A Quick Understanding of Inbound Marketing Terminology

Andrew Copeland
Reading Time: 3 minutes

When working with a digital marketing agency, knowing how to communicate clearly and efficiently is crucial. It’s important for both you and your agency partner to speak the same language and use the same terminology or the entire relationship will be full of confusion and uncertainty.

It’s tough, though. Business owners can’t be expected to stay on top of all the latest trends and technologies. In fact, this is why you hired an inbound marketing agency in the first place. But taking a little bit of time to understand the difference between a workflow and an email can make a world of difference.

To get you started, here is a short list of some common inbound marketing terms that you probably hear quite often, but aren’t exactly sure what they mean:

Buyer’s Journey – The term “buyer’s journey” refers to the process that a person goes through when making a purchase. The three stages of the buyer’s journey include “awareness”, “consideration”, and “decision.” Understanding this process is crucial to your success with inbound marketing as it will play a big part in all or most of your marketing decisions.

Lifecycle Stage – Lifecycle stage is a contact property that tells you where your leads are in the marketing/sales funnel. Examples include marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, customer, evangelist, and more. The lifecycle stage property is useful because it allows you to create highly targeted and relevant content that will increase conversions.

Lead Status – The lead status property is different from the lifecycle stage in that it tells the individual status of each lead. For example, this could be open deal, unqualified, bad timing, attempted to contact, etc. Lead status allows you to further qualify your leads and decide which ones need the most attention.

Marketing Qualified Lead – a marketing qualified lead is someone who has symbolically raised their hand and identified themselves as a potential customer. This usually means they have filled out multiple forms on your site and viewed multiple web pages. These people have voluntarily given you their contact information and have agreed to be marketed to.

Sales Qualified Lead – A sales qualified lead is someone who has expressed interest in speaking with a salesperson. This usually means they have booked a meeting, requested a quote, attended a webinar, or taken some other bottom-funnel action. These people are nearing the end of their buyer’s journey and it is time to reach out.

Call-to-Action (CTA) – A call-to-action (CTA) is something that compels a user to take an action. This can be a simple hyperlink that says “learn more” or a well-designed graphical strip that promotes a content offer. CTAs can appear in emails, blog posts, web pages, or anywhere else that gets lots of attention.

Content Offers – a content offer is a piece of content that you offer to a user in exchange for more information. A content offer can be anything; it can be an e-book, a video series, an infographic – anything that provides enough value to a user that they would want to volunteer personal information in order to access the content.

Workflows – A workflow is a series of events that are triggered based on the actions of a user. For example, if somebody downloads a content offer, that action could trigger a workflow in which the user would receive a series of emails that contain relevant content. Workflows should have specific goals tied to them and their purpose is to move people to the next stage in the buying process.

E-blasts – E-blasts are different from workflows because they can be sent to anyone at any time. An e-blast is nothing more than an email (or a series of emails) that is sent to a list of contacts. E-blasts are not based on user actions.

We hope this list was helpful! if you have any more questions about proper terminology, feel free to ask us in the comments. We would love to help!

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