See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil Every industry has them, the words that make your eyes glaze over and make you nod and say “yeah, yes, oh yes….I understand”, when really you have no idea what the heck they are talking about.

I’m sorry to say but inbound marketing has them too, sometimes I think we just use them to make us sound clever.  When I worked in search engine optimisation, people used to say to me “So, what is it you do for a living, Kevin?” and I used to reply “Search engine optimisation”.  Inquisitively they would respond by saying “Oh, what is that?” and I used try and explain what search engine optimisation was while I watched their will to live drip away with every word that proceeded to come out of my mouth.

Thankfully inbound marketing is easier to explain but does still have a few annoying acronyms, abbreviations and buzzwords.

My wife said to me one night “I have a good idea for a blog post for you” and I replied “Mmmmmmm?”. She went on to explain to me that when she reads Stargazer’s blog there are a lot of words in there that she doesn’t understand and that she felt a lot of businesses would not either and I should consider writing a blog post explaining what they all are.

“What a great idea!” I began to think about all the words in inbound marketing  that may have funny names or are tricky to understand. I always like to ask people, after I have talked to them about inbound, if there is anything they did not understand and I think most of the time people answer with “No, no, I think I understand”. Most people say this out of politeness or the fear of sounding silly.

I have narrowed this down to seven of the most important and I have tried to explain them in a way everyone can understand.


ROI – Return On Investment. This basically refers to how much money you have made after your costs. For example, if you spend £4,000 on Google AdWords in one month and you make £20,000 in sales from this £4,000 investment, your return on investment would be 4%.  This is very easy to calculate.

ROI = (gains – cost)/cost


ROI = (£20,000 – £4,000) / £4,000 = 4%

This is a number you should always know as it will tell you if your marketing is working. If your ROI is a negative number then this would indicate your investment is not yielding a return.


TOFU –  Top Of The Funnel. To be honest if anyone refers to the top of the funnel as TOFU then please give them a slap. When using it in the written word, I can understand the need to shorten it, but when having a conversation with a client and they start talking about TOFU then they just need to say “top of the funnel”.  It’s easier to understand.

“But what is the top of the funnel?” I hear your internal voice asking. Well the top of the funnel refers to the sales cycle. It is referred to as a funnel because more people enter it at the top than do at the bottom, so it is hypothetically shaped like a funnel.

If people are at the top of the funnel this means they are not ready to buy, they are perhaps just researching your products or services. I call this the awareness stage, as people are just becoming aware that you may have the solution to their problem.


MOFU  – Middle Of The Funnel.  Honestly, I’m not making these up  and again you have my permission to give someone a slap if they use this in verbal communication (disclaimer: this permission is not legally binding and is not admissible in court). The middle of the funnel is where people are getting a lot more interested in what you have to offer. I call this stage the interest stage.

You need to be moving your leads through the different stages of the sales funnel with the hope of them becoming a customer.

Call to Action

A call to action is like a really relevant advert that is designed to make people click. To see an example of a call to action, take a look at the bottom of this post, but don’t forget to come back to read the rest of the article (if you can resist clicking our call to action).

Call to actions are great ways of informing your audience of other content that they may enjoy based on what they are currently reading. For example the call to action at the bottom of this page is highly relevant to what you are already reading and describes further content you may be interested in. It links to a landing page (more on landing pages in a moment) that explains more about the content on offer. You are then asked for a little information in exchange for this great content. This then puts you into the sales funnel.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are pages on your website which are focused to one particular offer. These pages get straight to the point and explain the main benefits of the offer. They usually have a form where the user can fill in some information in exchange for the offer.

These pages are designed for you to give up a little information, usually your name and email. This helps the company identify you and can then be more helpful in the future making sure you get content that is helpful to you.


CPA  –  Cost Per Acquisition. Basically this means how much it costs for you to make a sale. Let’s again take the Google AdWords example. If you spend £4,000 on AdWords in one given month and you sell 50 products, your cost per acquisition would be £80. This is a good measurement to know because if your product sold for £60 then you would not be making any money on your AdWords. A better figure to use here would be the profit on the product or mark-up. If your mark up on your product was lower than £80 then you are not making any money.

To work out your cost per acquisition you just need to divide your cost by the number of products sold.


CTR – Click Through Rate. This refers to the percentage of clicks an object has received relative to the amount of people who have seen it.  These objects are usually a call to action or a Google advert, but can be anything.

The higher the click through rate the better. Let’s say 1,000 people visited your blog post on “10 hand signals you can teach you cat” and of that 1,000 people, 300 clicked on your call to action for a guide on how to teach your cat English in 30 days or less. That would be a very healthy 30% click through rate. To calculate this all you need to do is:

CTR = (clicks/impressions) x 100


CTR = (300/1,000) x 100

This measurement is great at telling how successful your call to action is, the higher the percentage the more successful your call to action is.

Now it’s your turn

What buzzwords do you find difficult to understand? We would love to hear your thoughts below. Is inbound marketing an easy concept for you to understand?

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