A CPC, CPL, CTA and C-who-what? We get it – with all of these digital marketing terms and acronyms around, it’s easy to feel out of the loop and overwhelmed. That’s why we’re here to decipher 20 common digital marketing terms you need to know.


Understanding what these digital marketing terms mean, when to use them and in what context will help you comprehend marketing strategy and results more efficiently. 

Let’s start with the first three we mentioned:

CPC – Cost Per Click:

Cost Per Click is a term used in paid advertising where an advertiser pays a cost to a publisher (eg. Facebook, Google, YouTube, Instagram) for every click they receive on an ad. It’s calculated by dividing the cost of an advertising campaign by the number of clicks it gets. The CPC shows the advertiser how much it costs them (with their chosen targeting, platform and audiences) to get a member of their audience to click through on their ad. 

CPL – Cost Per Lead

Cost Per Lead is another paid advertising term that signifies how much it costs an advertiser to get one person’s contact information (lead). 

Digital Marketing TermsCTA – Call to Action:

A CTA refers to the desired action you want your audience to take. For example, a button in your email marketing campaign that says “Claim Your 25% Discount Now” is a CTA. The copy in your CTA should capture your audience’s attention and encourage your reader to take the desired action. 


– Don’t worry, not a real thing.

On with the next 27…

In less than 5 minutes (the time it takes to read this piece), you’ll be equipped with the lingo you need to make sense of your digital marketing strategies and results.  


ICA is an acronym for Ideal Customer Avatar. An ideal customer avatar is a single profile, used to represent your target market, or segment of your target market. The profile is extremely in-depth. It covers everything from your customer’s demographic information to their pain points, buying obstacles, hopes and dreams. To learn how to create your own ICA (including a free downloadable template) check out our guide here. 


CTR stands for Click Through Rate, which refers to the amount of people who clicked through to a piece of your marketing material (eg. an email newsletter), out of those who opened it or were exposed to it.

Keeping up?

Lookalike Audience:

A lookalike audience is an audience that’s created within Facebook that helps you reach new people that resemble your current customers. 

Lead Magnet:

A lead magnet is a highly valuable piece of content that is offered to your audience for free in exchange for their contact information – usually their name and email. To find out the three critical steps to creating a winning lead magnet, check out our blog post here.  Lead magnets also get labeled as opt-ins, content upgrades or free gifts. 

Email nurture sequence:

An email nurture sequence is an automated series of emails that are delivered to someone who subscribes to your list. Each email is delivered with the customer’s stage in the buying journey in mind. The goal is to build trust with your subscribers and nurture them down the funnel – from TOFU to BOFU. 


You may think of a conversion as a sale, but when we refer to a conversion in digital marketing, we are talking about a desired action. Yes, this could be a sale, but it could also be a registration completed, a download or adding an item to cart.

There’s more…

A/B Testing:

A/B Testing is a method of testing out 2 different variations of content to see which one resonates more with your audience. You can A/B test variations of Facebook ads, email marketing, sales pages, and more. To learn what you should be A/B testing in your email marketing, click here.

Paid Traffic: 

Paid traffic refers to people that visit your website as a result of viewing or clicking through paid promotions and advertisements. The opposite of paid traffic is organic traffic, where the website visitor has found your website without any paid promotion – eg. through a referral or organic search. 


An impression refers to a user seeing an advertisement. Unlike engagement rates, impressions are not action-based, meaning they’re merely a useful metric for understanding deliverability and awareness, as opposed to conversion. 


Customer Lifetime Value indicates how valuable (usually measured in monetary value) a customer is to your business over their lifetime as a customer. It can be calculated by multiplying the average value of a customer’s purchase by how often they make that purchase, and multiplying that by the length of the customer relationship in years. 

For example, 

Say you own a skincare business. Sally is a loyal fan of your face serum and repurchases it approximately 4 times per year. 

$70 per serum X 4 serum purchases per year X 10 years 

= $2800

Sally’s CLV is $2800.

Almost there…


UX, or User Experience looks at how well the marketer considers their customer when creating their website or online platform. A great UX is one that provides the user with the right materials at the right time. It’s easy to navigate, visually pleasing and is put together with the ICA at the forefront of all decision making. 

B2B & B2C 

B2B refers to businesses who sell their products or services to other businesses. For example, SalesForce is a B2B – they sell their software to other businesses. B2C refers to businesses who sell their products or services directly to consumers. For example, Spotify sells their music application directly to individual customers. 


Digital Marketing TermsTOFU refers to Top of the Funnel, MOFU refers to Middle of the Funnel, and BOFU refers to, you guessed it, Bottom of the Funnel. The most basic digital marketing funnel will focus on awareness at the TOFU, interest and consideration at the MOFU, and conversion at the BOFU. 


A Facebook pixel is essentially a tiny snippet of code that is put in the back-end of your website. The pixel collects data on your site visitors so that you can better target your ads to the right audiences, and track conversions.

For example, the pixel can track users who have clicked on one of your products or services on your website, but not yet purchased. You can use this data to show ads to these users with the right messaging to help them come back to your store or sales page and make a purchase.

Last ones!

Hard Bounce Rate

In email marketing, a hard bounce rate is where an email is not delivered because of permanent blockers. For example, the email address does not exist, or the email address has blocked incoming emails. You should remove these addresses from your list. Aim to keep your hard bounce rate as low as possible/non existent. 

Soft Bounce Rate

In comparison, soft bounces occur due to temporary issues. For example, an email file might be too large, an inbox may be too full. If you notice that the same email addresses are resulting in soft bounces, it’s best to remove them from your list. As with hard bounces, you should aim to keep your soft bounce rate as low as possible. 

Congratulations, you’re officially one level up on the digital marketing nerd scale! 


Are you still feeling overwhelmed, confused or bogged down by trying to nail your digital marketing terms and strategies? Let a team of self-proclaimed digital marketing nerds help you achieve the results you’ve always dreamed of. 

Get in touch today.