88 Digital Marketing Acronyms (And Their Meanings)

26 December, 2018

21 mins read

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SEO, BNPL, SEM, MoFu—what in the world? Digital marketing acronyms are everywhere, and everyone seems to think you know what they’re talking about. Well, now you will with our 88 acronyms and their meanings!

If there’s a particular acronym you need to know, select the Command + F keys (on Mac) or Control + F (on Windows) and search for the term. With 88 acronyms here, you’re sure to learn something new, even if you’re a digital marketing veteran.


AI—Artificial Intelligence
Computer systems designed to mimic human intelligence or behaviour, such as voice recognition software.

AIDA—Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

A model used by marketers to identify the cognitive (or thought process) stages a buyer goes through before purchasing.

ALT—Alternative Text Attribute

A word or phrase inserted into an asset’s HTML (such as image) to tell users what the content is about in case of an error.

API—Application Program Interface

The software that allows two applications to speak to one another. It delivers your information request to the platform, which returns your request in a readable form, such as when you log into Facebook.

Augmented Reality definition


B2B—Business to Business

B2B transactions are a service or product provided by one business to another, such as office supplies.

B2C—Business to Consumer

The exchange of products and services between a business and consumers, such as non-uniform clothing brands.

BNPL—Buy Now Pay Later

Services that allow consumers to delay payments or pay by instalments while receiving a product or service immediately.

BoFu—Bottom of Funnel

The purchase stage of the marketing funnel, used to target consumers throughout the buyer’s journey.

BR—Bounce Rate

The percentage of website visitors who left the site after only looking at one page.


CAC—Customer Acquisition Cost

This metric measures how much it costs to convert a lead into a customer.

CMP—Content Marketing Platform

A CMP is used to manage content and ensure it is on-brand and targeting the right audience.

CMS definition

COS—Content Optimisation System

Using COS allows marketers to optimise content to suit their audience as well as to the device being used to view the copy.

CPA—Cost Per Acquisition

Another name for CAC (see above), which is a metric for measuring the cost of converting someone to a customer.

CPC—Cost Per Click

The cost per click is the price paid on pay-per-click marketing when the ad is clicked.

CR—Conversion Rate

Conversion rate refers to the percentage of people who carried out the desired action (like making a sale or contacting you) after viewing your website, a landing page or marketing material.

CRM—Customer Relationship Management

CRM is the management of your customers’ information and interactions with your business. A CRM system is software to store and manage these details.

CRO—Conversion Rate Optimisation

The process of improving your conversion rate (see above) with contact forms, call to actions (see below), lead flows, landing pages and more.

CSS—Cascading Style Sheets

CSS is the presentation technology behind a web page, such as the colours, layout and fonts.

CTA—Call to Action

A CTA prompts users to perform an action, such as call, email or visit another page.

What does CX mean?


DM—Direct Mail/Message

In Twitter-speak, a DM is a private message sent from one user to another.

DMP—Data Management Platform

A DMP collects, stores and analyses large sets of data to help marketers segment audiences for targeted campaigns. Types of data include locations, purchases, devices used and more.


EDM—Electronic Direct Mail

An EDM is an email sent to a large group of clients or potential customers with the aim of building relationships or generating more leads.

ESP—Email Service Provider

A type of marketing software used by businesses and marketers to manage their email marketing.



The world’s largest social media platform with roughly 2.23 billion active monthly users.

FTP—File Transfer Protocol

Developers use an FTP server to move files, such as to install WordPress on a web server. It can also be used to share files.


GA—Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a marketing platform marketers and businesses can use to track and report on website traffic.


H1/H2/H3/H4/H5—Header One/Two/Three/Four/Five

Each number indicates a different sized header on a web page or article, such as a H1 being a large header and a H5 being one of the smaller headers.

What is HTML?

HTTP—Hypertext Transfer Protocol

To see a webpage, your browser sends a HTTP request to the web, where the server receives it, runs an application to process the request and returned the HTTP response to the browser, where it is then displayed.

HTTPS—Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure

A HTTPS is an extension of a HTTP for secure communication over computer networks, and is now essential for improving your search engine optimisation (SEO).


IBL—Inbound Link

An IBL is a link to your website from another.

ICP—Ideal Customer Profile

An ideal customer profile is the description of a person who would most benefit from your product or service. Using an ICP helps marketers to remained focus on who they should be targeting.


Instagram is a social media platform with more than 800 million active users each month.

IM—Instant Messaging

An IM is an instant, real-time message sent from one person to another, like a live chat.

What does IP stand for?


KPI—Key Performance Indicator

A KPI measures the performance and effectiveness of a task or objective.


LPO—Landing Page Optimisation

By optimising a landing page, you are making changes to influence better results.

LSEO—Local Search Engine Optimisation

LSEO is a way to promote your products and services to local customers using search engine products, such as appearing higher on Google’s search results.


MA—Marketing Automation

Marketers use MA to automate repetitive tasks, such as social media or email.

MLM—Multi-Level Marketing

Also known as network marketing or direct sales, MLM uses a network of distributors to sell goods or products.

MoFu—Middle of Funnel

The middle of the funnel is when marketers aim to turn people’s interest in a product or sale (top of the funnel) into a sale (bottom of the funnel). This is also known as an evaluation or consideration phase.

MQL—Marketing Qualified Lead

A MQL is someone who is considered stronger than other leads, so is more likely to convert. These are normally people who have shown interest in the a product or service by taking action, like downloading content, signing up to a newsletter or visiting numerous web pages.

MT—Modified Tweet

Someone using MT before a tweet is letting you know they have modified the post before retweeting.

MVT—Multivariate Testing

To do multivariate testing is to test multiple elements on a webpage to decide on the best combination to increase conversions. For example, the order of images and headings.


NAP—Name, Address, Phone Number

Your NAP is your business name, physical address and phone number. Wherever this is shown is known as a citation, such as on your Localsearch profile page.


OBL—Outbound Link

An outbound link is a link on a website that directs you to another website.

OS—Operating System

The operating system allows computer hardware to communicate with computer software.


What is PPC?

PPL—Pay Per Lead

PPL is a type of advertising payment where you only pay if someone completes the desired action, such as signing up to a service.

PPV—Pay Per View

This type of advertising allows a business to pay for promotion only when their landing page is viewed in a pop-up.

PV—Page Views

The number of people who have viewed a page on your website.


QA—Quality Assurance

Any activities or systems in place to provide confidence in a product or service.

QR Code—Quick Response Code

A QR code requires a QR reader on a device to read a piece of information on a printed media to put it on the device.

QS—Quality Score

When you produce advertising on Google Ads, Google rates the quality of your ad and keyword. This is what is known as your quality score.


RFI—Request for Information

Am RFI is used by businesses wanting more information about a product or service before purchasing or hiring.

What is return on investment?


On Twitter, seeing RT means someone has shared a post of another user.


SaaS—Software as a Service

SaaS refers to software that is hosted by another business, such as Dropbox.

SEM—Search Engine Marketing

SEM is the practice of using paid advertising on search engine platforms (such as Google or Bing) to improve online visibility and website traffic.

SEO—Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is the practice of achieving higher and better quality website traffic and online visibility through organic (non-paid) activities, such as content or web design optimisation.

SERP—Search Engine Results Pages

SERPs are the results returned on a search engine for a query. For example, if you Google ‘cats’, the pages displayed to you with websites to choose from are search engine results pages.

SLA—Service Level Agreement

An SLA is a contract or commitment between a service provider and a client.

SM—Social Media

Social media are platforms that allow people to create and share content, network and connect with other users.

SME—Small/Medium Enterprise

An SME is a non-subsidiary, independent firm with around 250 employees or less.

What does SMB mean?

SMM—Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the activity of using SM platforms to improve brand awareness, nurture audience relationships and increase leads.

SMO—Social Media Optimisation

Optimising your social media accounts and activity is done to increase the success of your SMM (see above).

SMS—Short Message Service

An SMS is a text message sent from one mobile device to another using cellular reception.

SSL—Secure Sockets Layer

This security protocol creates an encrypted link between a web server and a browser or mail server.

SWOT—Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

SWOT analysis helps businesses develop a business strategy based on their strengths, weaknesses and external influences.


ToFu—Top of Funnel

ToFu is the top of the sales funnel, which is when people become aware of your brand.

TOS—Terms of Service

By agreeing to terms of service, you are saying you will abide by the rules and regulations attached to that particular product or service.


UGC—User-Generated Content

Any type of content that has been created by an unpaid contributor or consumer (or fan) and shared to other consumers is user-generated content.

UI—User Interface

A user interface is where and how a user interacts with an application or website.

What is a URL?

USP—Unique Selling Proposition

Your unique selling proposition is what you offer that is different to your competitors.

UTM—Urchin Tracking Module

To use a UTM, a code is placed on the end of a URL. This then tracks various types of information, including where the visitor came from, what they searched to get there, etc.

UV—Unique Visitor

A unique visitor is someone who has visited your website once in the reporting period and is only counted as one visit, no matter how many times they landed on the page (an impression).

UX—User Experience

The experience a user has with your product or technology relating to your business, such as your website or an app.


VOD—Video on Demand

VOD is programmed video users can select to watch at a time that suits them rather than at a designated broadcasting time.


WOMM—Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Any time a consumer shares information about a product, service, business or brand with another person, it is word of mouth. Modern WOMM includes social media and other online communication methods.


WordPress is a type of CMS (see above) where users can create websites and blogs.

WWW—World Wide Web

The World Wide Web is a network of any online content formatted in HTML accessed by HTTP.


XML—Extensible Markup Language

XML is used by developers to describe and distribute data across the internet.



Youtube is a video-based social media platform with 1.8+ billion active users every month.

Want more digital marketing advice, other than these handy acronyms?

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