In all forms of business, and even hobbies, the people who have been involved in a particular activity will start to use jargon. When someone new comes along this jargon can be very offputting, making them feel like an outsider, and may result in somebody being put off completely. When your business depends on people as customers, then you need to be careful you don’t leave them outside with jargon.
It recently came to my attention that online marketing has more than its share of jargon for the newbie to learn. As marketing is all about getting and keeping new customers, I could see we online marketers have an image problem. The online marketing jargon was pointed out to me vividly by a colleague who was interested in working online, and asked for an explanation. He stopped me mid sentence with the words “speak English geek boy” that was my wake up call.
Now the light is on, I decided to write this short guide to online marketing jargon, to help anyone on the outside of the internet marketing circle get on the inside much quicker.
1) Online Marketing, is selling any product or service on the internet or world wide web. Marketing is just the act of selling something, selling on the web costs less than having a real world, bricks and mortar business. It’s this low cost of entry which is attractive in starting your own online business.
2) Joint Ventures, a joint venture is a partnership. Simply put 2 or more people work together to increase their sales, or to complete a product or service. Sometimes shortened to JV, joint ventures are often very profitable.
3) Subscriber List, this is sometimes known as an email list, or an ezine list (ezine is short for electronic magazine), and is a list of people who have given permission for the marketer to send them emails which may contain adverts. This is also known as an opt-in list, because subscribers opt in to receive the emails. This prevents people complaining that an email is spam because there will be a record of them signing up and agreeing to receive the emails, another snippet of jargon is double opt-in, which just means after filling in a form, the potential subscriber will receive an email asking them to verify that they agree to accept future emails before they are actually added to the email list to receive them.
4) Viral Marketing, this little phrase is used to describe a way of increasing your business, or websites reach, by using a “viral technique”. In real life a virus spreads out by people contacting one another, and computer viruses are spread by contacting other computers. Some clever people realised they could use the power of people sending each other information, and watch information about their own business being spread in the same way as a virus. Giving away a free gift, which contains a link to your business, and allowing others to give it away too will work like a virus spreading the word to others as people send it on to their friends, as long as your freebie was something people would give away in the first place.
5) Niche Marketing, this is the act of selling to a particular group of people. There are lots of untapped niches (small groups interested in a specific subject) who are willing to pay for information. Online it’s eay to target these small markets by monitoring search engine results, and finding a specific word or phrase which is being searched for but not near the top of the list of popular searches. An example of a niche market is poodle owners, they are dog owners, but will specifically search for information about poodles. These markets can be profitable because they are not targeted directly by many people so if you have a product tailored to a niche market you have little or no competition.
6) EBook, although getting more popular this still causes some confusion, an ebook is an electronic book, it can be a .pdf file, plain text file or an executable file (one which is actually a self contained program to run on your computer). Ebooks sell well online, as there is no shipping, and delivery is instant.
7) MLM, is the initials of one of the least understood, and most maligned of business models, Multi Level Marketing. Sometimes known as network marketing or referral marketing, mlm is an ideal business model for online marketers, because of the ease of getting out the message about a new business, and the low cost of advertising online. The problem with mlm is that it is also easy to mistake a pyramid scheme (also called a ponzi) for an mlm opportunity, and many unscrupulous people will sell pyramid schemes as an mlm opportunity. The difference is that a genuine Mutli Level Marketing scheme has a worthwhile product which you are selling, and money is made by referring other sellers of the product whose sales generate you a commission. Pyramid schemes will usually have a worthless product or no product at all, and pays people from new members joining.
I hope that, if you are a newbie to online marketing, these short explanations will help you understand some of the things the seasoned online marketer says and writes, and if you’re a seasoned marketer you will try to introduce your newbie friends with less of the jargon we take for granted.