Inbound Marketing Terminology – Terms You Should Know

Beginner Level
Written by Luke Summerfield
    Tuesday, 05 June 2012
Inbound Marketing Terminology Inbound Marketing Terminology

Whether if you’re in the marketing industry or not, the term “inbound marketing” is a fairly new marketing strategy and thus the terminology associated with inbound marketing can be a bit confusing. In this post we will be explaining common inbound marketing and analytics terms

Inbound Marketing Terminology:

  • Inbound Marketing: A complete internet marketing system and philosophy where high quality content is created and marketed on the internet to make it easy for any prospects to find.

    In this style of marketing, prospects interested in your niche or industry actively find your company and are interested in what you have to say, making them a qualified lead. In contrast, traditional marketing such as TC, Radio or Print advertising pushes your message in front of people who may not be interested in your product or service.

    Inbound marketing is like a puzzle with many pieces including SEO, social media, email marketing, blogging, guest blogging, etc. all working together in sync to help promote your content offers in order to gain conversions from prospects to leads.

    You can learn more about Inbound Marketing by visiting these links:
  • Inbound Marketing Funnel: An inbound marketing funnel is the path which a prospect takes from the initial contact to the final conversion to a customer. A prospect can enter the funnel at any stage and is systematically nurtured down the funnel with a goal to convert them at the bottom funnel offer.


  • Call to Action (CTA): A call to action is the graphic or text used to get a person to click to convert on some type of offer. There are many different ways to create a CTA and it is critical to perform A/B testing (described below) to ensure you have an optimized CTA with a good click through rate.

Call to Action Example

  • Click Through Rate (CTR): The click through rate describes the percentage of people who clicked on a CTA or Ad versus the number of people who saw the CTA or Ad. The higher the click through rate the better. Generally, a CTA will be linked to a landing page (as described below). Although all industries are different, an average internet CTR is around .15%

Click through rate example

  • Landing Page: A landing page is a specific page tailored for a specific product of service and a specific type of visitor with a goal of converting the visitor on some type of offer.

    Creating a successful landing page is a bit of a science and also requires A/B testing to optimize the conversion rate. You can learn more about how to create a successful landing page on our other blog: How to Get a 30%+ Landing Page Conversion Rate [case study]

  • Premium Content Offer: A premium content offer is some type of high quality, in-depth content that you can offer for free in order to convert people at certain stages of the inbound marketing funnel.

    Examples of premium content offers include; ebooks, checklists, webinars, podcasts, white paper, case study, etc. Basically anything that provides good educational resource value to anyone who may be interested in your particular industry or niche.

  • Top of the Funnel (Tofu) Offer: The tofu offer is some type of educational content offer that is fairly general in terms of content and interested audience. This will be the initial offer used to educate the prospect (no sales promotion) about the general concepts of your industry and convert prospect visitors into leads and thus placing them into your inbound marketing funnel.

  • Middle of the Funnel (Mofu) Offer: The mofu offer is the second premium content offer that will be marketed to prospects or to leads in the inbound marketing funnel. The mofu offer's goal is to qualify and establish credibility with the lead. Here you will "weed" out any leads who are not quite interested in converting to a customer yet and anyone who converts on your mofu offer should be considered a qualified lead.

  • Bottom of the Funnel (Bofu) Offer: By the time the lead reaches the bofu offer, they are qualified and ready to take the next step in the sales process. Here your bofu offer will be some type of promotional offer such as a free consultation, discount or promotional deal.

  • Conversion Rate: Conversion rate refers to the number of people who successfully filled out a form on your website to convert into a lead versus the total number of people who visited the page. The higher conversion rate, the better, however every niche is different and thus tests must be run to optimized conversion rate.

  • A/B Testing: An "A/B test" is used for optimizing a piece of content or graphic in order to increase the conversion or click through rates. In an A/B Test, in only one space, two or more different styles of content (call to action, landing page, advertisement, etc) are shown randomly. Each piece of content would have slight variations and over time you are able to track which piece is performing better.

A/B Testing Example

  • Prospect / Website Visitor: Anyone who visits your website is considered a prospect or visitor. The fact that they actively decided to visit your website to see the information you're providing already qualifies them as a prospect of your industry or niche.

    The goal with a prospect is to convert them into a lead using strong call to actions, optimized landing pages and great content offers.

  • Leads: A lead is someone who visited your website and successfully filled out one of your forms for either an offer or contact page. Once a prospect is converted into a lead, they are then in the inbound marketing funnel and will be nurtured down the funnel with a goal of them converting at each funnel stage (tofu, mofu, bofu).

  • Lead Nurturing Campaign: Lead nurturing campaigns are used to "push" the lead down the inbound marketing funnel and are the connecting "bridges" between each funnel stage. Lead nurturing campaigns should be specifically tailored for the particular stage the lead is on and should include call to actions for them to move down the funnel and convert on the next offer.

    You can learn more about lead nurturing campaigns on our other blog: What is a Lead Nurturing Campaign

Internet Marketing / Analytics Terminology:

  • Unique Visitors: A unique visitor is the count of how many different people have visited your website. For example, if there are ten people who each visit my website 4 times in a month, the unique visitor number will be 10 (not 40).

    Unique visitor count is a useful metric for discovering how many different people your products or services are being viewed by. Typically, the higher the number of unique visitors the better because that means more people are seeing your company.

  • Visits: The visit metric is the total number of times people have visited your website, whether returning or new visitors. For example, if we had 10 people visit your website 4 times in a month, the visit metric would be 40.

  • Hits: A hit refers to the number of requests being processed by the server of the website. In general this is a very useless term and is commonly misused when talking about website size. You could have 10 people visit a website and put in 100 "hits" each which would equate to 1000 hits. This is simply the number of server requests, not the number of unique visitors or visits.

  • Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is the metric associated with when a visitor lands on your website and leaves on the same page they landed on. This typically means they weren't finding what they were looking for or the page was not optimized for usability. The lower the bounce rates are the better. Although different for every niche and page section, in general, having a bounce rate of under 35% is good and under 45% is ok.

  • Exit Page: The exit page is the page in which the visitor decided to leave your website for another one or close the window. Exit rate is not necessarily a bad metric, however on certain pages with certain goals, exit rates can help you know which pages need to be optimized and keep the visitor on your site longer.

These are just the most commonly used terms, there are many other terms in the inbound marketing and internet marketing world. A simple Google search for any particular [term + "definition"] and a number of different results should come up.

If there is a particular term you are looking for a definition for that was not listed in this article, post in the comments area and we will reply with an explanation.

Inbound marketing and Joomla RSS Feed Subscribe now for more great educational content!


Luke Summerfield

Luke Summerfield

Greetings! My name is Luke, Inbound Marketing Specialist here at Savvy Panda. I love helping businesses supercharge their growth via Inbound. When i'm not working, I'm training Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Crossfit.

You can learn more about me on our team page.
Let's link up to share great content & ideas: @SavvyLuke | G+  |  Linkedin

Savvy Panda Facebook Savvy Panda Twitter Savvy Panda YouTube Savvy Panda RSS Savvy Panda Linked In