Bob Bly Copywriter/Internet Marketing Strategist

Direct Marketing Glossary by Bob Bly


  • A/V - Audiovisual.
  • Account executive - An advertising agency employee who serves as the liaison between the agency and the client.
  • Advertisement - A paid message in which the sponsor is identified.
  • Account - An advertising agency's client.
  • Ad click rate - Sometimes referred to as click-through, this is the percentage of ad views that resulted in an ad click.
  • Ad clicks - Number of times users click on an ad banner.
  • Ad views (impressions) - Number of times an ad banner is down-loaded and presumably seen by visitors.
  • Address - A unique identifier for a computer or site online, usually a URL for a Website or marked with an @ for an e-mail address.
  • Advertising manager - A professional employed by an advertiser to coordinate and manage the company's advertising program.
  • Affiliate marketing - A system of advertising in which site A agrees to feature buttons from site B, and site A gets a percentage of any sales generated for site B.
  • Affiliate program - An arrangement in which a company pays you a percentage of the sale for every online customer they get through a link from your Website to theirs.
  • Affinity Marketing - Marketing efforts - including e-mail promotions, banners, or offline media - aimed at consumers on the basis of established buying patterns.
  • Agora Model - Online business model in which you build a large opt-in e-list, and then drive sales by sending e-mails with product offers to your list.
  • Agora Publishing - A publisher of consumer newsletters credited with inventing the Agora Model.
  • Anchor - A word, phrase, or graphic image; in hypertext, it is the object that is highlighted, underlined, or "clickable" that links to another site.
  • Applet - An application program written in Java that allows viewing of simple animation on Web pages.
  • Art director - An ad agency employee responsible for designing and producing the artwork and layout for advertisements.
  • Art - A photograph or illustration used in an advertisement.
  • ASP (application service provider) - Third party vendor that develops and hosts Internet and intranet applications for consumers.
  • Audiovisual presentation - A presentation involving both pictures and spoken words. TV commercials, slide shows, videotapes, and films are all audiovisual presentations.
  • Avatar - A digital representation of a user in a virtual reality site.
  • B&W - Black and white.
  • Bandwidth - How much information (text, images, video or sound) can be sent through a connection.
  • Banner ad - A banner is a small boxed message that appears atop commercial Websites (usually the home page) - or on the first page of an e-zine - and is usually hotlinked to the advertiser's site.
  • BBS (bulletin board system) - Software that enables users to log into e-mail, Usenet, and chat groups via modem.
  • Billings - The fees an ad agency charges its clients.
  • Bleed - An illustration that goes to the edge of the page. Bleed artwork has no borders or margins.
  • Blue chip - A highly profitable company or product.
  • Boilerplate - Standard copy used because of legal requirements or company policy.
  • Book - See portfolio.
  • Bookmark - A bookmark is an easy way to find your way back to a Website - just like a bookmark helps you keep your place in a book you are reading.
  • Bounce - This is what happens when e-mail returns as undeliverable.
  • Bounceback - Second mailing sent to a prospective customer who responded to an ad. Bouncebacks are designed to increase response to the initial mailing of product information.
  • Brand manager - A manager employed by an advertiser to take charge of the marketing and advertising of a brand.
  • Brand - The label by which a product is identified.
  • Branding - A school of advertising that says, "If the consumer has heard of us, we've done our job."
  • Broadband - A data-transmission scheme in which multiple signals share the bandwidth.
  • Broadside - A one-page promotional flyer folded for mailing.
  • Brochure - A booklet promoting a product or service.
  • Browser - An application used to view information from the Internet.
  • Budget - The amount of money the advertiser plans to spend on advertising.
  • Bulk mailing - The mailing of a large number of identical pieces of third-class mail at a reduced rate.
  • Bullet - A heavy dot used to separate lines or paragraphs of' copy.
  • Buried ad - An ad surrounded by other ads.
  • Business-to-business advertising - Advertising of products and services sold by a business to other businesses.
  • Buttons - Objects that, when clicked once, cause something to happen.
  • Cache - A storage area for frequently accessed information.
  • Campaign - A coordinated program of advertising and promotion.
  • CGI (common gateway interface) - An interface-creation scripting program that allows Web pages to be made on the fly based on information from buttons, checkboxes, text input, and so on.
  • Chat room - An area online where you can chat with other members in real time.
  • Click - The opportunity for a visitor to be transferred to a location by clicking on an ad, as recorded by the server.
  • Click-through rate - The percentage of users who click on a hyperlink (usually in an online ad or e-mail) to reach the Web page to which the link is attached.
  • Client - A company that uses the services of advertising professionals.
  • Clios - Advertising-industry awards given for the best television commercials of the year.
  • Collateral - Printed product information such as brochures, fliers, catalogs, and direct mail.
  • Considered purchase - A purchase made after careful evaluation of the product.
  • Consumer advertising - Advertising of products sold to the general public.
  • Consumer products - Goods sold to individuals rather than to business or industry.
  • Consumer - One who buys or uses products and services.
  • Contest - Sales promotion in which the consumer uses his skill to try and win a prize. Some contests require proof of purchase.
  • Conversion - Getting an online user to take a specific action, typically registering online in exchange for free content or purchasing a product from a Website.
  • Cookie - A file on your computer that records information such as where you have been on the World Wide Web. The browser stores this information, which allows a site to remember the browser in future transactions or requests.
  • Copy - The text of an ad, commercial, or promotion.
  • Copy/Contact - An ad-agency copywriter who works directly with the client instead of through an account executive.
  • Copywriter - A person who writes copy.
  • CPC - Cost per click.
  • CPL - Cost per lead.
  • CPM - CPM is the cost per thousand for a particular site. A Website that charges $15,000 per banner and guarantees 600,000 impressions has a CPM of $25 ($15,000 divided by 600).
  • CPT - Cost per transaction.
  • CPTM - Cost per targeted thousand impressions.
  • Creative director - Ad-agency employee responsible for supervising the work of copywriters, art directors, and others who produce advertising.
  • Creative - Describes activities directly related to the creation of advertising. These include copywriting, photography, illustration, and design.
  • Demographic overlay - Adding demographic data to a prospect or customer list by running it through the computer and matching it against other lists that already contain the data.
  • Demographics - Statistics describing the characteristics of a segment of the population. These characteristics include age, sex, income, religion, and race.
  • Direct mail - Unsolicited advertising material delivered by mail.
  • Direct response - The school of advertising that says, "The Internet is an interactive medium. If the consumer interacts with our marketing efforts, we've done our job."
  • Direct response - Advertising that seeks to get orders or leads directly and immediately rather than build an image or awareness over a period of time.
  • Domain Part of the DNS (domain naming system) - Name that specifies details about the host. A domain is the main subdivision of Internet addresses, the last three letters after the final dot, and it tells you what kind of organization you are dealing with. There are six top-level domains widely used in the U.S.: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .net (network operations), .gov (U.S. government), .mil (U.S. military), and .org (organization).
  • Downscale - Consumers on the low end of the social scale in terms of income, education, and status.
  • Drill down - A term used to express what a surfer does as he or she goes further into a Website - deeper into the back pages, deeper into data.
  • E-commerce - Using electronic information technologies on the Internet to allow direct selling and automatic processing of purchases between parties.
  • E-list - A direct mail list containing Internet addresses and used to distribute promotional messages over the Internet.
  • E-mail - An abbreviation for electronic-mail, which is a network service that allows users to send and receive messages via computer.
  • E-zine - A part-promotional, part-informational newsletter or magazine distributed on the Internet.
  • Editorial - Those portions of a magazine's or newspaper's reading matter that are not advertisements-articles, news briefs, fillers, and other material produced by the publication's editors and writers.
  • Emoticons - The online means of facial expression and gestures. The most used is : ) (happy). Other emoticons include: L (sad), :o (surprised) or J (innocent).
  • FAQ (frequently asked questions) - FQA is a commonly used abbreviation for "frequently asked questions."
  • Farm out - To assign work to an outside vendor rather than handle it in-house.
  • Feature story - A full-length magazine article.
  • Fee - The charge made by an agency or advertising professional to the client for services performed.
  • Firewall - A security barrier placed between an organization's internal computer network - either its IS system or intranet - and the Internet.
  • Flame - An intentionally crude or abusive e-mail message.
  • Floater - Similar to a pop-up or pop-under, except it is not blocked by pop-up blockers because it is part of the Web page or landing page HTML code. The floater is used to capture the visitor's e-mail address, usually by offering free content.
  • Forms - The pages in most browsers that accept information in text-entry fields.
  • Four A's - American Association of Advertising Agencies, an industry trade association.
  • Four color - Artwork reproduced in full color.
  • Fractional ad - An ad that takes less than a full page in a magazine or newspaper.
  • Freelance - A self-employed copywriter, photographer, artist, media buyer, or other advertising professional.
  • Frequency - The number of times an ad is delivered to the same browser in a single session or time period. A site needs to use cookies in order to manage ad frequency.
  • FTP (File transfer protocol) - A protocol that allows the transfer of files from one computer to another. FTP can also be used as a verb.
  • Full-service agency - An ad agency that offers its clients a full range of advertising services including creative services, media buying, planning, marketing, and research.
  • General advertising - Advertising that seeks to instill a preference for the product in the consumer's mind to promote the future sale of the product at a retail outlet or through a distributor or agent. This is the opposite of direct response advertising.
  • GIF (graphic interchange format) - A common compression format used for transferring graphics files between different computers.
  • Hit - When a page request is made, all elements or files that comprise the page are recorded as hits on a server's log file.
  • Home page - The page designated as the main point of entry of a Website or the starting point when a browser first connects to the Internet.
  • Host - A server connected to the Internet (with a unique IP address).
  • House organ - A company-published newsletter or magazine.
  • HTML - A coding language used to make hypertext documents for use on the Web.
  • HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) - A standard method of publishing information as hypertext in HTML format on the Internet.
  • HTTPS-SSL - HTTP with SSL (secure socket layer) encryption for security.
  • Hyperlink - This is the clickable link in text graphics on a Web page that takes you to another place on the same page, another page, or a whole other site.
  • Hypertext - Electronic documents that present information that can be read by following many different directions through links, rather than just read linearly like printed text.
  • Image - The public's perception of a firm or product.
  • Impulse buy - A purchase motivated by chance rather than by plan.
  • In-house - Anything done internally within a company.
  • Industrial advertising - Advertising of industrial products and services.
  • Inquiry fulfillment package - Product literature sent in response to an inquiry.
  • Inquiry - A request for information made by a potential customer responding to an ad or promotion.
  • Internet - A collection of approximately 60,000 independent, inter-connected networks providing reliable and redundant connectivity between disparate computers and systems by using common transport and data protocols.
  • Internet domain name - The unique name that identifies an Internet entity.
  • Interstitial - An interstitial ad is an "intrusive" ad unit that is spontaneously delivered without specifically being requested by a user.
  • IP address (Internet protocol address) - Every system connected to the Internet has a unique IP address, which consists of a number in the format, A, B, C or D, where each of the four sections is a decimal number form 0 to 255.
  • ISP (Internet service provider) - A business that provides access to the Internet.
  • Java - An object-oriented programming language created by Sun Microsystems that supports enhanced features such as animation, or real-time updating of information.
  • Jingle - Music and lyrics used in a commercial.
  • JPEG (joint photographic experts group) - A newer graphics format which displays photographs and graphic images with millions of colors, compresses well, and is easy to download.
  • Keyword - A work or phrase used to focus on online research.
  • Landing page - Any Web page designed to generate conversion or other direct action, as opposed to a page that just provides content or links to more content.
  • Layout - A drawing used to get a rough idea of how a finished ad, poster, or brochure will look.
  • Lead - See sales lead.
  • Lettershop - A firm that reproduces sales letters and other advertising literature.
  • Lift letter - A second letter included in a direct-mail package; the lift letter is designed to increase response to the mailing. Also known as a publisher's letter because it is primarily used in mailings that solicit magazine subscriptions.
  • Link - An electronic connection between two Websites.
  • List broker - A person who rents mailing lists.
  • Listserver - A program that automatically sends e-mail to a list of subscribers. It is the mechanism that is used to keep new groups informed.
  • Load - Usually used with upload or download, it means to transfer files or software - to "load" - from one computer or server to another computer or server.
  • Log or log files - File that keeps track of network connections.
  • Login - The identification or name used to access - long into - a computer, network, or site.
  • Logo - The name of a company set in specially designed lettering.
  • Lottery - In a lottery, winners are chosen by chance and must make a purchase to enter.
  • Madison Avenue - The mainstream of the New York City advertising community. Madison Avenue is a street that runs along the East Side of Manhattan, but used in the advertising sense, the term "Madison Avenue" refers to agencies located in the heart of midtown Manhattan.
  • Mailing list - An online mailing list is an automatically distributed e-mail message on a particular topic going to certain individuals.
  • Market - A portion of the population representing potential and current customers for a product or service.
  • Marketing communications - Communications used in marketing a product or service. "Marketing communications" includes advertising, public relations, and sales promotion.
  • Marketing - The activities companies perform to produce, distribute, promote, and sell products and services to their customers.
  • Mass advertising - Advertising aimed at the general public.
  • Mechanical - "Type and artwork pasted up on a board for reproduction by the printer.
  • Media - Any method of communication that brings information, entertainment, and advertising to the public or the business community.
  • Merchandising - Activities designed to promote retail sales. On speculation-Work that the client will pay for only if he likes it and uses it.
  • Metatags - Used to identify the creator of a Web page, what HTML specs the page follows, and the keywords and description of the page. Model of selling information products online.
  • Modem - A contraction for "modulation/demodulation," it is the device that converts a digital bit stream into an analog signal (and back again) so computers can communicate across phone lines.
  • Name squeeze page - A landing page, usually brief, designed to capture the user's e-mail address, either in exchange for an offer of free content or as a condition of allowing the reader access to copy on a landing page or other Web page. (Also known as a squeeze page.)
  • Netiquette (Internet etiquette) - The rules of how to behave on the Internet.
  • Netizen - An active Internet user.
  • Newbie - A term to describe anyone new to an area, whether it be a particular forum online or the Internet.
  • Newsgroup - A discussion group on Usenet devoted to talking about a specific topic.
  • One-Time Offer (OTO) - A product offer you make to people, usually those who have just subscribed to your e-zine or joined your e-list, that they will see once and not again.
  • Opt in - To agree to receive promotional e-mails when registering on a particular Website from the site owner and other companies to whom he or she may rent your e-mail address.
  • Opt out - To request that an e-list owner take your name off the list or at least make sure you are not sent any promotional e-mails.
  • Order page - When you click the Order Now button on a landing page, you are taken to an order page describing the offer and allowing you to place your order online.
  • Package goods - Products wrapped or packaged by the manufacturer. Package goods are low in cost and typically sold on store shelves.
  • Page - All Websites are a collection of electronic "pages" formatted in HTML.
  • Page views - Number of times users request a page.
  • Pay-per-click - An advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay agencies based on how many consumers clicked on a promotion.
  • PDF files - Adobe's portable document format (pdf) is a translation format used primarily for distributing files across a network or on a Website. Files with a .pdf extension have been created in another application and then translated into .pdf files so they can be viewed by anyone, regardless of platform.
  • Per diem - Fees charged by the day.
  • PI - Per inquiry advertising. Advertising for which the publisher or broadcast station is paid according to the number of inquiries produced by the ad or commercial.
  • Pop-over - A page that pops up on the screen when you visit a Website or landing page, the purpose of which is to capture the e-mail address of the visitor, usually by offering free content.
  • Pop-under - A page that pops up on the screen when you attempt to leave a landing page or Website without placing an order, the purpose of which is to capture the e-mail address of the visitor, usually by offering free content.
  • Portfolio - A presentation folder containing samples of your work. Shown to prospective employers when you are interviewing for a job.
  • Premium - Gift offered to potential customers as motivation for buying a product.
  • Press release - Written news information mailed to the press.
  • Product manager - A manager employed by an advertiser to supervise the marketing and advertising of a product or product line.
  • Promotion - Activities other than advertising that are used to encourage the purchase of a product or service.
  • Prospect - A person with the money, authority, and desire to buy a product or service; a potential customer.
  • Psychographics - Statistics relating to the personalities, attitudes, and life-styles of various groups of people.
  • Pub-set - Ads designed and typeset by the publication in which they will appear.
  • Public relations - The activity of influencing the press so that they print (and broadcast) stories that promote a favorable image of a company and its products.
  • Publisher's letter - See lift letter.
  • Puffery - Exaggerated product claims made by an advertiser.
  • Pull - The response generated by an advertisement.
  • Red Book - Refers to both The Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies and The Standard Directory of Advertisers.
  • Reel - A reel of film or videotape containing sample commercials written by the copywriter.
  • Reply card - A self-addressed postcard sent with advertising material to encourage the prospect to respond.
  • Research - Surveys, interviews, and studies designed to show an advertiser how the public perceives his product and company or how they react to the advertiser's ads and commercials.
  • Sales lead - An inquiry from a qualified prospect.
  • Sales promotion - A temporary marketing effort designed to generate short-term interest in the purchase of a product. Coupons, sales, discounts, premiums, sweepstakes, and contests are all examples of sales promotion.
  • Space - The portion of a magazine or newspaper devoted to advertisements.
  • Special report - Free content offered as an incentive for the visitor to take action, typically either placing an order or giving you his e-mail address.
  • Split run test - Two versions of an ad are run in different copies of a publication to test the effectiveness of one version against the other.
  • Squeeze Pages - See "name squeeze pages."
  • Storyboard - Rough series of illustrations showing what a finished TV commercial will look like.
  • Sweepstakes - A sales promotion in which prizes are awarded by chance and the consumer does not have to make a purchase to enter.
  • Teaser - Copy printed on the outside envelope of a direct-mail package.
  • Trade advertising - Advertising aimed at wholesalers, distributors, sales reps, agents, and retailers rather than consumers.
  • Transaction page - An order page.
  • Two color - An ad or sales brochure printed in two colors usually black and a second color such as blue, red, or yellow.
  • Type - Text set in lettering that can be reproduced by a printer.
  • Universe - The total number of' people who are prospects for your product.
  • Upscale - Prospects at the upper end of the social scale in terms of income, education, and status.
  • Vertical publication - Magazine intended for a narrow group of special-interest