to a customer or end user as the product is aimed towards the general public and is not suitable for business use.

Banner ads

Graphics used as advertising across the internet. In advertising terms, banner ads are more specific and represent an advert that measures 468 x 60 pixels.

Below the Fold

Below the fold is any content online that is only visible once a user has scrolled down. The term comes from a folder newspaper in a rack; anything is below the fold requires additional effort to view.


This is short for web log. A personal blog or business blog will be updated regularly and can contain commentary, photos and video.


Your brand is what distinguishes your business from others. This can include a combination of logos, fonts, colours and tone of voice.

Brand Identity

Brand identity is the message the customer takes from the product, person, or thing and will connect to product recognition.

Bounce Rate

Email bounce rate - the rate at which an email was incapable of delivery to a recipient's inbox. A high bounce rate can indicate that your email list is out-of-date or has a lot of invalid email addresses.

Website bounce rate - the proportion of people who land on your website and then leave without clicking on anything else or navigating to any other pages. A high bounce rate leads to poor conversion rates because no one is staying on your site long enough to read your content or convert on a landing page.

Sometimes a high bounce rate is ok, your should consider you bounce rate amongst a range of factors. What is there to do on the page? Does your conversion action take a user to a microsite or to an external site to make payment? If so, the user can only bounce if they want to buy your product.

Buyer Persona

A representation of your customer based on market research and data about your existing customers.



A call-to-action is a link, button or image that encourages a website visitor to take a converting action i.e. ’Subscribe Now’, ‘Buy Now’, ‘Learn More’ or ‘Download the Whitepaper’.

Churn Rate

A measurement of how many customers you retain and at what value. This is typically calculated by dividing the number of customers you lost during a period of time by the total number of customers you had at the very beginning of that time (excluding all new sales in this time period).

If you had had 500 customers at the beginning of October and only 450 customers at the end of October, your churn rate would be (500-450)/500 = 50/500 = 10%.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of your audience that clicks through from one part of your marketing to another. To calculate this, take the number of clicks and divide it by the number of opportunities to click.

i.e. 50 clicks from a pool of 1500 opportunities gives a click through rate of 3%.

Closed-Loop Marketing

Closed-loop marketing is executing and tracking to demonstrate how marketing efforts have impacted growth.

Conversion Path

A conversion path is a series of web based actions that deliver data capture. In exchange for contact information, a website visitor gains a content offer to help them through the buying process. A conversion path can be made up of a call-to-action that leads to a landing page with a data capture form, which redirects to a thank you page which contains a whitepaper or an offer.


Content is a piece of information that exists to be processed, engaged with, and shared. Content typically comes in the form of a blog, video, social media post, photo, slideshow, or podcast, although there are plenty of other types out there. From website traffic to lead conversion to customer marketing, content plays an indispensable role in a successful inbound marketing strategy.

Content Management System (CMS)

The behind-the-scenes web application for editing websites and managing web content.

Contextual Advertising

This is advertising that has been secured on the basis of a website displaying relevant content. If you sell shoes then you might want to buy advertising space on a website about shoe care; this would demonstrate contextual advertising, however it is rarely that specific.

Conversion Rate

The proportion of people who completed a desired action on a web page, such as filling out a form. A high conversion rate demonstrations a strong webpage.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Improving website conversions by testing, designing and adapting webpages to create a better experience for your customers. This can be applied to social media, CTAs, and other parts of your marketing.


Cookies are pieces of information that is stored on a user’s computer by a website which remembers what action was taken on your visits.

Cost-per-acquisition (CPA)

This is a model that enables you to calculate how much was paid per acquisition. This is also a payment model that is used in advertising.

Cost-per-click (CPC)

This is a model that enables you to calculate how much was paid per click. This is also a payment model that is used in advertising.

Cost-per-Lead (CPL)

The amount it costs you to obtain a lead. This is calculated by the cost of your marketing divided by the amount of leads.

Cost-per-mille (CPM)

This is a model that enables you to calculate how much was paid per 1000 impressions. This is also a payment model that is used in advertising.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A program that keeps track of everything about your customer, including sales and enquiries. A CRM will also hold prospective customer information so that you can record what sales and marketing touch points have occurred between your company and the current or potential customer.


CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and it's what gives your entire website its style, including colours, fonts, and background images. It's also what allows websites to adjust to different screen sizes and device types.


Direct Mail

Direct mail is a form of marketing where businesses send letters, postcards or other promotional materials through the post.

Dynamic Content

Dynamic content allows you to display personalised content to your website visitors based on what you already know about them. This makes your customer feel more welcome and involved in your site. Dynamic content could be shopping suggestions based on products that they have purchased, special offers specific to their habits or even a personal welcome to them.



Ebooks is, as it sounds, an electronic book. They usually contain as much information as a traditional book but are hosted electronically.

Editorial Calendar

A calendar for content creation, showing you what kind of content to create, what topics to cover, which personas to target, and how often to publish to support your strategy best.  An editorial calendar will help you ensure you're doing the right things for your personas.

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is a measure of interaction such as likes, shares, comments that a piece of content receives. This helps to show how users are interacting with your content.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is content that continues to deliver value to readers no matter when they come across it. It is useful and valuable long after it was published.



Frequency is that amount of times a user was shown a specific advert, some advertising platforms allow you to cap this to a fixed amount.



Hashtags are used on social media and enable people to have conversations about a piece of content or theme. A hashtag can be searched on across social media platforms and search engines to show a string of comments and conversations on the tag.


HTML means HyperText Markup Language, which is used to write web pages and provides the basic structure of the site which is then improved and adapted by other pieces of code like CSS and JavaScript.



An impression is an instance of an advert being displayed. It typically means that a pair of eyes has had the opportunity to view an advert.


A piece of content relaying complex information in a simple, graphical and visual way.



JavaScript is a programming language that lets web developers design interactive sites such as pop-ups, slide-in calls-to-action, security password creation, check forms, interactive games, and special effects. It's also used to build mobile apps and create server-based applications.


Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A measurement to evaluate success towards a goal, such as an industry standard or a sales target.


Keywords are the topics that webpages get indexed for in search results by engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.


Landing Page

A landing page is a website page that is specific to the action you want a user to take. You will normally direct traffic to this page.


A prospective customer who has shown interest in a product or service in some way.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing involves developing a series of communications (emails, social media messages, etc.) that aim to qualify a lead, keep it engaged, and gradually push it along the sales funnel.

Lifecycle Stages

These are a way to describe the relationship you have with your audience, and can usually be broken down into three stages: awareness, evaluation, and purchase.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

Lifetime value is used to predict the net profit attributed to the whole future relationship with a customer. To calculate LTV, take the revenue the customer paid you over a specific period of time, subtract from your gross margin and divide this by the estimated churn rate for that customer.

Long-Tail Keyword

A long-tail keyword is a very targeted search phrase that contains three or more words i.e. monster games online, monster costumes for kids, monster videos on YouTube

Long-tail keywords are more specific, which means visitors who land on your website from a long-tail search term are more qualified and more likely to convert.


Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a platform with associated tools and analytics to develop a lead nurturing strategy.

Behaviour-based marketing automation is a system that triggers emails and other communications based on user’s activity on and off your site.


Microsites are used to create a different online experience for their audience separate from their main website. These sites often have their own domain names and distinct visual branding.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is optimising marketing for mobile devices to provide visitors with time and location sensitive, personalised information for promoting goods and services. 

Mobile Optimisation

Mobile optimisation means designing and formatting your website so that it’s easy to read and navigate from a mobile device.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

The amount of revenue a subscription-based business receives per month.


Native Advertising

A type of online advertising that takes on the form and function of the site it appears on. Its purpose is to make ads feel less like ads, and more like part of the conversation. This could be a piece of sponsored content (sometimes referred to as advertorial).



Objectives are goals that have measurable metrics for how and when you will achieve them.


This is a process for getting the best from your marketing activity. Optimisation involves looking at how a user interacts with your marketing and making changes to improve performance.


Page View

A load of a single web page on the internet.

Pay-per-Click (PPC)

The amount of money spent to get a digital advertisement clicked.

PPC advertising

PPC, (or Pay-Per-Click) is an advertising method in which an advertiser puts an ad in an advertising site (like Google AdWords or Facebook), and pays each time a visitor clicks on the ad.


QR Code

QR code is an abbreviation of Quick Response code and is a two-dimensional code that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.


Rate Cards

A rate card is a document provided by an advertiser that includes details of pricing and may also feature any deadlines, demographics, policies, additional fees and artwork requirements.


Reach refers to the number of people that your marketing has reached. They could have viewed it multiple times.

Responsive Design

This is the exercise of developing a website that adapts to how someone is viewing it. The site recognises the device that your visitor is using and automatically generates a page that is responsive to the device, making websites always appear optimised for screens of any dimension.


Showing adverts to users who have visited your website to encourage them to return to make a conversion.

Return on Investment (ROI)

A measure used to evaluate the efficiency and profitability of an investment. To calculate, take the total investment amount and minus revenue made from the investment, divide this by the total investment amount.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

By adjusting a webpage's on-page SEO elements and influencing off-page SEO factors, you can improve where a webpage appears in search engine results.

Search engines look for title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure, site structure and design, visitor behaviour, and other factors to determine how highly ranked your site should be in the search engine results pages.


Spam is an unwanted or unsolicited email.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Software that is hosted by another company, which stores your information in the cloud such as Salesforce.


Target Audience

The target audience is the demographic of people who are most likely to show interest in your product or service.


Unique Selling Point (USP)

This is what sets your products and/or services apart from your competitors.

Unique Visitor

A person who visits a website more than once within a period of time. If a person visits a webpage 30 times, then that web page has one unique visitor and 30 total site visits.


This is short for Uniform Resource Locator, this is the address of a piece of information that can be found on the web such as a page, image, or document.

User Experience (UX)

The experience a customer has with a business, from their awareness of the brand all the way through to their purchase. To deliver an excellent customer experience, you must think like a customer.

User Interface (UI)

An interface that allows users to control a software application or hardware device, this should give a user-friendly experience by allowing the user to interact with the software or hardware in an intuitive way.


Viral Content

This term is used to describe content that has become popular across the web through sharing.



A workflow is a set of triggers and events that move a lead through the nurturing process.


XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is a file of code that lives on your web server and lists all the relevant URLs that are in the structure of your website. It helps search engine web crawlers determine the structure of the site so they can crawl it more intelligently.