A marketer’s go-to glossary of CRM terms

A marketer’s go-to glossary of CRM terms

A marketer’s go-to glossary of CRM terms

Rebecca Wallace


12 Jun 2024

Have you ever been in a team meeting where the marketing acronyms are flying around, but you’re too afraid to pipe up and ask what they mean? Well, you’re not alone. As a solution, we’ve put together a comprehensive glossary of all the digital CRM-associated terms you’re likely to need – so you’ll (almost) never be confused again. Bookmark this article for future reference, and thank us later.

What does digital CRM actually mean?

CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management, and describes the way we build and foster connections with potential and existing customers. Any strategy or approach that uses data to build, improve and manage customer relationships can fall under the description of CRM – and it spans multiple channels. Now, let’s get into it.

Digital CRM: a glossary of terms


A/B Testing: A method of comparing two versions of a single item – whether that’s an email, landing page, creative, or advertisement – to determine which one performs better.  

Affiliate Marketing: A marketing strategy where other businesses (affiliates) earn a commission for promoting another company’s products or services and driving sales through their own marketing efforts.

Above the Line (ATL): Non-targeted mass media marketing activities that include TV, Press, OOH (Out of Home), and cinema.


B2B (Business-to-Business): Businesses selling products or services to other businesses.

B2C (Business-to-Consumer): Businesses selling products or services directly to consumers.

Below the Line (BTL): Marketing activities that are usually more targeted to specific customers and include sales promotions, direct marketing, and digital marketing.

Bounce Rate (BR): The percentage of emails you send out that are not accepted by your recipients’ email servers. See also: hard bounce, which is when delivery fails due to a fixed reason, such as an invalid email address.


Call to Action (CTA): A specific instruction or prompt to encourage the audience to take a desired action, such as “Buy Now,” “Subscribe,” or “Learn More.”

Campaign: A series of marketing strategies using various digital marketing channels and tactics aimed to achieve specific objectives and target audiences.

Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click on a specific link or advertisement compared to the total number of impressions it receives.

Click-To-Open Rate (CTOR): Compares the number of unique clicks to unique opens. This number indicates the effectiveness of the email message, design, and content – and whether it created enough interest for the audience to take action.

Content Management System (CMS): Used for Email or Web, a CMS is software that helps users create, manage, and modify content without the need for technical knowledge.  

Cost Per Lead (CPL): The amount it costs to acquire a lead from marketing. This factors heavily into Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).

Conversion Rate (CVR): The percentage of visitors or users who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or subscribing, in comparison to the total number of visitors or users.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO): The process of improving channel conversion using design techniques, key optimisation principles, and testing. 

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): The code used to add styling – such as colour and spacing – to HTML code. See also: HTML.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Total cost of sales and marketing efforts, as well as property or equipment, needed to convince a single customer to buy a product or service.

Customer Retention: A metric that businesses use to measure customer loyalty over time.


Demographics: Statistical data that describes the characteristics of a population or target audience, such as age, gender, income, education, occupation, and location.

Double Opt-In: Asking a subscriber to go through a two-step process to subscribe to your email.

Dynamic Content: A way to display different personalised content such as name, ID number or statistic that is pulled in from user data.


E-Commerce: Electronic Commerce. Refers to the process of buying and selling goods and services online.

Email Design System (EDS): A collection of reusable modules and components, guided by standards that teams use to create on-brand emails more consistently and efficiently.

Engagement: The level of interaction and involvement an audience has with marketing content. It’s often measured by metrics such as clicks and time spent on a website, or by likes, comments, and shares on Social.

Evergreen Content: Content optimised for search that is created in such a way that it’s always fresh and stays relevant to an audience for a long period of time.


First-Party Data: Collected through CRM, websites, apps, or social media and owned by your business. Extremely valuable, as it’s the most reliable data.

Frequency: The number of times an advertisement is presented to a target audience within a specific timeframe.

Funnel: Represented as a funnel shape, it’s the journey that a user goes through from initial awareness to purchase. Divided into stages such as awareness, consideration, and conversion.


Geotargeting: Delivering tailored content to an audience based on geographic location or proximity to a specific area.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format): A small image file used to create animated images across marketing channels. 


Hashtag: A word or phrase that starts with the “#” symbol used on social media to categorise content around a specific topic, often used to increase brand exposure.

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language): The layout skeleton of an email or website’s code.

H tag (Header Tag): HTML tags used to set apart headings and subheadings from the rest of the content on a webpage which helps with SEO.

Heatmap: Visual representations of data that display the areas of a website, web page, or email where users interact the most.

Hyperlink: A link that can be displayed as an icon, graphic or simply text that links to another file, object or website page page.


Impression: The number of times a form of digital media is displayed on a user’s screen, regardless of whether it was clicked or not.

Interactivity: In the context of Email, content that allows subscribers to take action and participate. The action typically involves tapping, swiping, playing, or other methods within the email itself.


Journey Mapping: A visual that shows how customers experience a product or service and how they feel along the way.


Key Performance Indicator (KPI): A measurable value or metric that indicates the performance or success of a marketing campaign, strategy, or objective.

Keyword Research: The process of identifying keywords and phrases used in search engines by people looking for information around a specific product or service.


Lead Generation: The process of identifying and attracting potential customers (leads) who have shown interest in a product or service.

Lifetime Value (LTV): An estimate of the average revenue that a customer will generate throughout their lifespan as a customer. 


Market Research: The collection, analysis, and interpretation of data about a target market, customers, competitors, and industry trends.

Meta Data: Data that describes other data, such as who created it, when it was created, and more. 

Meta Description: An HTML element that summarises the contents of a web page for the benefit of users and search engines.

Mobile Marketing: Marketing strategies that target mobile device users through channels like mobile apps, SMS (text) marketing, location-based advertising.


Net Promoter Score (NPS): A measure used to gauge customer loyalty, satisfaction, and enthusiasm that's calculated by asking customers how likely they would be to recommend a product or company on a scale of 0 to 10.


Open Rate: The percentage of subscribers who open a specific email out of your total number of subscribers. 

Organic Keywords: Search terms used to attract free website traffic through search engine optimisation (SEO).

Organic Reach: The number of people who see a piece of content through unpaid distribution, such as appearing in their social media feed or search engine results.

Online Reputation Management (ORM): The process of monitoring, influencing, and managing the online reputation and perception of a brand.


Persona: A fictional representation of a target customer used to understand their needs, preferences, and motivations.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click): Online advertising model in which advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked – used in Google Ads and  Facebook Ads.


Quality Score: A metric used in online advertising platforms to assess the quality and relevance of keywords, ads, and landing pages on a website.

QR Code (Quick Response Code): A two-dimensional barcode that can be scanned using a mobile device to quickly and conveniently access digital content.


ROI (Return on Investment): A way to measure the profitability or effectiveness of a marketing campaign relative to how much it cost.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication): An RSS Feed is a web feed that publishes frequently updated information like blog posts, news stories, and podcasts. When you subscribe to a website's RSS, your browser automatically monitors the site to give timely updates without the need for a refresh.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): The process of optimising a website or online content to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results pages.

Second-Party Data: Information about the customer that wasn’t collected by you. Businesses often receive second-party data by with a trusted partner who shares audience insights in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Segmentation: Separating your contact list into distinct groups. You can segment in several ways, including demographically, behaviourally, and psychographically.

Single Minded Proposition (SMP): The one compelling reason that a consumer would want to buy or use your product or service.

SMS (Short Message Service): Commonly known as texting. It’s a way to send text-only messages of up to 160 characters between phones.


Third-Party Data: Information collected by a business without any direct link to your brand  or consumer audience. Third party data is sometimes compiled from multiple different sources and is sold to or bought by companies to learn more about audiences. 

Tone of Voice (TOV): The consistent and distinctive way that a brand communicates its messages, personality, and values through written or spoken language. 

Trending: Topics, hashtags, keywords, or content that is currently popular or garnering significant attention online.


Unique Selling Proposition (USP): A distinctive (unique) feature or benefit of a product, service, or business that sets it apart from competitors.

User-Generated Content (UGC): Content created by consumers rather than the brand. This can include reviews, social media posts, videos etc and can help build authenticity and trust.


Winback (WB): When a business regains its inactive or former customers, usually via a specific campaign. 


Zero-Party Data: Data willingly and knowingly shared by a customer via a survey or as part of a registration. 

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