Digital copywriting is a fast-growing field, and you should aim to get experience in it as soon as possible. But with terms like “DPI” and “click to open rate,” it can be easy to get lost in a conversation. So let’s fix that, shall we? Read on…
Today’s question comes from Seth H. who asks, “I was in a meeting yesterday and someone mentioned ‘CPM versus CPC.’ And then also maybe ‘CRM?’ The meeting ended too fast for me to ask what they were. Can you help?”
Digital (or “interactive” copywriting) has grown every more complicated as technologies evolve and, as part of that, new terms and new acronyms pop up all the time. After all, if you have to say “cost per thousand” a dozen times during a meeting, it’s sure easier to just say CPM.
So, basically, these acronyms and terms are here to stay and, today, we’re going to cover the most crucial ones for you to know.
Impression – This means someone is visiting a page that an ad is running on. Every time that ad is shown to someone (whether or not they click on it or even notice it), it is one impression.
CPM – “cost per thousand” This is for companies running banner ads and means that they are paying by the number of impressions (see above). So, the CPM is the cost per thousand impressions.
CPC – “Cost per click” Instead of charging by the number of times people see an ad, this refers to a system whereby the company pays each time someone clicks on an ad.
Click-Through Rate – This refers to the ratio of people who click on something to land on a website. For example, a 2% click through rate (which is pretty decent) means that 2% of the people who viewed something clicked on it. Click-through rate can refer to banner ads, emails, and any other action that requires a click.
Open Rate – As you might have guessed, this refers to the ratio of people who open an email when they receive it. Open rate is highly correlated to the subject line.
Click to Open – Of the people who opened an email, this is the ratio of people who clicked. How is that different from click-through rate? Click-through rate is the number of people who clicked out of everyone who received the email. Click to open is the number of people who clicked out of only the people who clicked. Click to open rate is a good indicator of how well the design, copy, and content of the email connect with the reader.
Bounce Rate/Abandonment Rate – This is the ratio of people who get to a web page and then immediately leave without performing any other kind of action.
Engagement Rate – This is the ratio of people who interact in some way with an email, a banner ad, or a website. Generally, interaction is measured by the visitor taking some kind of action, whether that be visiting another page on the site, clicking a button, or anything else along those lines.
CRM – “Customer relationship management” This is a broad term that essentially means a company’s email department or email program. It may also encompass social media, but that varies by company.
DPI – “Dots Per Inch” This literally measures the number of dots that can fit in an inch (both for digital and for print). In a word, it measures the resolution and the higher the DPI, the more details can be shown in an image. The most common appropriate DPI for digital images is 72, but 300 for print. (Most computers have their resolutions of 72 or 96 pixels per inch. Images with a higher DPI will take up more space on a screen than in print since the computer can only show 72 or 96 pixels per inch, instead of 300.)
Dynamic Banner Ads – The content within a banner ad changes based on a feed of information. For example. If a banner ad shows New York City hotel rooms and their prices, and it is a dynamic ad, those prices are “live” and current. A static ad would show numbers or prices that are not live; they were pre-programmed into the ad manually and have not been updated.
Static Banner Ads – So, traditionally, this means the banner ad has only one frame and does not move or rotate through multiple ones. There are some people who would say that a static ad is one that can move, but doesn’t have dynamic information in it (see above).
Flash, HTML5, GIF Banners – These are all different types of animated banners—basically, types of files that allow banners to move. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, of course, and you designer needs to know how to use these programs to add animation.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. So…your turn! Have you heard any terms you’d like us to define! Let us know in the comments below!