Welcome to our list of commonly used marketing terms.

Abandoned Cart

When a user adds a product to the online shopping cart of an e-commerce site but doesn’t proceed to checkout and complete the purchase. Users may abandon because they aren’t ready to buy. Instead, they are using their cart as more of a “wish list” as they shop around and compare prices. Setting up automatic, personalized email alerts to remind users they have items in their cart is often just the nudge they need to finish checking out.

A/B Tests

Creating 2 versions of a digital asset to see which one users respond to better. Examples of assets include a landing page, display ad, marketing email, and social post. In an A/B test, half of your audience automatically receives “version A” and half receives “version B.” The performance of each version is based on conversion rate goals such as the percentage of people who click on a link, complete a form, or make a purchase.

Ad Copy

The words in your advertising messages to customers. Ad copy can be the headline of a display ad, the subject line of a marketing email, the call to action (CTA) of a Facebook ad, or the script of a video or TV spot. Ad copy is distinguished from ad design elements such as photography and illustration, although copy and design should always work together as a whole.

Ad Extensions

Specific information you can tack onto your Google Ads to help them perform better. There are several options, including: store location, call button, product pricing, seller rating, app download, and additional website links. Google doesn’t charge extra for having extensions. But it does charge a pay-per-click (PPC) fee when users click on most types of extensions, just like when users click on an ad itself.

Ad Network

A service that offers online ad space for sale to advertisers. This space can represent inventory from hundreds and thousands of websites. A general rule is that some inventory is more valuable than others, so it costs advertisers more. Think of buying a TV ad placement during “the big game” versus during a mop infomercial at 3 am. Depending on the ad network, the payment structure may be based on cost per thousand impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC), or cost per acquisition (CPA).


A Google marketing program that pays website publishers for allowing relevant ads from Google to run on their sites automatically. Keywords determine relevance. The ads can include text, images, and video. They are designed to be high quality but unobtrusive to the website’s content across desktop and mobile devices. Publishers have some control in rejecting ads they don’t like and prioritizing ads they like best. Payment to publishers is usually on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis.

Advertising Budget

The money a company puts toward promoting its products and services to its target audiences. An advertising budget typically spans the cost of paid media, photography, printing, mailing, and the support of advertising professionals. Some businesses set their advertising budget based on a percentage of sales. Whatever your method, keep your return on investment (ROI) in mind. Any vendor should be able to give you a clear idea of what you should expect in return for the expense.


Advertising and editorial content combined. If you think of a traditional printed magazine or newspaper, the line between ads and editorial articles is distinct—and often literal. An advertorial brings the 2 formats together to educate readers about a product through an editorial-esque storytelling experience. They’ve become a popular online advertising tactic that is typically labeled “sponsored” or “paid” so as not to mislead users about the source of the information.

Affiliate Marketing

Marketing based on a relationship between an online advertiser and website publishers where the advertiser pays for leads or revenue that comes from the publishers’ sites. It’s a form of value sharing or commission sharing. Partnering with affiliates extends your advertising reach and increases your relevance with target audiences for a limited investment. You only “pay for performance.” Bloggers can make great affiliates.


Links on websites other than your own that go back to a page on your website. Backlinks are also called inbound links because they represent traffic coming to your website from somewhere else. The quality and quantity of your backlinks can help you rank higher in search engines such as Google and Bing. This is because your backlinks are considered an indicator of how popular your website is with users.

Banner Ad

A standard horizontal ad placement at the top of a web page. The term “banner” is borrowed from print newspapers. It can refer to the newspaper’s name at the top of the front page or a story headline that spans the full width of the front page. Banners have been around since the early days of the web. While their popularity has decreased as newer display ad formats have become available, they can still be an effective element in your advertising mix, offering visibility at a relatively low cost.

Call to Action (CTA)

What you want your target audience to do after receiving your marketing message. The call to action (CTA) clearly articulates the next step: learn more, contact us, shop now, follow us, sign up. A/B testing offers a great opportunity to experiment with different calls to action and optimize your messages with the CTAs that get the best audience response.

Canonical URL

The “master version” of a page on your website that you want search engine crawlers to find. As you launch marketing campaigns and track users, information gets added to the end of your unique page URLs. From the crawlers’ point of view, this means you have multiple versions of the same page without a clear indication of which one is “right.” When you set up a canonical URL in the page’s HTML, you tell search engines which version of the page you want visitors to see.

Digital Marketing

Any marketing that uses electronic devices to convey promotional messaging and measure its impact. In practice, digital marketing typically refers to marketing campaigns that appear on a computer, phone, tablet, or other device. It can take many forms, including online video, display ads, and social media posts. Digital marketing is often compared to “traditional marketing” such as magazine ads, billboards, and direct mail. Oddly, television is usually lumped in with traditional marketing.

Direct Mail Marketing

A type of direct marketing that’s delivered physically to a prospect’s mailbox through the United States Postal Service or other delivery service. Postcards, flyers, and catalogs are common examples. Email marketing is the digital equivalent.