Glossary of Terms 

A helpful gathering of digital marketing and other germane terms and their meanings. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.


Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising. SEM may incorporate search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content and site architecture to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages to enhance pay per click (PPC) listings.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.


Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of growing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. SEO refers to the improvement of unpaid results (known as "natural" or "organic" results) and excludes direct traffic and the purchase of paid placement. Additionally, it may target different kinds of searches, including image search, video search, academic search,news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic. By May 2015, mobile search had surpassed desktop search. 

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, the computer-programmed algorithms that dictate search engine behavior, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines, and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. SEO is performed because a website will receive more visitors from a search engine when websites rank higher in the search engine results page (SERP). These visitors can then potentially be converted into customers.

SEO differs from local search engine optimization in that the latter is focused on optimizing a business' online presence so that its web pages will be displayed by search engines when a user enters a local search for its products or services. The former instead is more focused on national or international searches.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to:

* Attract attention and generate leads
* Expand their customer base
* Generate or increase online sales
* Increase brand awareness or credibility
* Engage an online community of users

Content marketing attracts prospects and transforms prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. Content marketing helps companies create sustainable brand loyalty, provides valuable information to consumers, and creates a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future. This relatively new form of marketing does not involve direct sales. Instead, it builds trust and rapport with the audience. 

Unlike other forms of online marketing, content marketing relies on anticipating and meeting an existing customer need for information, as opposed to creating demand for a new need. As James O'Brien of Contently wrote on Mashable, "The idea central to content marketing is that a brand must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story." Content marketing requires continuous delivery of large amounts of content, preferably within a content marketing strategy. 

When businesses pursue content marketing, the main focus should be the needs of the prospect or customer. Once a business has identified the customer's need, information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs, etc. Most of these formats belong to the digital channel.

Digital content marketing is a management process that uses electronic channels to identify, forecast, and satisfy the content requirements of a particular audience. It must be consistently updated and added to in order to influence the behavior of customers.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is the use of software and Web-based services to execute, manage and automate marketing tasks and processes. It replaces manual and repetitive marketing processes with purpose-built software and applications geared toward performance.

Designed to automate historically manual Internet marketing processes, marketing automation is based on a marketing software engine integrated with marketing logic and components.

Marketing automation is often implemented to manage Web-based marketing processes that are performed on an Internet channel, such as a company website or social media network. Marketing automation allows organizations to review traffic statistics, evaluate customer data, measure conversions, interact with customers and provide marketing content based on these factors.

Key marketing automation software functions include:

* Marketing intelligence
* Workflow management
* Web-based archive and real-time traffic analysis
* Lead management, scoring and nurturing
* Marketing campaign creation and monitoring
* Built-in or integrated CRM
* Landing page development/management
* Blogging
* Data orchestration

Courtesy of Technopedia.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is defined as the automated buying and selling of online advertising space. But actually, it’s much more than that.

The market for digital advertising space is run by ad exchanges, who operate computerized auctions that bring together both parties of the transaction:

* Advertisers, who want to buy ad space on the internet.
* Publishers, the website owners with digital space to sell.

Programmatic advertising takes the entire process to a new level. It uses algorithmic software that handles the sale and placement of digital ad impressions via ad exchange platforms – in a fraction of a second.

Programmatic also incorporates traffic data and online targeting methods to serve impressions more accurately, efficiently and at scale, which means better ROI for advertisers and publishers alike.

Here’s the programmatic buying flow in a nutshell:

* A person clicks on a website
* The website owner puts the ad impression up for auction (SSP)
* Advertisers offer bids for the impression (DSP)
* The highest bidder wins the ad impression
* The ad is served on the website to the user
* The user (hopefully!) clicks on the ad and converts

Despite the many steps involved, this entire process happens in an instant. What’s more, the competing bids are calculated by algorithms and a host of analytics to automatically determine the most cost-effective bid.

For example, if the user who clicked on the website is a strong potential customer for your ad, based on their historical surfing data and online profile, the bid served for your impression will be higher.

Courtesy of Outbrain.

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing consists of any marketing that relies on direct communication or distribution to individual consumers, rather than through a third party such as mass media. Mail, email, social media, and texting campaigns are among the delivery systems used. It is called direct marketing because it generally eliminates middleman, such as advertising media.


* Direct marketing consists of any marketing that relies on direct communication or distribution to individual consumers, rather than through a third party such as mass media.

* The call to action is a common factor in much of direct marketing.

* The effectiveness of direct marketing is easier to measure than media advertising.

Courtesy of Investopedia.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing (a.k.a. influence marketing) is a form of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placement from influencers, people and organizations who have a purported expert level of knowledge or social influence in their field. Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising; influencers play the role of a potential buyer, or may be involved as third parties. These third parties can be seen in the supply chain (such as retailers or manufacturers) or as value-added influencers, such as journalists, academics, industry analysts, and professional advisers.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Video Marketing

Video marketing is using videos to promote and market your product or service, increase engagement on your digital and social channels, educate your consumers and customers, and reach your audience with a new medium.

Courtesy of HubSpot.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multichannel marketing is the blending of different distribution and promotional channels for the purpose of marketing. Distribution channels include a retail storefront, a website, or a mail-order catalogue.

Multichannel marketing is about choice. The objective of the companies doing the marketing is to make it easy for a consumer to buy from them in whatever way is most appropriate.

To be effective, multichannel marketing needs to be supported by good supply chain management systems, so that the details and prices of goods on offer are consistent across the different channels. It might also be supported by detailed analysis of the return on investment from each different channel, measured in terms of customer response and conversion of sales. The contribution each channel delivers to sales can be assessed via Marketing Mix Modeling or via attribution modelling. Some companies target certain channels at different demographic segments of the market or at different socio-economic groups of consumers.

Multichannel marketing allows the retail merchant to reach its prospective or current customer in a channel of his/ her liking.

Courtesy of Wikipedia. 

Omni-Channel Marketing

Omnichannel is a cross-channel content strategy that organizations use to improve their user experience and drive better relationships with their audience across points of contact. Rather than working in parallel, communication channels and their supporting resources are designed and orchestrated to cooperate. Omnichannel implies integration and orchestration of channels such that the experience of engaging across all the channels someone chooses to use is as, or even more, efficient or pleasant than using single channels in isolation.

The approach has applications in any industry, but early examples have been in financial services, healthcare, government, retail, and telecommunications industries. Omnichannel supersedes multichannel and includes channels such as physical locations and environments, ecommerce, mobile applications, social media and emerging formats like augmented and mixed reality or dynamically personalised video. Companies that use omnichannel contend that a customer values the ability to engage with a company through multiple avenues at the same time. 

A common misconception is that to be omnichannel, a strategy needs to support all possible channels, which is a practical impossibility for most organizations.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. This involves publishing content on your social media profiles, listening to and engaging your followers, analyzing your results, and running social media advertisements.

The major social media platforms (at the moment) are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat.

There are also a range of social media management tools that help businesses to get the most out of the social media platforms listed above. 

Courtesy of Buffer.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is the use of paid ads that match the look, feel and function of the media format in which they appear.

Native ads are often found in social media feeds, or as recommended content on a web page. Unlike display ads or banner ads, native ads don't really look like ads. They look like part of the editorial flow of the page. The key to native advertising is that it is non-disruptive - it exposes the reader to advertising content without sticking out like a sore thumb.

Courtesy of Outbrain.

Instant Gratification in Marketing

Instant gratification in marketing is applying the psychological definition (the inability to wait and impulse control) with marketing and interaction with customers/consumers.

Here is a list of examples of instant gratification in marketing courtesy of Zoovu:

1. Same-Day Delivery vs Waiting for Days or Weeks

2. Click and Collect vs In-store Purchase

3. Intelligent Digital Advice vs Lengthy, confusing research

4. Visualise now vs Wait and see

5. Self-Checkout vs Waiting in Line

6. Self-Support vs Being put on hold

There are numerous other examples, such as chatbots/ai, instant messaging, etc.

Link Building

In the field of search engine optimization (SEO), link building describes actions aimed at increasing the number and quality of inbound links to a webpage with the goal of increasing the search engine rankings of that page or website. Briefly, link building is the process of establishing relevant hyperlinks (usually called links) to a website from external sites. Link building can increase the number of high-quality links pointing to a website, in turn increasing the likelihood of the website ranking highly in search engine results. Link building is also a proven marketing tactic for increasing brand awareness.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Great Marketing Tools


* Google Search Console

* Google Analytics

* Google Data Studio

* Google Ads

* Google My Business

* SEMRush

* KWFinder - find long tail keywords with low SEO difficulty


* SpyFu

* Google Trends

* Screaming Frog - SEO Spider software,

* Kenshoo

* - find out what websites are built with



* - Ahrefs is an All-in-one SEO toolset, with free Learning materials

* Waybackmachine - explore more than 458 billion web pages saved over time

* AWRCloud - rank tracking

* Taboola - native advertising platform

* Hubspot - full platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software

* Marketo - marketing automation software

* Hootsuite - Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard

* - set of extensible schemas that enables webmasters to embed structured data on their web pages for use by search engines

* Yoast - search engine optimization plug-in for WordPress

* Trello - Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize projects

* Optimizely - Progressive Delivery & Experimentation platform, engineering, product and marketing teams ship high-quality code and experiences faster, with data-driven confidence

* KISSmetrics - Customer Engagement Automation by Kissmetrics. Analyze, segment and engage all in one place

* Followerwonk - Followerwonk lets you analyse any Twitter account to help optimise your Twitter marketing strategy

* Buzzsumo - run a search to quickly discover content ideas, uncover platform insights, identify influencers

* Crazy Egg - know what web visitors are doing with tools, such as heatmaps, recordings, & A/B testing

* - uses interactive heatmaps of clicks and actions and recordings of sessions

* Unbounce - produces landing pages for websites

* Google Website Speed Test

* Google Mobile Friendly Test

* Retargeter - programmatic display advertising

* Adroll - ads, email marketing, AI-driven product recommendations, and cross-channel measurement. Ad exchange

* OpenX

* MailChimp - marketing automation platform and email marketing service

* GetResponse - Email marketing.  Send email newsletters, campaigns, online surveys and follow-up autoresponders

* Woobox - create and run successful contests, giveaways, polls, coupons, and forms

* CJ Affiliate - affiliate marketing network

* VigLink - deliver revenue to publishers through content-driven-commerce with leverage, insight, and automation

* Sproutsocial - all-in-one social management solution

* ChoiceStream - a programmatic advertising partner that runs cross-device branding and direct response campaigns for brand and agency clients. 

* -  localized programmatic solutions

* Segmetrics - Get clarity on where your leads come from, how they act, and how much your marketing is really worth

* PosterMyWall - simplifies graphic design for marketers and businesses. Easily create stunning promotional flyers, posters, social media graphics and videos

* Omnisend - ecommerce marketing automation platform

* ProProfs Survey Maker - software that helps you capture feedback using online surveys & questionnaires.

* BrightLocal - integrated SEO and local citation platform

* Brightcove - leading online video hosting platform and online video player solution

* Tealium - enables organizations to control and manage their customer data and MarTech vendors across web, mobile, IoT and connected devices.

* Finteza - analytics and marketing service (advanced webmaster analytics, to assists in project development)

* Canva - Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, posters, documents and other visual content. It is available on web and mobile, and integrates millions of images, fonts, templates and illustrations. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

* OptinMonster - lead generation software that converts abandoning visitors into subscribers

* ThriveCart - cart platforms for marketers

* AgoraPulse - Social Media Management Software

* Traackr - data-driven influencer marketing platform

* Google Keyword Planner

* Feedly - a news aggregator application for various browsers and mobile devices running iOS & Android

* ConvertKit - email service provider

* Lumen5 - online video maker

* Todoist - to-do list app

* Engagebay - all-in-one marketing, sales, support and free CRM software for growing companies to engage and convert web visitors

* Ubersuggest - Google Chrome SEO extension

* Brand24 - access to brand mentions across social, news, blogs, videos, forums, podcasts, reviews

* Zapier - an automation platform that supports thousands of the most popular apps, like Google Sheets, Slack, Todoist, Trello, and Airtable [utilizes API technology to create application cross-communication]

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Ad Exchange

Ad Exchanges are digital marketplaces where publishers and advertisers come together to trade digital ad inventory such as a display, native, video, mobile and in-app. Buying and selling happen in real-time auctions, empowered by RTB (real-time bidding) technology. The Ad Exchange is an auction mediation mechanism that does not serve either the buyer or the seller side; it is an autonomous platform that facilitates programmatic ad buying.

Courtesy of SmartyAds.

Demand-Side Platform

DSPs allow advertisers to buy impressions across a range of publisher sites, but targeted to specific users based on information such as their location and their previous browsing behavior. Publishers make their ad impressions available through marketplaces called ad exchanges, and DSPs automatically decide which of those impressions it makes the most sense for an advertiser to buy. Often the price of those impressions is determined by a real-time auction, through a process known as real-time bidding. That means there’s no need for human salespeople to negotiate prices with buyers, because impressions are simply auctioned off to the highest bidder. That process takes place in milliseconds, as a user’s computer loads a webpage.

Courtesy of Digiday.

KPI - Key Performance Indicator

A KPI represents a number companies use to measure the effectiveness of their marketing, sales, and other departments. KPI metrics go beyond simple sales numbers and consider information like brand awareness, social media reach, and website interaction. Often, marketers report on their KPIs monthly, weekly or quarterly.

By reporting these metrics consistently, marketers are able to see how their efforts effect overall business. There are several different KPIs for several different types of marketing.

You can measure KPIs for email marketing efforts through CTR (click-through rates), conversion rates, CTOR (click-to-open rates), ROI (return on investment), open rates, and bounce rates. These are all metrics that measure how effective your sends are when it comes to engaging with subscribers. You can improve these rates by testing content, personalizing your emails, segmenting your sends, and automating your campaigns. These are all steps you can take inside the Campaign Monitor’s email marketing software platform.

For social media, your measurements might take other KPIs into account: impressions, click-through rates, social shares, and engagement. To improve these measurements, consider posting consistent, helpful content at a dependable cadence and engage with your followers.

If you’re measuring the success of digital ads, you might measure CPC (cost-per-click), CPM (cost-per-thousand), and lead-to-close ratio. Ads can be tricky, so be sure to read up on placement, heat maps, and keywords. If you’re measuring KPIs for email, social, or digital ads, you likely have a website. Luckily, there are KPIs you can measure on your website as well. Some of the standard website KPIs are: bounce rates (different from email bounces), time-on-site and pages-per-visit, and cart abandonment.

Naturally, your business will likely have several more KPIs specific to your industry. If downloads and site traffic are a big part of your revenue, you’ll naturally want to measure those closely as well.

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor.

Social Media Engagement

Engagement is, arguably, the most important of the three metrics [engagement, impression, reach] to pay attention to when you’re measuring social media success. This is because engagement is the only one of the three terms to involve the user directly. Having someone simply see your content is one thing, but involving them and moving them to take action is another.

When your content inspires a user to take an action, that moves them leaps and bounds ahead in your brand’s “funnel of awareness”. You are much more likely to convert viewers that engage with your content into viable sales leads.

Want to know how to maximize engagement with regards to Influencer Marketing success? Plan ahead what actions you’re hoping viewers will take when they see your content. For example, if an influencer knows you’re hoping for direct product sales, they can drive to your website and encourage clicks. If you’re looking for brand awareness, they can use the caption to influence viewers to save the post in their archives.

Courtesy of Taggermedia.

Emails - Open Rate

Email open rate is the percentage of subscribers who open a specific email out of your total number of subscribers.

Many people look to their email open rate to determine how successful their email marketing strategy is and, while email open rate is important, no one metric should determine your strategy. Instead, you should consider multiple metrics and think about the goals you have for your email marketing as a tactic.

Similarly, you should not only judge your email open rate by your specific industry, you should also look at how your email open rates are improving (or not) over time. This will give you a better understanding of how often people look forward to your emails. You’ll also be able to determine what type of content is the most interesting to your specific audience.

In addition to the global issues that could affect your email open rates—are you sending the right content to the most interested segment? Are you sending too frequently? Not frequently enough?—you should also test your email subject lines and preheader text to determine your best open rate.

Ultimately, ensuring that your brand follows best practices for email marketing and sending high-quality content to the right segments of subscribers will improve your email open rates more significantly over time—leading to a more engaged audience that’s invested in your brand—than spending inordinate amounts of time on your subject line which will only lead to an increased open rate for that one email send.

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor.

Emails - Click Through Rate

Click-through rate, or email click rate, is the measure of how many people clicked on a hyperlink, CTA, or image within a particular email. It can be calculated by taking the total number of clicks an email receives, and dividing that number by the total number of delivered messages. 

Click-through rate shows you the engagement of your email. Unlike click-to-open rate, this measure indicates activity out of everyone who received an email in their inbox. It provides insight into what percentage of your audience is interested in your content over time.

Some ESPs use unique clicks to determine this metric, but others don’t. A unique click is tracked the first time a subscriber clicks on a campaign. It does not count if the link is clicked multiple times.

The main goal for tracking click-through rate is to measure engagement. Using click-through rates, you can gauge performance in the following areas:

* Overall interest or email fatigue
* Email content
* Link placement
* Link count
* Media type

Although the numerator of your equation represents how many times your audience clicks through a specific email campaign, there are two ways to track these link clicks: unique link click and all link click.

Unique link clicks: Track once for each user who clicks through a link. As a result, the CTR will tell you what percent of recipients clicked through an email.

All link click: Counts any click through an email, even if the same user clicks through multiple times. The CTR tells you the ratio of “emails sent” to “visits to your site.”

The difference between “emails delivered” and “emails sent” is also important. Formulas that use “emails sent” will yield a CTR less than/equal to the formula that uses “emails delivered.” Why? The metric of emails sent doesn’t account for bounces, so it will be higher. “Emails delivered” is “emails sent” after bounces have been subtracted.

You can obviously get very granular, but either method works. Many marketers utilize an equation that uses “emails delivered” as the primary denominator, so deliverability issues don’t interfere with their analysis of CTR.

Measuring email success will always matter when determining areas of improvement for future campaigns. Consider using CTR in combination with your other metrics (e.g. open rate, CTOR, etc.) for best results.

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor.

Emails - Click-to-Open Rate

The click-to-open rate (CTOR) compares the number of unique clicks to unique opens. This number indicates how effective the email message, design, and content performed, and whether it created enough interest in the recipient to take action.

Unlike click-through rate, click-to-open rate is the number of clicks out of the number of opens (instead of the number of delivered emails). This gives you a better gauge of how the design and messaging resonated with your audience, since these clicks are only from people that actually viewed your email.

Unlike click-through rate, click-to-open rate is the number of clicks out of the number of opens (instead of the number of delivered emails). This gives you a better gauge of how the email design and messaging resonated with your audience, since these clicks are only from people that actually viewed your email.

Once you understand CTOR, you may need tips on making your emails more clickable to subscribers.

First, your email should be scannable like a blog post, since the majority of subscribers scan their inboxes and the messages inside. This means clear copy, readable chunks, headlines, and crisp images. Additionally, your most important information should be first, and the email should organically funnel down to a CTA.

For instance, you might have a headline announcing a new product, a chunk of copy describing what the new product does, followed by a CTA for subscribers to click through and see the product in your shop.

Ultimately, you want readers to click your CTA, so be sure to test different options for your subscribers. You can A/B test subject lines, CTA copy, CTA colors, and much more. You can also personalize emails by segmenting your list. For instance, if you’re creating emails for a nonprofit, emails to monthly donors may look different from emails to those who have never donated. By separating your list in this way, you provide a more personalized experience, encouraging more opens, more clicks, and better click-to-open rates.

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor.

Emails - Unsubscribe (Rate)

In email marketing, to unsubscribe means to remove your email address from a company’s mailing list so as not to receive any further emails or communications. Every email campaign must include an unsubscribe link to provide subscribers an option to remove themselves at any time.

What is an Unsubscribe Rate?

The unsubscribe rate is a metric that measures the percentage of people who opt out from an email list. An unsubscribe rate that is less than 1% is considered within industry standard.

The unsubscribe rate percentage is calculated by dividing the number of people who unsubscribed by the number of emails delivered times hundred (Unsubscribed number/Emails delivered x 100 = Unsubscribed rate %).

What Happens When Someone Clicks Unsubscribe?

To unsubscribe from an email list, a recipient has to click on a unique unsubscribe link at the bottom of an email that is immediately recorded in the sender’s email system. The subscriber’s status is then automatically changed from active to unsubscribed and he appears as unsubscribed in the campaign report.

Courtesy of Oberlo.

Emails - Forward Rate

This is the number of recipients who have shared your email with a friend by hitting the share button or forwarding it on.

Calculate by dividing the number of forwards/shares by the total number of emails delivered.

If you can get your existing recipients to share your emails, you know you must be doing something right with your content. And a direct referral works wonders in generating new leads for you. Plus, it doesn’t cost you anything.

You may even want to make a conscious effort to encourage your recipients to share your emails, perhaps offering an incentive like Ace & Tate has done in the email below.

Emails - Delivery Rate

Delivery rates tell you how many of your emails actually arrive in the right place, i.e. your recipients’ inboxes.

To calculate, simply take the number of emails that have been successfully delivered and divide this by the total number of emails sent.

If too many of your emails don’t make it to the right inboxes, you could have a problem with deliverability.

A number of factors can impact your deliverability. For example, if your rate is quite low, you may have an outdated list that contains a lot of old, invalid email addresses. Alternatively, you may have included phrases in the email that triggered a spam filter with certain email clients.

This is why it’s important to frequently clean up your recipient list, so you remove any invalid email addresses. It’s also worthwhile removing any recipients who haven’t engaged with you for a long period of time (i.e. a year).

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor.

Emails - Campaign ROI

Measuring how much revenue each email generates will tell you how much return on investment (ROI) you’re getting as well as which emails perform best.

You can calculate this by deducting the amount invested from the amount made in sales before dividing this figure by the amount you’ve invested.

Even though this is quite a difficult metric to monitor (an email may lead to sale months down the line), it is worth trying to get a rough idea of how well a campaign generates revenue for you and your company. Comparing the performance of your different email campaigns, especially at peak times, will allow you to adapt and change your emails to ensure you’re always using the most effective campaigns.

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor.

Emails - Bounce Rate

This is the number of emails that couldn’t be delivered to your recipients. To calculate, divide the number of bounced emails by the total number of sent emails.

There are two types of bounces, hard and soft.

Soft bounces occur when someone’s inbox is full, their server is down, or your email is larger than their provider’s size limit. Hard bounces happen when your email address gets blocked by the recipient’s server or it’s an invalid email address that you’re trying to send to.

Hard bounces are the most detrimental to your email campaigns as they negatively affect your sender reputation. So always keep an eye on this metric and check to see if the majority of your hard bounces are coming from the same server. If they are, this may mean they’re blocking you and you need to get in touch with them.

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor.

Emails - Drip Marketing

A drip marketing campaign is a series of emails that are sent to your subscribers at certain days and times. These emails aren’t sent to all of your subscribers at once. They’re only sent to those who have recently subscribed to your list or to whom you’re presenting a specific offer.

For example, some marketers have created drip plans that follow a typical cadence.

Someone learns about a business/brand, is intrigued, and sees that the company is offering an incentive for subscribing to their email list.

The person signs up and receives a series of emails, similar to what follows:

* A welcome email right after they sign up
* They’ll also receive access to the incentive, such as a free eBook or a “How To” toolkit
* They’ll continue to receive regular emails at various intervals upselling the product or service that they were introduced to via the free incentive

Instead of an eBook or toolkit, some brands offer a week-long challenge with daily emails. These typically begin a few days or weeks after the potential customer signs up. Days before the challenge begins, emails are sent to their inbox that build excitement for the event.

The subscriber will then receive a daily email for the duration of the challenge. These emails not only engage the customer because of the challenge, but they give them an idea of what it would be like to invest in you/your product or service.

Finally, after the challenge, one or more emails will be sent at designated times encouraging the customer to learn more about what you have to offer or to make a purchase right then.

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor.

Emails - A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a way of working out which of two campaign options is the most effective in terms of encouraging opens or clicks.

In an A/B test you set up two variations of the one campaign and send them to a small percentage of your total recipients. Half of the test group is sent Version A, while the other half gets Version B. The result, measured by the most opens or clicks, determines the winning version. This is then sent to the remaining subscribers.

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor.

Emails - Conversion Rate

Your email marketing conversion rate is the percentage of subscribers who complete a goal action after reading your email. This is an important metric for most marketers, as it indicates how effective your email marketing is and determines your return on investment.

Every email you design should have a specific purpose you’d like to accomplish, whether that’s sell a product or inspire readers to visit your blog. You’ll want to make it as simple as possible for your audience to follow-through by including a compelling call to action (CTA) that will deliver readers to the right page on your website. In many instances, the conversion goal will be purchase-related, so it’s important to be able to directly correlate the success of email marketing efforts to a hard number (like the sales associated with the conversion rate.)

Even though every email won’t lead to sales, you’ll still have goals and conversions to measure. It’s important to remember that while you will have a goal for every email you send, every email should deliver direct value to your subscribers. In today’s consumer-driven marketplace, creating an email that is overtly sales-oriented most likely won’t result in the conversion rate you want. Instead, you should focus your campaign on the value this product delivers to your subscribers and compel them to buy that way.

No one likes to feel like a company only cares about your money. Your marketing should be written and executed for what it is: a human being writing to other human beings. You’ll see much better results from your email campaigns when you keep your copy and design focused on communicating value to your subscribers.

There are plenty of ways to design an email that will improve your conversion rates. The first step—and perhaps the most important—is to make sure you have one clear goal in mind and to choose a format and design that will promote that goal. Even if you have secondary or possibly tertiary CTAs in an email, one should be the clear primary action you want subscribers to take since including too many options can be overwhelming, especially in an email promoting products. The caveat to this is when you want to drive people to your blog and you don’t have a preference for where they go, you will be more successful including those secondary and tertiary links.

There’s clearly no shortcut to improving your conversion rate. Instead, focus on delivering value to subscribers and putting their needs and desires first. You’ll see better results from an engaged audience every time.

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor.


PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it's a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC.

Courtesy of Wordstream.

PPC - CTR (Click-Through-Rate)

Click-through rate is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. It is commonly used to measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of email campaigns.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

PPC - Quality Score

Quality Score is a metric used by Google, Yahoo! (called Quality Index), and Bing that influences ad rank and cost per click (CPC) of ads.

To determine the position of the ad on a search engine, each ad is allocated using a process which takes into account the bid and the Quality Score. Ads are then listed in descending order based on the result of that equation. The exact weight of Quality Score versus bid has not been revealed by any of the major search engines, and each company has stated that they reserve the right to continually adjust their ranking methodologies.

In late 2008, Google revealed that Quality Score was used to determine which ads it would show above organic results, and that a high quality score could actually cause ads to jump over ads with lower quality scores that would otherwise not merit that prominent placement.

The major search engines have each independently implemented efforts to maintain and improve the quality of ads listed on their sites. The primary reason for this is to improve the experience of users who click on paid advertising links. It is reasonable to assume that users who have a great experience when clicking on ads will click on them more frequently, thus increasing advertising revenues for the search engine.

In addition, Google chose to introduce variable minimum bids at the same time as it introduced Quality-Based Bidding. On the surface, this new feature allowed advertisers to bid as little as $0.01 to have their ad shown. However, in some cases advertisers found their minimum bids for some ads were raised to as high as $5.00 or $10.00. By implementing variable minimum bids Google created a mechanism whereby the company could set different minimums for different advertisers for the same keyword, and potentially increase the average minimum bid without the advertising community as a whole being made aware. Furthermore, by raising minimums bids, Google could test each advertiser's ability to pay these increases, thus increasing competitiveness within the auctions and extracting maximum revenue from each advertiser.

There are a number of factors that determine the Quality Score of a given ad. While each search engine has released directional information on the factors most important to them, presumably in an effort to guide their advertisers towards making better ads, none has revealed their formulas in detail. Below is a summary of what has been released:

Click-through rate

All three search engines have revealed that a major factor - the most important factor to Google - in their respective Quality Score formulas is the historical click-through rate (CTR) of the keyword and matched ad. In fact, prior to its introduction of Quality Score in July 2005, Google determined ad rank by running the following formula against each ad and sorting them in descending order: bid * CTR.

In addition to the CTR of the keyword and matched ad itself, Google takes into account the overall historic CTR of the entire AdWords account as well as the historic CTR of the display URLs in the ad group.

Ad copy relevance

All three search engines have revealed that the relevance of the ad copy to the keyword is a factor in determining Quality Score. Therefore, it can be assumed that ads with ad copy that contains the keyword will have a higher Quality Score than ads with ad copy that does not contain the keyword.

Landing page quality

All three search engines have revealed that landing page quality is a factor in determining Quality Score. Landing page quality generally refers to whether or not the page contains relevant and original content and the navigability of the site. In the case of MSN, they have revealed that ads with landing pages that don't contain the keyword may be declined altogether.

Landing page load time

In June 2008 Google revealed that landing page load time impacts Quality Score. 

Geographical considerations

Google has revealed that the accounts performance in the geographical region where the ad will be shown impacts Quality Score.

Other factors

All three search engines have revealed that other factors are taken into consideration when calculating Quality Score. In particular, changes in terms of use in Google Analytics have fed speculation in the search engine marketing (SEM) community that Google is using on-site conversion data in its Quality Score formula.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

PPC - Clicks

Every conversion starts with a click. That’s why clicks are an early indicator of PPC campaign success.

This KPI measures how many people clicked on your ad. Campaign managers often check in on accounts throughout the month to pause ads that are not performing and even increase the bids on ads that are. Clicks are a great KPI for that mid-month account performance checkup; however, the success of a campaign shouldn’t be determined solely by clicks.

Courtesy of SearchEngineJournal.

PPC - CPC (Cost Per Click)

Cost per click (CPC) is a paid advertising term where an advertiser pays a cost to a publisher for every click on an ad. CPC is also called pay per click (PPC). CPC is used to determine costs of showing users ads on search engines, Google Display Network for AdWords, social media platforms and other publishers. CPC is a significant factor in choosing bidding strategies and conversion bidding types to maximize clicks relative to budget size and target keywords.

There are a variety of text, rich-media or social media ads that use CPC as a factor in calculating total paid advertising campaign costs. Some ad types are only displayed on certain networks, such as the Google Search Network (ads at the top of Google’s search engine result pages) and Display Network (Google-owned or partnered sites like YouTube and Gmail).

CPC is a factor in ad types including:

* Text ads
* Shopping ads
* Image ads
* Video ads
* Twitter promoted tweets
* Facebook ads
* Instagram ads
* LinkedIn ads

Courtesy of SproutSocial.

PPC - CPA (Cost per Action / Aquisition)

Cost per action (CPA), also sometimes misconstrued in marketing environments as cost per acquisition, is an online advertising measurement and pricing model, referring to a specified action – for example a sale, click, or form submit (e.g., contact request, newsletter sign up, registration etc.)

Direct response advertisers often consider CPA the optimal way to buy online advertising, as an advertiser only considers the measured CPA goal as the important outcome of their activity. The desired action to be performed is determined by the advertiser. In affiliate marketing, this means that advertisers only pay the affiliates for leads that result in the desired action such as a sale. This removes the risk for the advertiser because they know in advance that they will not have to pay for bad referrals, and it encourages the affiliate to send good referrals.

Radio and TV stations also sometimes offer unsold inventory on a cost per action basis, but this form of advertising is most often referred to as "per inquiry". Although less common, print media will also sometimes be sold on a CPA basis.

CPA as "cost per acquisition"

CPA is sometimes referred to as "cost per acquisition", which has to do with the fact that many actions which advertisers are optimizing towards are about acquiring something (typically new customers by making sales), although this has led to confusion in the marketing industry as to the correct meaning of CPA. Adding to the confusion, "cost per acquisition" may be used where it actually is customer acquisition cost (CAC).

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

PPC - CVR (Conversion Rate)

To put it simply, your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your website or landing page that convert (aka, do what you want them to do). Depending on your business goals, a “conversion” could be almost anything, but here are a few common types of conversions:

* Making a purchase
* Submitting a form (contact us form, lead gen form, etc)
* Calling your business
* Engaging with your online chat
* Signing up for a subscription (either paid or free—like a newsletter)
* Registering on the site
* Downloading something (software trial, eBook, mobile app, etc)
* Using something (new/advanced feature on your software or app, simply using your software/app for a * certain amount of time)
* Upgrading their service
* Engaging with your site in some way (time on site, repeat visits, number of pages visited)

There are plenty of other conversion actions people can take on a site, but this should give you a feel for what a “conversion” is. Basically, a conversion is a measurable action that progresses a potential customer towards becoming a paying customer in an important way.

Courtesy of Disruptive Advertising.

PPC - CPM (Impression Share)

Cost per thousand, also called cost per mille, is a marketing term used to denote the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage. If a website publisher charges $2.00 CPM, that means an advertiser must pay $2.00 for every 1,000 impressions of its ad. The "M" in CPM represents the word "mille," which is Latin for "thousands."

Courtesy of Investopedia.

PPC - Average Position

Google balances both paid and organic search results for almost every search query entered.

Ads on Google or Bing can show at the very top of the search engine results page (SERP) in position 1, right underneath the next ad shown is in position 2, and so on.

Average position tells advertisers which position their ad is shown in most of the time. Google can’t simply give the highest bidder the first position all the time, so they determine average position based on ad rank.

Ad rank is calculated by multiplying Quality Score by an advertiser’s max cost per impression (CPM). However, since average position is indeed an average, even knowing how to calculate it isn’t the full story since if your average position was 3, you may have been in position 1, 4 and 6 earlier that day.

Since the first 1-3 ads are shown before even the organic search results everyone worked so hard on, many businesses advertising on Google would like to be visible right out of the gate in position 1. It makes sense to want to be in the first position, but the aim to do so is mostly one of vanity, because being in first position doesn’t necessarily mean results.

Some advertisers may have more conversions in position 4 than position 1 for whatever reason. You should use average position to provide context around campaigns and campaign reporting, but it shouldn’t be used as a target indicator.

Courtesy of SearchEngineJournal.

Sales Growth

The amount a company derives from sales compared to a previous, corresponding period of time in which the latter sales exceed the former. For example, a company has experienced sales growth when its sales were $1 million in Q1 2009 and are $1.2 million in Q1 2010. Sales growth is considered positive for a company's survival and profitability. It may result in increased dividends for shareholders and/or higher stock prices.

Courtesy of the Free Dictionary.

Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV)

LTV is a broad indicator of account health and of a PPC marketer’s abilities.

But calculating customer lifetime value for paid search is complex.

Companies that retain customers acquired via paid search longer will make significantly more revenue.

While LTV is a measure of a business’s customers lifetime with their product and/or services, it can be measured in different ways.

For example, in the case of a martech provider LTV could be measured simply by looking at the number of days, months, or years a client stayed with the platform.

In the case of a large company like Starbucks, measuring LTV can actually be quite complex. There are numerous considerations (e.g., average customer lifespan, customer retention rate, profit margin per customer, and applied discounts).

While PPC marketers typically wouldn’t take on complex calculations of LTV like Starbucks, knowing how this KPI is measured in other departments could certainly come in handy. Just be aware that LTV means slightly different things to different marketers, but is fundamentally the same across all of them.

Courtesy of SerachEngineJournal.

Cost of Customer Acquisition (COCA)

The cost of customer acquisition is the cost associated in convincing a prospective customer to buy your company’s product or service. For example, let’s say you spent $200,000 on sales and marketing in a month and closed 20 new customers that month, then your COCA would be $10,000.

There’s always some nuance here, for example, if you pay a company to provide PPC management services, you need to include the click budget as well as the agency’s management fee. Once you have your COCA figured out, you can set goals for how many new customers you want to acquire in a year and then allocate your marketing budget appropriately.

Courtesy of Vital.

Sales Team Response Time

Lead response time is a metric that sales teams have really only started to focus on within the last few years. It refers to how quickly your sales team responds to or follows up with a potential client. These leads can come from anywhere: an online contact form, an email, a phone message, or social media.

One of the most iconic studies into lead response times comes from the Harvard Business Review. HBR’s research showed that 48% (yes, almost half) of businesses fail to respond to leads within 24 hours. In fact, the average lead response time of the businesses surveyed was actually 42 hours; nearly 2 days.

So what’s the problem? The problem is that leads — particularly online leads — have a remarkably short lifespan, which means that your sales team is more likely to succeed if they act during a small window of opportunity. The report suggests that sales teams are 7 times more likely to qualify a lead within the first hour, compared to 2 hours after initial contact, and 60 times more likely compared to 24 hours after contact. The best lead response time, however, is under 5 minutes. Speed really is of the essence.

Courtesy of Onsight.

Quoted to Closed Customer Ratio

Quote to close is a KPI used to determine what percentage of customers a business has contact with and actually make a purchase. It is measured by dividing the actual customers or clients who made a purchase by the number of prospects contacted or to the number of potential customers who visited the business. If the business talked to 100 prospects in a month and 12 of those prospects made a purchase, then the quote to close ratio would be 12%.

The ideal quote to close ratio is determined by the company’s industry. Businesses in the entertainment industry or food service industry have a higher quote to close ratio than a business that sells cars or appliances. Measuring the company’s ratio against other companies in the same industry determines how well it is closing its sales versus its competitors. A higher percentage indicates a greater ability to close a sale. It is also important to track the company’s ratios from month to month to establish a trend. If the trend indicates the ratio is decreasing, the company needs to determine why and take steps to resolve it.

Many businesses concentrate on its salespeople’s effort to try to improve results. Investing in a company’s sales staff by providing them with training in both sales techniques and people skills is a good way to improve the quote to close ratio. However, the advertising and promotions that brought the customer to the business also play a role. Marketing and promotional efforts need to bring in the right customers and be in line with the overall objective the company is trying to achieve. Sales and marketing staff need to work together to match the company’s products with the needs of the potential clients.

Courtesy of PorteBrown.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a lead who has indicated interest in what a brand has to offer based on marketing efforts or is otherwise more likely to become a customer than other leads. Often an MQL is a lead who has intentionally engaged with your brand by performing actions like voluntarily submitting contact information, opting into a program, adding e-commerce items to a shopping cart, downloading materials, or repeatedly visiting a website.

These are promising leads who are curious and considering you, but they haven’t quite made the step into a sales conversation yet. However, they’re more likely to be receptive to a sales pitch than a normal lead. If you think about your own buyers’ journey, it would be pretty rare that you submit your real email address unless you’re open to starting a conversation. An MQL is judged to be interested in your products and/or services, and you may offer a solution to whatever it is they need.

An MQL has taken the first steps to becoming a customer and is primed to receive additional contact. From a very general perspective: Marketing Qualified Leads turn into Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), which then turn into customers.

Courtesy of Tableau. 

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

A prospective customer that has been researched and vetted — first by an organization’s marketing department and then by its sales team – and is deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process.

Essentially, this is someone who has come to you either by organic means or outreach and has expressed interest in your products to some degree. After they have expressed enough interest, they are shown to the sales team who then vets the lead further to gauge the lead’s sales readiness. Finally, the lead is cleared and enters into the next stage of the sales process.

The overall process should look similar in any organization with both a sales and marketing team.

Courtesy of LeadFuze.

MQL to SQL Ratio

Marketing Qualified Leads, commonly known as MQLs, are individuals who have indicated they’re more interested than other leads, but not quite ready to fully commit. Ideally, you should only allow certain, designated forms to trigger the promotion of a lead to the MQL stage, specifically those that gate bottom of the funnel offers like demo requests, buying guides, and other sales-ready calls to action.

Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) are individuals that your sales team has accepted as ready for a direct sales follow up. Using this stage will help your sales and marketing teams stay in sync regarding the quality and volume of leads that you are handing over to your sales team.

The sales metric MQL to SQL conversion rate is the percentage of marketing qualified leads that get converted to sales qualified leads. It’s one of the best ways to determine lead quality and an excellent indicator of how well your marketing team is qualifying and screening leads to maintain a high quality pipeline.

How to calculate MQL to SQL Conversion Rate:

(#) of Sales Qualified Leads / (#) of Marketing Qualified Leads = (#) MQL to SQL Conversion Rate

Courtesy of Geckoboard.

Website Traffic to Website Lead Ratio

This is pretty straightforward. Of all your website visitors, how many of them convert and become leads? This KPI is helpful for measuring two things:

* The quality of your website’s traffic
* The conversion rate of your website

Courtesy of Vital.

Website - Traffic

These are the people visiting your site. They are the potential leads that turn into potential customers. Why wouldn’t you want to know more about them?

Getting to know your website traffic is about finding out who these people are, where they’re from and what they did once they got to your site. All of this information can help you determine one all important piece of information: what it is they want from you. Knowing this helps you anticipate and anticipating your potential customers needs is what marketing is all about.

Website traffic is probably too generic of a term, however. The idea of website traffic consists of many things—all of which are highly measurable and heavily related to engagement. They include:

* Sessions

* Users

* Page views

* Page per Session

* Average Session Duration

* Bounce Rate

Courtesy of Vital.

Website - Sessions

the number of times a user opened a browser to a page on your site.

Courtesy of Impact.

Website - Users

The number of unique users that opened those pages on your site.

Courtesy of Impact.

Website - Page Views

The number of pages viewed by a user during a session. This will likely be higher than sessions.

Courtesy of Impact.

Website - Page Per Session

The number of pages divided by the number of sessions.

Courtesy of Impact.

Website - Average Session Duration

The average amount of time of each session. Users can have multiple sessions.

Courtesy of Impact.

Website - Bounce Rate 

The percentage of single-page sessions that left without interacting with your page.

Courtesy of Impact.

Website - Meta Descriptions

The meta description is one of a web page’s meta tags. With this meta information, webmasters can briefly sketch out the content and quality of a web page. The page description for a web page is usually displayed when the page for a specific query is listed as a snippet in the SERPs.

Courtesy of Search Metrics.

Website - Meta Titles (Page Title)

Every webpage (e.g. homepage, subpage) has its own title. The page title is laid out in HTML code and appears in the title bar of the browser. Search engines display page titles in their search results. In addition, search engines use page titles in order to recognize what information the website contains. Ideally page titles should include the search term for which the website has been optimized.

Courtesy of Search Metrics.

Website - Retargeting

Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a form of online advertising that can help you keep your brand in front of bounced traffic after they leave your website. For most websites, only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit. Retargeting is a tool designed to help companies reach the 98% of users who don’t convert right away.

How Does ReTargeting Work?

Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that uses simple Javascript code to anonymously ‘follow’ your audience all over the Web.

Here’s how it works: you place a small, unobtrusive piece of code on your website (this code is sometimes referred to as a pixel). The code, or pixel, is unnoticeable to your site visitors and won’t affect your site’s performance. Every time a new visitor comes to your site, the code drops an anonymous browser cookie. Later, when your cookied visitors browse the Web, the cookie will let your retargeting provider know when to serve ads, ensuring that your ads are served to only to people who have previously visited your site.

Courtesy of Retargeter.