Marketing Acronyms 104

Confused by marketing acronyms like API, SEO and WOM? This guide will clarify the most common industry shorthand.

Sometimes, looking at a marketing document is a bit like looking into a bowl of Alphabet soup. You recognize all the letters, but there is just such a jumble it's hard to discern any meaning. We’ve decoded some of the most common marketing acronyms, so you’re no longer guessing what CTA, CRM and WOM mean.


An application programming interface (API) is essentially a digital middleman. It allows one application to talk to another with ease. In a nutshell, an API is what allows your Facebook “share” button to work, instantly allowing visitors to your website to post your content on their Facebook page for their friends to see and enjoy.


The cost per action (CPA) is an important budgeting concept, highlighting the level of investment needed to have customers reach certain milestones: clicking on your website, subscribing to a newsletter or purchasing a product. Knowing this number can help compare which marketing strategies are the most cost effective.


Think of a call to action (CTA) as the homework you’re giving your target audience. It’s the sales instructions, typically at the end of your marketing message, that tells customers to “Buy now!” or “Sign up today.” Our partners are experts at crafting CTAs that get clicks.


Speaking of clicks, your click-through rate (CTR) will be one of the metrics your partner will use to measure an advertising campaign’s success. It’s essentially the percentage of how many people viewed something and then clicked on a link. By employing tagging, dynamic content, eye-catching email templates, A/B testing and by writing winning CTAs, a partner can work to improve your CTR.


Good customer relationship management (CRM) will help you retain current customers, increase their spending, and convert prospects into new customers. As an all-in-one marketing platform, CRM technology is baked into Mailchimp. you can keep tabs on demographic information, interactions, purchases, and more. Correctly configuring and setting up your audiences is crucial for getting the most out of Mailchimp. A partner can guide you through this process, ensuring that you’re using the data you’re collecting to its full potential.


When it comes to marketing, it’s important to track what’s working and why. Establishing a few relevant key performance indicators (KPIs)—these are relevant metrics (such as open, click-through, bounce, and conversion rates) that help you track and measure success—is key to achieving your goals.


When you’re a small business, every bit of budget counts. That’s why it’s important to ensure what you’re spending on is paying dividends. Return on investments (ROIs) is a calculation of the monetary value of an investment versus its cost that’s defined as the ratio of net profit over the total cost of the investment. ROI’s an extremely useful tool for evaluating your past business decisions (like, say, hiring a partner) and informing future ones.


Search engine optimization (SEO) helps the various search engines—Google, Yahoo, Bing—to better find you online. There are many techniques to do this, including using commonly searched terms in your web copy called keywords. Regardless, having a solid SEO strategy can make a significant difference to the number of clicks you get on your website, and therefore the number of potential customers you are reaching online.


A statement of work (SOW) is like a roadmap to a project. It lays out the timeline, budget, deliverables and expectations for both you and any freelancer or agency you are working with. The contents of SOWs will change from project to project, but there should be enough detail so that everyone involved understands the scope, costs and stakeholders of a job.


User experience (UX) describes how a customer interacts with your brand. Having a smooth user experience—a functional app interface, an intuitive website—creates positive impressions about what you do, and ultimately makes it easier for people to access your products and services.


Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is when people are talking about your business in their online and real life conversations. It’s a great sign that interest is growing in what you’re doing, and telling their friends and family about your products and services.

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