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The ultimate dictionary of marketing terms you need to know

You can read a marketing glossary below. It is not just a glossary, but one that not only defines each term, but also provides useful resources in case you want to delve deeper into it.

If you try to create a glossary based on a topic with subcategories that could be their own glossaries, that’s a lot of gloss. So instead of referring hundreds of terms to you from all those other glossaries, I’ve narrowed it down to the top 99 terms that are absolutely necessary for anyone learning about marketing.

man looking in the large dictionary

Marketing terms you need to know


1. A/B Testing

This is the process of comparing two variants of a single variable to determine which performs best to help improve marketing efforts. This is often done in email marketing (with variations in the subject line or copy), call-to-action (variations in colors or vocabulary) and destination pages (variations in content). Outside of marketing, you can use it to determine what tastes better on a peanut butter sandwich: jelly or fluff.

2. Analysis

What I sometimes call the “eyes” of inbound marketing, analytics is essentially the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. When referred to in the context of marketing, it looks at data from its initiatives (website visitor reports, social, PPC, etc.), Analyzes trends and develops actionable insights to make more informed marketing decisions.

3. Application Programming Interface (API).

APIs are a set of rules in computer programming that allow an application to extract information from a service and use that information in its own application or in data analysis. It’s a bit like a phone that allows applications to make calls – an API literally “calls” one application and gets information that you can use in your software. APIs facilitate the data needed to provide solutions to customer problems.

HubSpot has APIs that developers use to get information from our software into theirs. It is important for marketers to understand what APIs can do to integrate them into their marketing strategies.


4. B2B (business-to-business).

An adjective used to describe companies that sell to other companies. Google and Oracle, for example, are primarily B2B companies.

5. B2C (business-to-consumer).

An adjective used to describe businesses that sell directly to consumers. Amazon, Apple and Nike, for example, are primarily B2C companies.

6. Blogging

This is an abbreviation for weblog or weblog. A person or group of people usually keeps a blog. A personal blog or business blog traditionally includes entering comments, descriptions of events or other material, such as photos and video.

Blogging is a core component of inbound marketing because it can execute several initiatives simultaneously – such as website traffic growth, thought leadership and lead generation. However, it does not do your taxes.

7. Business Blogging/Business blogging

Business blogging retains all the characteristics of “regular” blogging, but adds a tasty layer of marketing strategy. It helps marketers drive traffic to their website, convert that traffic into leads, establish authority on certain topics and achieve long-term results.

When blogging for a business, marketers need to create posts that are optimized with keywords their target audience searches for and provide useful, educational material to those readers. Typically, these blog posts must be actionable (by offering an opt-in, downloadable offer), to provide a statistic for the effectiveness of blogging on businesses.

8. Bottom of the funnel/bottom of the funnel.

Since we are going alphabetically, the last part of the funnel process is first! So, “Bottoms Up,” I think. The bottom of the funnel refers to a stage of the buying process that leads to reach when they are about to close as new customers. They have identified a problem, looked around for possible solutions and are very close to buying.

Typically, the next steps for leads at this stage are a phone call from a sales representative, a demo or a free consultation – depending on the type of company trying to close the lead.

9. Bounce rate

Website bounce rate: the percentage of people who land on a page on your website and then leave without clicking anything else or going to other pages on your site. A high bounce rate generally leads to low conversion rates because no one stays on your site long enough to read your content or convert to a destination page (or for another conversion event).

Email bounce rate: the rate at which an email cannot be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. A high bounce rate generally means that your lists are outdated or have been purchased, or contain many invalid email addresses. In email, not all bounces are bad, so it is important to distinguish between hard and soft bounces before removing an email address from your list.

10. Buyer Persona/Buyer Persona

A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. While it helps marketers like you define their target audience, it can also help salespeople qualify leads.


11. Call-to-Action

A call-to-action is a text link, button, image or some type of web link that encourages a website visitor to visit a destination page and become a lead. Some examples of CTAs are “Subscribe now” or “Download the white paper today. These are important to marketers because they are the “bait” that entices visitors to a Web site to eventually take a lead role. So you can imagine the importance of conveying a highly enticing, valuable offer over a call-to-action to improve visitor-to-lead conversion.


CAN-SPAM stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solited Pornography and Marketing.” It is a U.S. law passed in 2003 that establishes the rules for commercial e-mail and commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have a company stop e-mailing and outlines the penalties imposed for those who violate the law. CAN-SPAM, for example, is why companies should have an “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of every e-mail.

13. CASL

CASL stands for “Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.” It is a Canadian law passed in 2013 that covers the sending of “commercial electronic messages” that a computer in Canada can access. CASL includes e-mail, text messages, instant messages and automated cell phone messages sent to computers and phones in Canada.

14. Churn Rate/Churn interest

A statistic that measures how many customers you keep and at what value. To calculate the churn percentage, take the number of customers you lost during a given time frame and divide it by the total number of customers you had at the beginning of that time frame.

For example, if a company had 500 customers at the beginning of October and only 450 customers at the end of October (discounted customers closed in October), their customer attrition rate would be: (500-450) / 500 = 50 / 500 = 10%.

Churn interest is a significant metric, primarily for companies with recurring revenue. Regardless of your monthly income, if your average customer doesn’t stick around long enough for you to at least break even on your customer acquisition costs, you’re in trouble.

15. Clickthrough Rate (CTR).

The percentage of your target audience that continues (or clicks through) from one part of your website to the next step of your marketing campaign. As a mathematical equation, this is the total number of clicks your page or CTA receives divided by the number of opportunities people had to click on (e.g., number of page views, emails sent, and so on).

16. Closed-loop marketing

The practice of closed-loop marketing is able to execute, track and show how marketing efforts have affected business revenue growth. An example is tracking a website visitor as they are a lead-up to the final point of contact when they close as a customer.

If you have done this properly, you can see how much of your marketing investments have generated new business growth. One of the biggest business benefits of implementing an inbound marketing strategy and using inbound marketing software is the ability to perform closed-loop marketing.

17. Conversion Path/Conversion Path

A conversion path is a series of website-based events that enable lead capture. In its simplest form, a conversion path consists of a call-to-action (usually a button describing an offer) that leads to a landing page with a lead capture form, which redirects to a thank you page where a content offer resides. In exchange for his or her contact information, a website visitor receives a content offer to better assist them during the buying process.

18. Content

With respect to inbound marketing, content is a piece of information that exists to be digested (not literally), engaged with and shared. Content usually comes in the form of a blog, video, post on social media, photos, slideshows or podcasts, although many more than types are available. From website traffic to lead conversion to customer marketing, content plays an indispensable role in a successful inbound marketing strategy.

19. Content Management System (CMS).

A Web application designed to make it easy for non-technical users to create, edit and manage a Web site. Helps users with content editing and more “behind the scenes” work, such as content search and indexing, automatic generation of navigation elements, tracking users and permissions, and more.

20. Content Optimization System (COS).

A COS is basically a CMS (Content Management System), but optimized to give customers the most personalized Web experience possible.

21. Context

If content is king, then context is queen. Providing valuable content is important, but making sure it is tailored to the right audience is just as important (if not more so). As buyers gain more control over what information they digest (again, not literally), it is important to deliver content that is contextually relevant. If you own a restaurant, you don’t want to send a receipt for a steak meal to a vegetarian, right? Unless you are anti-herbivore, of course …

22. Conversion rate

The percentage of people who completed a desired action on a single Web page, such as filling out a form. Pages with high success rates perform well, while pages with low conversion rates do poorly.

23. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

The process of improving your site conversion using design techniques, key optimization principles and testing. It’s about creating an experience for your website visitors that converts them into customers. CRO is usually applied to the optimization of web pages or landing pages, but it can also be applied to social media, CTAs and other parts of your marketing.

24. Cost-per-Lead/Cost-per-lead (CPL).

The amount it costs your marketing organization to gain an edge. This is highly dependent on CAC (customer acquisition cost) and it is a metric that marketers should keep a close eye on.

25. Crowdsourced content

Creating your own content can take more time than you have to devote to it – and that’s where crowdsourcing comes in. Allowing experts, clients or freelancers to create your content for you is an excellent way to publish more quality content in less time. Compile the content you get back into a really great offering and compliment all contributors – a win-win for all involved.

26. Customer Acquisition Cost/Acquisition cost of customers (CAC).

Your total sales and marketing costs. To calculate CAC, follow these steps for a given period of time (month, quarter or year):

  1. Add a program or advertising expenses + salaries + commissions + bonuses + overhead.
  2. Divide by the number of new customers in that period.

For example, if you spend $500,000 on sales and marketing in a given month and added 50 customers that same month, your CAC that month was $10,000.

27. Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

A set of software programs that allow companies to track everything they do with their existing and potential customers.

At the simplest level, CRM software allows you to track all contact information for these customers. But CRM systems can also do numerous other things, such as track e-mail, phone calls, faxes and deals; send personalized e-mails; schedule appointments; and log every instance of customer service and support. Some systems also include feeds from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.

28. CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and that is what gives your entire website its style, such as colors, fonts and background images. It affects the mood and tone of a web page, making it an incredibly powerful tool. It is also how websites can adapt to different screen sizes and device types.


29. Dynamic content

A way to display different messages on your website based on the information you already know about the visitor. For example, you can use smart CTAs so that new visitors will see a personalized CTA (perhaps with a funnel offer) and those who are already in your database will see a different CTA (perhaps for content that provides some more information about your product or service).


30. Ebook

E-books are common content that many marketers use, often to generate leads. They are generally a content type with a longer form than blog posts, for example, and delve deeper into a topic.

31. Editorial Calendar/Editorial Calendar.

It’s like a roadmap for content creation, showing what kind of content to create, what topics to cover, which personas to target and how often to publish to best support your strategy. Keeping an editorial calendar keeps you more organized and allows you to see any gaps in your content library. It also helps to make sure that you are doing the right things for your persona and not deviating in any other way from the topics you cover.

32. Email

In its most basic sense, e-mail stands for “Electronic Mail. It is an important part of marketing because it is a direct connection to a contact’s inbox. However, with great power comes great responsibility, which means it is important for marketers not to abuse the email relationship with a contact. It is far too easy for a contact to click “unsubscribe” after gaining their hard-earned trust in your communication. Don’t blow it.

33. Engagement Rate/Involvement Rate.

A popular social media measure used to describe the amount of interaction – Likes, shares, comments – a piece of content received. Such interactions tell you that your posts are resonating with your fans and followers.

34. Evergreen content

Evergreen content is content that continues to provide value to readers no matter when they stumble across it. In other words, it can be referenced long after it was originally published and even then it is still valuable to the reader. Typically, a piece of evergreen content is timeless, valuable, of high quality and canonical or definitive. These posts are usually a content marketer’s best friend because of the tremendous SEO value they provide.


35. Facebook

Facebook is a social network you’re probably already very familiar with – but it has become so much more than just a platform to publish content and gain followers. You can now use the great targeting options available through Facebook ads to find and attract new contacts to your website and convert them to your landing pages … but remember, you still need great content to do it.

While it is a core component of any marketing strategy, it should not be the only component. By focusing entirely on Facebook (or another major social channel), you only get a small piece of the weft marketing pie. And it’s still glowing, so be careful.

36. Form/Form

The place where your page visitors will provide information in exchange for your offer. It’s also how these visitors can convert into valuable sales leads. As a best practice, ask for only the information you need from your leads to effectively follow up and/or qualify them.

37. Friction/Friction

Any element of your website that confuses, distracts or stresses visitors, causing them to leave your page. Examples of friction-causing elements include dissonant colors, too much text, distracting Web site navigation menus or forms for landing pages with too many fields.


38. Google+

Google+ (also known as “Google Plus”) is a social network that allows you to participate and create circles that combine family members, friends, colleagues and fellow industry members. While you can use it just like other social networks – to publish and share content and generate new leads – it also offers content marketers tremendous SEO value because of the increasing importance of social sharing in search engine algorithms. (It is, after all, owned by Google.)


39. Hashtag

Hashtags are a way for you and your readers to interact on social media and have conversations about a particular piece of content. They link public conversations on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram together into a single stream, which users can find by searching for a hashtag, clicking on it or using a third-party monitoring tool.

The hashtags themselves are simply a keyword, spelled without spaces, with a hash (#) in front of it – such as #InboundChat and #ChocolateLovers. You can place these hashtags anywhere in your social media posts.

40. HTML

This is short for HyperText Markup Language, a language used to write Web pages. It is the core of any Web page, regardless of the complexity of a site or some of the technologies involved, and provides the basic structure of the site – which is then enhanced and modified by other technologies such as CSS and JavaScript.


41. Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that attract visitors, rather than requiring marketers to attract the attention of prospects. It’s about attracting customers’ attention, making the company easy to find online and drawing customers to the website by producing interesting, useful content. By tailoring the content you publish to your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close and delight.

42. Incoming link

An inbound link is a link that comes from another site to your own website. “Inbound” is generally used by the person receiving the link. Dharmesh might say, “I received an inbound link from HubSpot.”

Websites that receive many inbound links are more likely to rank higher in search engines. They also help people receive referral traffic from other websites.

43. Infographic

A highly visual piece of content that is very popular among digital marketers as a way to communicate complex concepts in a simple and visual way.

44. Instagram

Although it was initially a haven for younger generations looking to post, edit and share unique photos, Instagram has grown into a leading social network that is a great opportunity for content marketers. Many companies take advantage of the site by posting industry-related photos that their followers and customers like to see.


45. JavaScript

Mix ¾ oz coffee liqueur with a shot of espresso … no, just kidding. JavaScript is a programming language that allows Web developers to design interactive sites. Most of the dynamic behavior you see on a Web page is due to JavaScript, which augments a browser’s default settings and behavior.

Uses for JavaScript include pop-ups, slide-in calls-to-action, security password creation, control forms, interactive games and special effects. It is also used to build mobile apps and create server-based applications.


46. Key Performance Indicator (KPI).

A type of performance measurement that companies use to evaluate the success of an employee or activity. Marketers look to KPIs to track progress toward marketing goals, and successful marketers constantly evaluate their performance against industry-standard metrics. Examples of KPIs include CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), sources of blog traffic and homepage views. Choose KPIs that reflect how your marketing and business are performing.

47. Key word/Key word

Sometimes called keyword phrases. Keywords are the topics on which Web pages are indexed for search results in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Choosing keywords for which to optimize a Web page is a two-part effort. First, you want to make sure the keyword has significant search volume and is not too difficult to find. Next, you want to make sure it matches your target audience

After choosing the right keywords you want to rank for, you need to optimize the right pages on your website using both on-page and off-page tactics. What are those, you ask? Go to “O” to find out, but don’t tell “L,” “M” or “N”!


48. Landing page

A landing page is a web page with a form used for lead generation. This page revolves around a marketing offer, such as an e-book or webinar, and serves to collect visitor information in exchange for the valuable offer. Destination pages are the gatekeepers of the conversion path and separate a website visitor from a lead.

A smart inbound marketer will create destination pages that appeal to different personae (plural for persona) at different stages of the buying process. No doubt a hefty undertaking, but one that pays off in spades.

49. Lead

A person or company that has expressed interest in a product or service in some way, shape or form. Perhaps they filled out a form, subscribed to a blog or shared their contact information in exchange for a coupon.

Lead generation is a crucial part of the journey from a prospect to becoming a customer, and it falls between the second and third phases of the larger inbound marketing methodology.


Destination pages, forms, offers and call-to-actions are just a few tools that businesses can use to generate leads.

50. Lead Nurturing/Caring Leadership.

Sometimes “drip marketing” is also called lead nurturing: developing a series of communications (emails, social media messages, etc.) that seek to qualify a lead, keep it engaged and gradually push it down the sales funnel. Inbound marketing is all about delivering valuable content to the right audience – and lead nurturing helps facilitate this by offering contextually relevant information to a lead at various stages of the buying lifecycle.

51. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. It was launched in May 2003 and is primarily used for professional networking. Today, LinkedIn, with more than 414 million registered members, is the most popular social network for professionals and one of the best social networks in general. Getting on the platform, developing a completed profile and networking have helped many job seekers find work.

52. Life cycle stages

These divisions serve as a way to describe the relationship you have with your target audience, and can generally be divided into three phases: awareness, evaluation and purchase.

What is important to understand about each of these phases is that not every piece of content you create is appropriate, depending on what stage your target audience may fall into at the time. That’s why dynamic content is so great – you can display content appropriate for each stage that visitor is in.

53. Life Time Value/Longevity Value (LTV).

A forecast of net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. To calculate LTV, follow these steps for a given period of time:

  1. Take the income that the customer paid you during that period.
  2. From that number, subtract the gross margin.
  3. Divide by the estimated churn rate (aka cancellation rate) for that customer.

For example, if a customer pays you $100,000 per year, where your gross margin on sales is 70%, and that customer type is predicted to cancel at 16% per year, then the customer’s LTV is $437,500.

54. Long-tail-Keyword

A long-tail keyword is a highly targeted search term that contains three or more words. It often contains a main term, which is a more general search term, plus one or two additional words that refine the search term. For example:

  • Main term: unicorn
  • Long tail keywords: unicorn games online, unicorn costumes for kids, unicorn videos on YouTube

Long-distance keywords are more specific, meaning that visitors who land on your website via a long search term are more qualified and therefore more likely to convert.

55. LTV: CAC

The ratio of lifetime value (LTV) to customer acquisition cost (CAC). Once you have the LTV and the CAC, calculate the ratio of the two. If it costs you $100,000 to acquire a customer with an LTV of $437,500, your LTV: CAC is 4.4 to 1.



56. Marketing Automation

While there is some overlap with the term “lead nurturing,” marketing automation is a bit different. Think of marketing automation as the platform with associated tools and analytics to develop a leading nutrition strategy. If you want me to run with an “art” analogy, marketing automation is the brush, the watercolors and the blank canvas. Lead nurturing is the artist that brings it all together. Like Bob Ross! You can’t paint a happy little nurturing campaign without both.

Bonus: Want to get super mastery with your marketing automation terminology? Take it to the next level with behavior-based marketing automation. Behavior-based marketing automation refers to a system that triggers emails and other communications based on user activity on and off your site. It enables marketers to nurture leads and send them information only when it is most relevant to their stage in the buying cycle.

57. Microsite

A cross between a destination page and a “regular” website. ElfYourself.com is a great example. Microsites are used when marketers want to create a different online experience for their audience, separate from their main website. These sites often have their own domain names and separate visual branding.

58. Middle of the Funnel/Middle of the Funnel

This refers to the stage a lead enters after identifying a problem. Now they are looking for further research to find a solution to the problem. Typical middle of the funnel offers are case studies or product brochures – essentially anything that brings your company into the equation as a solution to the problem the lead is looking to solve. And if you want to be cool, you can call this phase “MOFU” for short.

59. Mobile marketing

With mobile searches surpassing desktop queries, now is probably the time to explore mobile marketing. What is it? Well, mobile marketing refers to the practice of optimizing marketing for mobile devices to provide visitors with time- and location-sensitive, personalized information to promote goods, services and ideas.

60. Mobile optimization

Mobile optimization means designing and formatting your website so that it is easy to read and navigate from a mobile device. This can be done by creating a separate mobile website or by incorporating responsive design into the original site layout. Google’s algorithm now rewards mobile-friendly websites, so if your site is not fully optimized for mobile devices, you are likely to see a hit to your ranking on mobile searches.

61. Monthly Recurring Revenu/Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR).

The revenue amount a subscription company receives per month. Includes MRR gained from new accounts (net new), MRR gained from upsells (net positive), MRR lost from downsells (net negative) and MRR lost from cancellations (net loss).


62. Native Advertising

A type of online advertising that takes the form and function of the platform on which it appears. Its purpose is to make ads look less like ads and more like part of the conversation. That means it’s usually a piece of sponsored content that is relative to the consumer experience, non-interruptive and looks and feels like the editorial environment.

Native advertising can take many forms, whether it’s radio broadcasters talking positively about a product the show sponsors, or an article about a product or company appearing in your news source.

63. Net Promoter Score (NPS).

A customer satisfaction measure that measures on a scale of 0-10 the extent to which people would recommend your company to others. The NPS is derived from a simple survey designed to help you determine how loyal your customers are to your business.

To calculate NPS, subtract the percentage of customers who would not recommend you (slanderers, or 0-6) from the percentage of customers who would (promoters, or 9-10).

By regularly determining your company’s NPS, you can find ways to improve your products and services to increase customer loyalty.

64. News Feed

A news feed is an online feed full of news sources. On Facebook, the news feed is the home page for user accounts where they can see the latest updates from their friends. The news feed on Twitter is called Timeline.

65. No-follow link/No-follow link

A no-follow link is used when a Web site does not want to pass search engine authorization to another Web page. It instructs search engine crawlers not to track or pass on linked websites as a way to avoid linking to spam content or inadvertently violating webmaster guidelines. To varying degrees, the no-follow attribute is recognized by all major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Not all links (and link domains) are created equal, and a non-sequential attribute helps prevent foul play.



66. Offer/Offer

Offers are content items that appear behind a form on a landing page. Their primary goal is to help marketers generate leads for your business. There are many different types of offerings you could create, including e-books, checklists, cheat sheets, webinars, demos, templates and tools.

67. Optimization of the page

This type of SEO is based solely on a Web page and the various elements within the HTML (see “H” if you skipped this directly here). Ensuring that the key pieces of the specific page (content, title tag, URL and image tags) contain the desired keyword will help a page rank for that particular phrase.

68. Off-page optimization

This is the freewheeling cousin of on-page optimization. Off-page SEO refers to inbound links and other external factors that affect how a Web page is indexed in search results. Factors such as linking domains and even social media play a role in off-page optimization. The good news is that it is powerful; the not-so-good news is that it usually comes from the control of an incoming marketer. The solution? Create useful, noteworthy content and chances are people will share it and link to it.


69. Page view

A request to load one web page on the Internet. Marketers use them to analyze their Web sites and see if a change on the Web page results in more or fewer page views.

70. Pay-per-Click (PPC).

The amount of money spent to get a digital ad to click. Also an Internet advertising model in which advertisers pay a publisher (usually a search engine, social media site or website owner) a certain amount each time their ad is clicked on. For search engines, PPC ads display when someone searches for a keyword that matches the advertiser’s keyword list, which they submit to the search engine in advance.

PPC ads are used to drive traffic to the advertiser’s website, and PPC is used to assess the cost-effectiveness and profitability of your paid advertising campaigns.

There are two ways to pay for PPC ads:

  • Fixed rate: where the advertiser and publisher agree on a fixed amount to be paid for each click. Usually this happens when publishers have a set rate for PPC in different parts of their website.
  • Bid-based: where the advertiser competes with other advertisers in an ad network. In this case, each advertiser sets a maximum spend to pay for a particular ad space, so that the ad will no longer be displayed on a particular website once that amount has been spent. It also means that the more people click on your ad, the lower the PPC you pay and vice versa.

71. Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual social network mostly used by e-commerce marketers, but not without its fair share of top B2B and B2C content marketers. Both businesses and consumers use the site to post images and photos they like so that fellow users can reproduce (share) that content.

72. PPC

PPC, (or Pay-Per-Click) is an advertising technique in which an advertiser places an ad in an ad space (such as Google AdWords or Facebook), and pays that location each time a visitor clicks on the ad. At the end of this definition, I couldn’t think of anything witty, so let’s move on to “Q.


73. Qualified Lead/Qualified lead

A contact who has chosen to receive communications from your company was educated about your product or service and is interested in learning more. Marketing and sales often have two different versions of qualified leads (MQLs for marketing and SQLs for sales), so be sure to have conversations with your sales team to set expectations for the types of leads you want to transfer.

74. QR code

A QR code (short for Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that can be read by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The encoded information can be text, URL or other data. It also begins with “Q,” which is a rarity with marketing-related terms.


75. Responsive design

This is the practice of developing a Web site that adapts to how someone views it. Instead of building a separate, distinct website for each specific device on which it may be viewed, the site recognizes the device your visitor is using and automatically generates a page that responds to the device on which the content is being viewed – always making websites appear optimized for screens of every dimension.

76. Return On Investment/Return on Investment (ROI).

A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency and profitability of an investment or to compare the efficiency and profitability of multiple investments. The formula for ROI is: (profit from investment minus cost of investment), all divided by (cost of investment). The result is expressed as a percentage or ratio. If the ROI is negative, that initiative loses the company money. The calculation may vary depending on what you enter for profit and expenses.

Today, marketers want to measure ROI on every tactic and channel they use. Many facets of marketing have fairly simple ROI calculations (such as PPC), but others are more difficult (such as content marketing).

77. Retweet

A re-posting of a tweet posted by another user on Twitter. Retweets look like normal tweets except for the retweet icon. They can be done in three ways:

1) You can retweet an entire tweet by clicking the retweet button as shown below.

2) You can post a new tweet with your own comments. In a new tweet, which includes the original tweet. This means you pressed the rotating arrow icon to retweet a post and then added a comment in the text box. We prefer this method of retweeting because it allows you to add your own thoughts. (Note: the retweet takes 24 characters, leaving you 116 characters for the comment).

3) You can post a new tweet with your own comment next to the information you want to share again. The formula is this: your own comment + RT + the Twitter handle + colon + from the original tweeter, the exact text of the original tweet. This method of retweeting allows you to add your own thoughts, but with a very limited number of characters.

When you see “Please RT” in someone’s tweet, it means they are requesting that their followers retweet that tweet to spread awareness


78. Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

The practice of improving where a Web page appears in search results. By adjusting the on-page SEO elements of a Web page and influencing the SEO factors outside the page, an inbound marketer can improve where a Web page appears in search engine results.

There are a lot of components to improve the SEO of your site pages. Search engines look for elements such as title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure and inbound links – and that’s just to name a few. Search engines also look at site structure and design, visitor behavior and other external off-site factors to determine how high your site should rank on search engine search results pages.

79. Sender Score/Dispatcher Score

An e-mail marketing term that refers to a reputation of 0-100 for each IP address of the outgoing e-mail server. Email servers check your Sender Score before deciding what to do with your emails. A score above 90 is good.

80. Service Level Agreement (SLA).

For marketers, an SLA is an agreement between a company’s sales and marketing teams that defines the expectations Sales has for marketing and vice versa. The Marketing SLA defines expectations that Sales has for Marketing regarding lead quantity and lead quality, while the Sales SLA defines expectations that Marketing has for Sales regarding how deeply and often Sales will pursue each qualified lead.

SLAs exist to align sales and marketing. If the two departments are managed as separate silos, the system fails. For companies to grow and become leaders in their industries, it is critical that these two groups be well integrated.

81. Small-to-Medium Business (SMB).

Usually defined as companies with between 10 and 500 employees.

82. Smarketing

A fun expression used to refer to the practice of aligning sales and marketing efforts. In a perfect world, marketing would pass tons of fully qualified leads to the sales team, who would then work each of those leads enough to close them 100% of the time. But because this is not always the way the cookie breaks down, it is critical for Marketing and Sales to align efforts to best achieve the end result through coordinated communication.

83. Snapchat

A social app that allows users to send and receive time-sensitive photos and videos, also known as “snaps,” which are hidden from recipients once the time limit has expired. (Note: images and videos remain on the Snapchat server). Users can add text and drawings to their snaps and manage the list of recipients they send them to.

A Snapchat story is a series of Snapchats that lasts for 24 hours. Users can create stories to be shared with all Snapchatters or just a custom group of recipients.

84. Social media

Social media are media designed to be distributed through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ are examples of social media networks with which you can participate for personal or business use. Social Media is a core component of Inbound because it provides marketers with additional channels to spread reach, increase growth and achieve business goals.

85. Social proof

Social proof refers to a psychological phenomenon in which people seek direction from those around them to determine how they are expected to act or think in a given situation. It’s like seeing a really long line outside a nightclub and assuming that that club is really good because there is so much demand for it. In social media, social proof can be identified by the number of interactions a piece of content receives or the number of followers you have. The idea is that if others share something or follow someone, it must be good.

86. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Any software hosted by another company that stores your information in the cloud. Examples: applications for HubSpot, Salesforce, IM clients and project management.


87. Top of the Funnel/Top of the funnel.

Sometimes called “TOFU,” the top of the funnel refers to the very first stage of the buying process. Leads at this stage merely identify a problem they have and are looking for more information. As such, an inbound marketer will want to create useful content that helps leads identify this problem and provide next steps to a solution. TOFU is also very tasty in certain Thai dishes.

88. Twitter

For creativity, I define Twitter in 140 characters or less: “Twitter is a platform that allows users to share 140-character long messages publicly.” Users can follow and be followed. ” There you have it – a bipedal definition of Twitter.


89. Unique visitor

A person who visits a website more than once within a given period of time. Marketers use this term as opposed to general site visits to track the amount of traffic on their website. If only one person visits a Web page 30 times, that Web page has one UV site and 30 site visits.

90. URL

This is an abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator. Frankly, I didn’t know that before I wrote this definition. Briefly, this is the address of a piece of information found on the Internet, such as a page, image or document (e.g., http://www.huspot.com). URLs are important for on-page SEO because search engines search the included text when mining for keywords. If a keyword you want indexed is at the front of the URL, you will get brownie points from search engines (but unfortunately not real brownies).

91. User Experience/User Experience (UX).

A customer’s overall experience with a particular company, from their discovery and awareness of the brand to their interaction, purchase, use and even advocacy of that brand. To deliver an excellent customer experience, you need to think like a customer, or better, think about being a customer.

92. User Interface/User Interface (UI).

A type of interface that allows users to control a software application or hardware device. A good user interface provides a user-friendly experience by allowing the user to interact with the software or hardware in an intuitive way. It includes a menu bar, toolbar, windows, buttons, and so on.


93. Viral content

This term is used to describe a piece of content that has become hugely popular on the Internet via sharing. Often people do not know that a piece they create is going viral until it actually works, which is usually unfortunate if it is particularly embarrassing.


94. Website

A Web site is a series of interconnected Web pages, usually including a home page, usually on the same server, and prepared and maintained as a collection of information by a person, group or organization. An inbound marketer must structure a Web site as a dynamic, multi-dimensional entity that can be used to attract relevant Web site visitors, convert those visitors into leads and close those leads to customers. Otherwise, it’s just a brochure – and let’s be honest – could you really use another brochure?

95. Word-of-Mouth (WOM).

Passing information from person to person. Technically, the term refers to oral communication, but today it also refers to online communication. WOM marketing is inexpensive, but it takes work and uses many components of inbound marketing, such as product marketing, content marketing and social media marketing.

96. Workflow

A workflow is another way to describe a lead nurturing campaign. These are a number of triggers and events that play a leading role in the nurturing process. A workflow can also serve other purposes, such as customizing contact properties to a lead record based on certain conditions or adding a contact record to a particular list. Regardless of how you use it, workflows can be a very powerful asset in an inbound marketing strategy.


97. XML sitemap

We couldn’t leave “X” out of the party! An XML sitemap is a file of code that lives on your Web server and contains all the relevant URLs in the structure of your Web site. It is a kind of “map” of the site, which is especially useful when the site is changed. It also helps search engine web crawlers determine the structure of the site so they can crawl it more intelligently.

Sitemaps do not guarantee that all links will be crawled, and crawling does not guarantee indexing. However, a site map is still the best insurance to let a search engine learn about your entire site. It’s like saying, “Hey, Google – check out this beautiful website.”


98. YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload, share and view videos. Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005. In November 2006, YouTube, LLC was purchased by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion. and is now managed as a subsidiary of Google. YouTube is the largest video sharing site in the world.


99. Zilch

We couldn’t think of anything for “Z.” So I ask you dear readers: what topic should we discuss that begins with the letter Z?