Digital Marketing Terms & Glossary

Below you will find a glossary of some of the most common marketing terms along with a brief definition of each.

Lead source: The origin of a lead; the channel by which the lead came into your sales pipeline. Common lead sources include search, social media, phone inquiry, etc.  Often associated with marketing automation.

Open opportunity: A sales term that describes a lead who has a high likelihood of becoming a customer. Typically a contract or quote has already been prepared for this lead. An opportunity has a pain point that your product or service can solve and a demonstrated interest in what you sell.

MQL: Marketing Qualified Lead. A lead that has been qualified by the marketing team as a potential customer, ready for follow up by the sales team. Usually following a set of criteria which both sales and marketing agree on. A typical MQL shows interest in the company through early touchpoints in the funnel such as requesting information from sales, downloading an ebook or subscribing to the newsletter.

SQL: Sales Qualified Lead. A lead that is in the decision making or purchasing stage of the buyer’s journey and exhibits traits demonstrating the highest likelihood of becoming a customer. Usually, the criteria for this type of lead is set by the sales team leader using historical and future projections of what types of customers convert into sales.

Lead stage: Used to describe a lead’s position in your sales funnel. Common lead stages include lead, MQL, SQL, opportunity and customer.

Industry: The category of a lead’s line of work. Common examples of industries include sales, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, education, etc.

Location: The geographical location of a lead. Used to target advertising to a specific area.

Budget: The total amount of funds available to go towards marketing or a part of marketing. For example, advertising may have a specific budget.

Conversion rate: Described as a percentage, the proportion of leads who advance to the next stage of a sales pipeline. Frequently used to describe the percentage of website visitors who become customers. The conversion is typically something assigned by the marketing team as a touchpoint such as becoming a subscriber to the newsletter. The process of a website visitor filling out the email subscription form is an example of a visitor ‘converting’ into a lead.

Conversion total: The number of conversions that happen within a sales process. The term ‘conversion’ may be used to describe many different completion actions, like making a purchase, subscribing to an email list, etc. This is an absolute number like 3,000 as opposed to a percentage like 2%.

Conversion cost: The average cost of winning a new conversion, calculated by dividing the total cost of all traffic-generating activities by the number of conversions.

Engagement rate: The rate at which leads or website visitors take a specific action on a piece of content. Engagement rate may be used to measure social media likes, comments, shares, and more. Calculated by dividing the number of engaged users by the total reach of a piece of content.

Cost per Engagement: The average cost of each engagement. Calculated by dividing the total spent by the number of engagements.

Impressions: The number of individual times a piece of content was viewed or displayed. While impressions count the number of individual views, reach counts the number of users. So, it’s possible for a post to have a reach of 5 (seen by 5 people) and 10 impressions (each person saw it twice).

Clicks: The number of times users clicked on a specific piece of content.

Cost per Click: The average cost of obtaining a click on a piece of content. Calculated by dividing the total spent by the number of clicks.

Time on site: The total amount of time a visitor spends on your website. This includes time spent on all pages during a single browsing session.

Time on page: The amount of time a visitor spends on a single page of your website.

Bounce rate: Expressed as a percentage, the proportion of users who navigate away from a site after visiting only one page.

Exit rate: Expressed as a percentage, the proportion of users who navigate away from a site after visiting a specific page of the site.

Returning visitors: The number of repeat visitors to a website or page.

Multi-channel touchpoints: A marketing concept used to describe the process of reaching leads on more than one marketing channel. For example, channels for multi-channel touchpoints may include website, social media, display ads, search ads, email marketing, etc.

Lead score: A number that represents the perceived value a lead has for an organization, used to determine priority for sales outreach.

Campaign to opportunities influence: Used to measure the influence of specific marketing campaigns on a lead’s likelihood of becoming an opportunity.

Open rate: Expressed as a percentage, the proportion of email recipients who open a specific email campaign. Calculated by dividing the number of openers by the number of total recipients.

Click rate: Expressed as a percentage, the proportion of email deliveries that received at least one click.  Calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of total recipients.

Click to open rate: A ratio comparing the number of unique clicks to the number of opens on a specific email campaign. Calculated by dividing the number of unique clicks by the number of unique opens.

Deliverability: A term used to describe the ability to deliver emails to a recipients inbox (versus other folders like spam, promotions, etc.)

Inbox placement: A measurement that describes the percentage of sent emails that reach the subscriber’s inbox.