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Marketing Lingo: 15 Terms You Probably Didn’t Know

A client walks into a BB(a)R… ouch!

Sorry (not sorry) for the horrible joke. If you didn’t even catch it, you might want to stop reading now (and unfollow me on Twitter). If you chuckled a little, continue as you were.

Being surrounded by marketing terms can be a little intimidating for clients. Heck, it was intimidating for me when I started about a year and a half ago (read more about that here). If you’re looking to expand your advertising vocab horizon, here is a list of some terms you may have heard us mention:

Hero Image – It’s not as obnoxious as it sounds. This refers to the large image on a website or email that grabs the viewer’s attention. In real life, everyone wants to be a hero, right? In the digital world, every image wants to be the hero image. It’s a trend right now, if you couldn’t guess. Make sure your hero image is relevant. Ain’t nobody got time for some random picture slapped across your homepage.

SEO – Also known as Search Engine Optimization. This is a group of strategies that determines where you rank on the world wide web. The better your SEO efforts link building, regularly updated content, optimization the higher your site will rank on search engines. The higher your rank, the larger your audience becomes. The larger your audience, the more money you get. MONEY PEOPLE.

404 Error – We’ve all been there. You type in a URL and BAM! Error message. But what does it actually mean? Someone probably forgot to do their job. Kidding. It probably just means the URL doesn’t exist anymore or the link stayed up even though the site is down. Forget your average annoying 404 error messages. Check out these awesome messages, and go change yours now.

Thumbnail sketches – Remember mindlessly scribbling on your notebook in class when you were younger? Yeah, someone’s getting paid to do that. Thumbnails (not the small images) are essentially those doodles but with a little more thought. Thumbnails are a way to show the client what we have in mind to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Tracking URL – Not using tracking URLs? You can’t sit with us. Tracking URLs are specific URLs you create that tracks the value of your online efforts. Want to create your own? Click here (and forever wonder if we just tracked that you did).

GIF – Also known as Graphics Interchange Format. These are actually files compressed to reduce time transfer, allowing both animation and static text at the same time. Found in BBR email chains almost daily, these animated graphics allow you to send hilarious messages to coworkers and grandparents alike.  Or perhaps they’ll make you wish they never invented the internet.


Sitemap – Your website’s blueprint. This is where the walls and hallways of your digital house will go. A sitemap allows you to see what pages of your site will exist before you actually build it. That way, you can tear down the whole thing before you even start, if necessary, and it won’t cost you as much money!

FAQs – Frequently asked questions. Duh.

Conversion Rate – The result that really matters, right? Well, not always. Brand awareness is important too! But if you’re selling product, conversion rates are where it’s at. A conversion rate is basically the number of people you were able to get to actually view your message, take action and become a customer.

Widget – An element you can add to a website without actually having to code it all out. Basically the best friend of our web designer, Terez Gautreau.

A/B Testing – This refers to using two messages to see which one gets the best reaction from your audience. You’ll typically see this done with email subject lines and ads. It’s basically like getting a second chance in the middle of your marketing effort. Use it wisely.

Opt-in – When a company sends emails to a large group of people, those people have to request and/or agree to receive information from that company. If they don’t opt-in to your email list and you still send them emails, you’re probably minutes away from being arrested by the FBI. Or marked as SPAM. Not sure what’s worse.

Opt-out – When you no longer want to receive those Bed, Bath & Beyond emails 500 times a day, you can click the hidden button at the bottom of the email to unsubscribe.

TTL – This one’s new to me too. Not to be confused with TTYL. This isn’t 2005. “Time to Live” or TTL is a technical term that you’ll probably never need to know. But if you ever hear someone yell, “Hey! Lower the TTL to 3 seconds” you still won’t know what they mean. In that case, always lower the TTL to 3 seconds.

Hashtag – If you even have to ask, you probably shouldn’t use one.