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Key Internet marketing terms & vocabulary

by Marlon Sanders

A lot of times Internet marketers throw terms around and assume everyone knows what they mean.

To help you out, here is a list written in layman's terms. Some of these aren't the "precise" technical definition. But they're what I call working definitions that are easy to understand.


Continuity: The means something that people are charged for regularly, typically monthly or quarterly. In the biz, we call this "continuity income" or recurring billing. Newsletters are usually paid for monthly as are membership sites. The reason you see a lot of emphasis on continuity offers is it provides steady income and gives you a way to pay your bills. The classic example is the book club of the month programs.

Forced Continuity: Forced means you don't have a choice. The way this works is when you buy one product, you're given a free trial of a newsletter, membership site or CD of the month club. The trial is usually 14 to 30 days. Sometimes as long as two months. At the end of that time period, if you don't cancel, you're charged monthly for whatever it is.

Some marketers get people in continuity billing then NEVER send emails or communications hoping people will FORGET about the purchase and let the billing continue forever. I find this to be legally risky. If you do forced continuity, make sure people know they're being charged and can cancel without jumping through hoops.

Back End: The back end of the business is everything AFTER the initial sale. In other words, it's the follow up business. In the ideal world, you break even or make a small profit on the initial sale (or what we call the "front end." And you make your profits on the upsells, downsells and subsequent sales.

Upsells: Additional products or services offered at the point of the sale. As crazy as it sounds, the EASIEST time to make another sale to the customer is when they already have their credit card out! Any additional product offered is an upsell.

Downsell: If the upsell is declined, another offer for a lower price than the upsell is made. This is called a downsell.

Target market: A market is a group of people who are in the MARKET for a product or service. A target market is the market you're targeting. For example, males online between the ages of 35 and 65 who want to start a home-based business would be a target market. Stated differently, it's the people who are the potential buyers of what you sell.

Sales letters: In this business, we often use very long sales letters similar to the direct mail letters you receive in the mail. We call these sales letters because they're me-to-you letters that SELL something. These are different from a brochure, which is an impersonal communication. Sales letters are written as though you're talking to the person directly. They're more personal and persuasive.

Membership site: These are password protected sites that have content delivered regularly and often have a forum or other way to interact with members.

Forum: These are places you go to talk to others who share a common interest.

Opt ins: When someone joins your email list, they "opt in" to receive emails from you.

Double opt in: When someone joins your email list, they receive an email asking them to click a confirmation link to PROVE they subscribed to the email list. This is an anti-spam feature and is now standard practice.

Autoresponder: This is a software program that lets you send email broadcasts to everyone on your list. It will also send a sequence of emails any number of days apart that you specify.m

Shopping cart: The ordering mechanism you use to get people's name, address and credit card or check info and process their order.

Affiliate program: A program where you promote a vendor's product or service and receive a commission when there's a sale. The classic example is Amazon.com. You can link to books on Amazon. And if a visitor to your web site buys one of them, you get a small commission.

Associate program: Same as affiliate program

Banner ads: Those square or horizontal ads on web sites.

Ebook: Basically the same as a printed book but delivered online, quite often as a PDF.

PDF: Portable Delivery Format. This is a uniform format for delivering digital information. A standard of method of delivering documents on the web.

White paper: A research paper or report delivered as a PDF.

Name Squeeze: A term trademarked by Jonathan Mizel. See Squeeze page.

Squeeze page: A page with only one purpose to obtain or "squeeze" a name and email address, or email address alone, from the web visitor.

Lead capture page: Same as a squeeze page.

Power Squeeze page: See squeeze page

Hits: Some stats programs measure web site traffic by hits. This is not a particularly accurate way to measure visitors.

Unique visitors: Stat programs attempt to identify actual visitors and eliminate duplicate visitors in a 24-hour period.

Cookies: The way things get tracked on the Internet. These are little text files put on your computer. They contain tidbits of information that allow stuff to be tracked. In the case of affiliate programs, the way we track sales and credit the correct reseller with the commissions is through the use of cookies. The cookie simply contains that affiliate's ID number.

PPC: Pay-per-click advertising. Google made PPC a dominant advertising method. As a ppc advertiser, you run ads on Google and ONLY pay when someone clicks on your ad.

Monetize: When you find a way to make money with something, you monetize it. So you'll hear people talk about monetizing their traffic. All their talking about is finding a way to make money off of their web site visitors.

Traffic: Visitors to your web site or web page are traffic.

Product launch: When a number of affiliates promote one product o one day or one week. Typically last for one or two weeks and often involve heavy promotions by affiliates who are trying to win cash and prizes.

Aweber: One of the main autoresponder services.

One Shopping Cart: Another autoresponder service that also contains a shopping cart, ad tracker, affiliate software and other bells and whistles.

Ad tracker: A program that lets you create links that track when people click on them and then also count actions or sales that follow the click.

Affiliate software: Software that allows you to run your own affiliate program and pay affiliates commissions when they sell your product or service.

Clickbank: A marketplace for ebooks sold by affiliates.

Source: MarlonSanders.com.

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