Glossary of Common Internet Marketing Terms

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Acquisition Campaign An emarketing campaign designed to acquire new customers. A campaign can have multiple programs associated with it such as lead qualification and distribution, viral marketing, event management and enewsletters. The campaign programs’ results should be tracked so that they can be improved and re-launched to new target audiences.
AIDA Acronym for a proven format for constructing effective marketing communications that stands for ” get Attention – generate Interest – stimulate Desire – call for Action”.
Alias A fictitious address to use to send and receive email. Typically used to create a personal identification for email messages in eMarketing campaigns. Provides a permanent address to the world.
application Software that provides a set of services such as electronic mail or file transfers.
ASCII The American Standard Code for Information Interchange, which creates a standard for representing computer characters. Email and HTML documents are written in ASCII text.
ASP An application service provider (ASP) is a company that offers individuals or enterprises access over the Internet to applications and related services that would otherwise have to be located in their own personal or enterprise computers. Web site hosting ASPs are also called HSPs. Marketing Automation applications are commonly hosted by ASPs.

In lower case asp is also an abbreviation for active server pages which are dynamically generated web pages.

Autoresponders Also called Mailbots. Automated programs that are established to return a prewritten message upon receipt of email. The program will grab the return address from the "header" of the message. Typically, these programs will send out the canned message within seconds of receipt. As a minimum, autoresponders should be used to acknowledge any email replies to eMarketing program emails.
bandwidth The size of the data pipeline measured in bits-per-second. The higher the bandwidth, the faster the information can flow.
Banner Ad The standard online advertising offering is a 468 x 60 pixel, animated gif (image) on a Web page that is a hyperlink to a marketing landing page. Rich media banner ads are being launched that can complete a transaction in the banner itself. Banner Ads have fallen on disfavor because of dropping click-through rates.
Bounce A returned, undeliverable email message.
Browser Client software that allows users to access servers on the World Wide Web. Browsers can display HTML pages in their desired format. Browsers are designed to view pages on the Web and to switch you from one document to another at the click of a mouse or the press of a key. The most popular browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Netscape Navigator. Microsoft IE has over a 90% marketshare and is the browser that most business-to-business prospects and customers use.
Business Rules “If – Then” statements used with a database to profile and segment contact records. The rules are management decisions to use to qualify leads and identify best customers and deliver messages and programs accordingly.
Call to Action Method for obtaining a desired response in a marketing communication. In an email offer letter, it is usually a hyperlink with the message “Click Here”.
cache Local storage of recently-viewed Web pages for faster access. The browser used to navigate the Web resides on the user's computer. Browsers store the most recently viewed Web pages on the user's system. When the user asks to see the pages again, the browser doesn't need to retrieve them again from the Web.
CGI Common Gateway Interface. Scripting language that adds advanced functions to web pages such as interaction with forms and databases.
chat Real-time communication between two users via computer. Once a chat has been initiated, either user can enter text by typing on the keyboard and the entered text will appear on the other user's monitor. The application that enables chat is called IRC for Internet Relay Chat.
Click-through Rate Also called response rate. Percentage of times a user responded to an advertisement by clicking on the ad button/banner. Once considered the primary measurement for Web-marketers, click-through is based on the idea that when online promotions do what they're intended to do, they will elicit a click from the user. Also, the number of prospects who respond to your eMarketing message's call to action. Usually, the rate is indicated as a percentage of the total list mailed.
client Software that requests services from another computer called the server. The most common clients used to access the Internet are Web browsers and email clients.
compression Also called zipping. The process of squeezing data to eliminate redundancies and allow files to be stored in less disc space and transmitted more compactly. The most commonly used compression application is WinZip.
Contact Record Information about one individual in a database that identifies who, how to contact and status regarding activity in marketing programs. In database terminology, a record contains all the information about a single ‘member’ of a table.
cookie The automatic assignment, using a script, of a unique number to the browser file of each visitor to a Web site. The cookie enables the site to "recognize" each visitor and maintain a database of information associated with his or her unique cookie number.
CPM Cost Per Thousand. This is an advertising model based on the cost of 1000 impressions of ezine or web ads. If a publisher is selling advertising for $45 CPM, you would pay $45 for one thousand impressions of your advertisement, or .045 cents each per impression.
CRM CRM stands for customer relationship management and is an information industry term for methodologies, software, and usually Internet capabilities that help an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organized way. CRM applications have been focused on automating customer contact center operations and sales force contact management systems.
crm customer relationship marketing or customer retention marketing is crm in small letters to distinguish it from CRM. It employs marketing automation software to design and implement relationship marketing customer acquisition and retention campaigns and programs.
domain name A name that identifies an IP (Internet Protocol) address. For example, the domain name represents the IP address Domain names are used in a URL (Uniform resource Locator) to identify a particular Web page. For example, in the URL, the domain name is

Every domain name has a suffix that indicates which top-level domain it belongs to. There are only a limited number of such domains. For example top-level US domains are:

•   gov – Federal government agencies
•   edu – Four year, degree granting ed institutions
•   org – Nonprofit Organizations
•   mil – US Military
•   com - Commercial businesses
•   net - Network organizations
Because the Internet is based on IP addresses, not domain names, every Web server requires a Domain Name System (DNS) server to translate domain names into IP addresses.
Domain Name System The system that locates the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses that correspond to named computers and domains. A DNS name consists of a sequence of information separated by dots.
Digital Certificates Necessary for encrypting data (e.g. credit cards) using SSL encryption.
Email Messages that the Internet or another network delivers electronically from one person to another via computer.
Email Blast A single, promotional email sent en masse to a general audience that might include customers, prospects, or others. Typically, an Email Blast is text only, impersonal and includes little interactivity beyond links to a response form or Web site.
Email List Broker A company that sells opt-in email lists for use in email blasts and emarketing campaigns. Email lists are managed from the list brokers’ servers and not sent to the marketer, as are postal mail lists. The marketer sends the promotional email to the list broker who sends it to the members of the list being purchased.
eMarketing Electronic Marketing. Generally refers to targeted marketing initiatives that use technology to personalize email communications and Web interactivity through fully automated, electronic campaigns for both customer acquisition and retention. Marketing automation is the technology that powers eMarketing.
eMarketing Programs Internet marketing initiatives that are developed and automated to achieve specific marketing objectives. Program design features are direct response online interactivity, mass customization and personalized relationship development. Typical emarketing programs include: lead qualification and distribution, viral marketing, event management, free trial period email marketing, loyalty programs, win back programs and enewsletters.
FAQ Pronounced fak, and short for frequently asked questions, a FAQ is a document that answers questions about some topic. Frequently, FAQs are formatted as help files.
firewall Authentication and access controls to protect areas of a computer file system against unwanted access by Internet users. Firewalls often prevent delivery of attachments to emails, which is why that technique is discouraged in emarketing programs.
flame An angry response to spam. People get "flamed" for a variety of reasons, such as breaking Internet taboos against unsolicited advertising over the network.
Flash Multimedia tool that can be used to design animation for your site.
Forms Specially designed sections of HTML documents that accept input from users; typically used for emarketing response fulfillment, program registration, product ordering, credit card entry, or keyword searching.
Frames Independently controllable sections on a browser screen that display different html pages simultaneously.
FTP File Transfer Protocol is used to move files from one computer to another on the Internet. Trial downloads are typically moved by FTP. A desktop client like WS_FTP or CuteFTP is used to access other servers for file transfers. FTP access can be anonymous which means open to anyone, or password protected.
Header The first part of a received email message which contains information about the routing of the message while traversing the Internet. Usually not be displayed because the email software program keeps it hidden.
hit In network parlance, any file, be it a document or graphic file, that is sent from a server. This is a (poor) method of measuring web site traffic. A hit is registered each time a browser request is made from a web server. If you have a web page containing four graphics, each page display will count as five hits. The term is also used for results of a database search.
Home Page The opening page on the World Wide Web for an individual’s, a corporation’s, or an organization’s Web Site.
host A computer directly connected to the network that can provide services to other computers on the network.
House List List of prospect, lead and customer contact records maintained by a marketing department usually in a database. As opposed to a rented list.
HTML HyperText Markup Language is the coding mechanism used to author Web pages. DHTML, Dynamic HTML, allows for interactive content.
HTML email Email constructed in HTML format containing text and graphics that displays in an email clients the same as a Web page displays in a browser. HTML email is the only format from which mail-opening rates can be tracked. Response rates for HTML emails are usually twice that for text emails delivered in the same program. Earlier versions of some email clients and AOL clients that are still in wide use can not display HTML email. As a rule, customers and prospects with AOL email addresses should only be sent text email.
HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.

The other main standard that controls how the World Wide Web works is HTML, which covers how Web pages are formatted and displayed in a browser.

hyperlink A hypertext link that appears as an image or a colored, underlined word or phrase on a Web page that transfers another file or page to your browser. Hyperlinks (links) are used as the Call for Action in promotional emails.
IMAP Internet Message Access Protocol. A method to access and manipulate email that is stored remotely on another computer. Messages do not get transferred to the user's computer, making it easier to manage email when accessing from multiple computers.
Impression The number of times a banner or advertisement is served (displayed) on a web site. If 10 people visited the web page containing the banner, you would have 10 impressions. If one person viewed it 10 times, you would still have 10 impressions.
Internet A co-operatively run, globally-distributed collection of computer networks that exchange information via a common set of rules for exchanging data (the TCP/IP protocol suite).
IP address An identifier for a computer or device on a TCP/IP network. Networks use the TCP/IP protocol to route messages based on the IP address of the destination. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, could be an IP address. Within an isolated network, you can assign IP addresses at random as long as each one is unique. However, connecting a private network to the Internet requires using registered IP addresses (called Internet addresses) to avoid duplicates.
ISP Internet Service Provider is a company that offers access to the Internet. Dial-up users obtain an account on the service provider's system and use its computers to log on to the net. ISPs also provide dedicated high-speed connections from a business LAN to the Internet.
JavaScript A scripting language developed by Netscape to enable Web authors to design interactive sites. Although it shares many of the features and structures of the full Java language, it was developed independently. JavaScript can interact with HTML source code, enabling Web authors to spice up their sites dynamic content.
JPEG and GIF GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. These are graphic compression standards that enable graphic files to be made smaller and downloaded faster. Images in HTML documents and emails are in either jpeg or gif format.
keyword A word used to identify content for search or classification purposes.
Mail List Manager An automated program to handle the administrative functions of adding/removing subscribers, disseminating the message postings, sending topic related and help files, etc. for the entire Mailing List. Example MLMs include Majordomo, Listserv, ListProc, Mailbase, etc.
Marketing Automation Software used to develop and deliver emarketing campaigns and programs. Basic elements are an email server, Web server and a marketing database that are integrated to provide the mass customization needed for effective relationship marketing.
MIME Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extensions. An adaptation called multi-part MIME allows both text and HTML versions of the same message to be sent one email with a sensor that allows the HTML version to be displayed if the email client is so equipped.
multimedia Catch-all term for the integration of text, graphics, sound, animation, video and communications technologies. Also referred to as rich media if used in online advertisements.
Netiquette The rules of etiquette for using the Internet. Acceptable practices of using various Internet resources. Poor netiquette is also against the principles of permission marketing and will result in lost relationships with prospects and customers.
newsgroup One of the more than 10,000 discussion groups on the Usenet. These electronic bulletin boards cover specific areas of interest, where messages sent by any user may be viewed by all. The Usenet protocol is nntp for network news transfer protocol.
news reader A program usually incorporated in an email client that lets you take part in news groups, post new messages, and keep track of which messages and groups to follow.
Opt-out Also known as Unsubscribe. A key part of effective list management, the Unsubscribe feature gives customers an opportunity to bow out of future email communications if they so desire. The Unsubscribe feature also prevents a company's communications from being viewed as spam by an uninterested party.
Opt-in Another key element of effective list management, Opt-in givesprospects and customers the choice of receiving future communications from your company or a third party. The Opt-in feature ensures that a company is engaging with qualified, interested leads with its targeted emails.
Page view This is a more effective way to measure web traffic. A Page View refers to each time a page is displayed. So, if you have a web page with four graphics, each time the page is displayed counts as one page view but five hits.
Permission Marketing A term introduced by Seth Godin in a book of the same name the explained the proper netiquette for incorporating email into Internet marketing campaigns. By choosing to opt-in for future mailings, customers essentially give their permission for companies to contact them. The theory driving permission marketing is that it lets companies reach those parties who are most interested in their products and services with their permission.
POP/POP3 Post Office Protocol. A mail protocol used to service intermittent connections to the Internet. Mail is held until the user accesses the account, at which time the mail is transferred to the user's computer.
Privacy Policy A clear statement of what a company intends to do with any personally identifying information being collected or requested via email or Web form. It is good netiquette to have a Privacy Policy Web page with links to it at any place where such information is being requested and collected.
protocol A protocol defines how computers communicate; it is an agreement between different systems on how they will work together. The set of TCP/IP protocols defines how computers on the Internet exchange information.
Relationship Marketing A philosophy of reaching a wide base of new and current customers without sacrificing the personal touch. Typically, Relationship Marketing functions on a large scale by using databases and automated marketing systems to deliver mass customized messages and services.
Retention Campaigns Marketing campaigns direct towards existing customers designed to identify and enhance loyalty from profitable customers and maximize the revenue stream from the existing customer base.
Rich Media Elements in a web page that contain animation, video or sound. Some popular formats commonly considered rich media include Macromedia Flash and Shockwave.
search engine An online relational database management system that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found.

Typically, a search engine works by sending out a spider to fetch documents registered with the search engine. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the text contained in each document. Each search engine uses proprietary algorithms to create its indices such that, ideally, only meaningful results are returned for each query.

Segment A subset of a database identified by conforming to certain business rules.
server A host computer that houses and serves up sites, newsgroups, and/or e-mail to viewers. Client programs access servers to obtain data.
Signature A set of 4 - 8 lines of text placed at the end of an email message to provide the reader with the author's contact information, favorite quote, special of the month, autoresponder/web site address, etc. The signature is composed and placed into the email software's signature file for automatic appending.
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is the Internet protocol for transferring email across the network.
Spam Also called UCE for unsolicited commercial email. The electronic equivalent of printed junk mail. Generally refers to any bulk mailing of unsolicited email. Sending emails to customers who have given permission, or opted-in, is not considered spamming.
spamming A term for the annoying practice of sending unsolicited commercial email (UCE) or spam.
spider A program that automatically fetches Web pages. Spiders are used to feed pages to search engines. It's called a spider because it crawls over the Web. Other terms for these programs are robot and Webcrawler. Because most Web pages contain links to other pages, a spider can start almost anywhere. As soon as it sees a link to another page, it goes off and fetches it. Large search engines have many spiders working in parallel.
SSL Short for Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet. SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data that's transferred over the SSL connection. Both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer support SSL, and many Web sites use the protocol to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers. By convention, Web pages that require a SSL connection start with https: instead of http:
Stickiness This refers to the length of time that a visitor spends at your site over a given period of time, or sometimes to the number of web pages that your visitors typically download. It is a measure of how engaging your site is.
Superstitial Pop-up window that appears when a Web page is accessed. Used for online ads in lieu of banner ads. Interstial is a pop-up that comes between pages on a site.
TCP/IP Acronym for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, the suite of communications protocols used on the Internet. TCP/IP uses several protocols, the two main ones being TCP and IP. TCP/IP is built into the UNIX operating system and is used by the Internet, making it the de facto standard for transmitting data over networks. Even network operating systems that have their own protocols, such as Netware, also support TCP/IP.
Text email Email messages constructed with ASCII text only and containing no graphics or other media elements. The safest email to be sent to a list that may contain AOL subscribers.
Unique visitors This is the number of individuals who visit your site in a defined time. If 200 people visit your site this week, that is 200 unique visitors. If one person visits your site 200 times, that is one unique visitor.
Unsubscribe See Opt-out.
URL Uniform Resource Locator is the method of naming and locating data files anywhere on the Internet. A URL starts with a file type designator (e.g., http://, ftp://, gopher://, and so on) followed by a computer name, a directory, a file name, and occasionally additional information.
Viral Marketing Term that is unique to the Internet and is associated with the concept of “catch it and pass it on”. First used in 1998 to describe the results that Hotmail achieved in acquiring new accounts by placing a notice on every email it sent alerting people to “Get your own free Hotmail account”. Most commonly seen with “Recommend a Friend” messages.
Web Page A document on the World Wide Web. Every Web page is identified by a unique URL (Uniform Resource Locator).
Web server A computer that delivers (serves up) Web pages. Every Web server has an IP address and possibly a domain name. For example, if you enter the URL in your browser, this sends a request to the server whose domain name is The server then fetches the page named index.html and sends it to your browser.
Web site A site (location) on the World Wide Web. Each Web site contains a home page, which is the first document users see when they enter the site. The site might also contain additional documents and files. Each site is owned and managed by an individual, company or organization.
World Wide Web A system of Internet servers that support specially formatted documents. The documents are formatted in a language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language) that works through hypertext links to other documents, as well as graphics, audio, and video files. Not all Internet servers are part of the World Wide Web. For example, email servers are not “on the Web”.
XML Extensible Markup Language is a formatting language similar to HTML but with greater flexibility, providing improved functionality.

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