Baffled by marketing jargon

Some of you have asked me to explain marketing jargon. I’m happy to do that for you. Just let me know which terms you’d like me to explain. You can post your questions as a comment to this message, or email me at

I’ve also added a new Marketing Jargon Explained page to the ideas4writers blog. I’ll keep adding to that as your questions come in.

We start with Front End and Back End sales:

Front end: selling stuff to brand new customers. Some people sell a good product at very low cost just to get people onto their mailing list, because they believe that all the money is in the back end. Acquiring new customers is generally said to be the most expensive part of marketing. This isn’t the same as giving things away for free, because you want customers on your list who are proven buyers, not a bunch of freeloaders.
You can see this in action if you watch shopping channels such as QVC, where they have a “Today’s Special Value” product at a low price to try to get new customers to buy things from them. Once they’ve bought something once, they’ll probably buy again in the future – as long as the first product was good and they had a good buying experience.
An e-book makes a good front end product.

Back end: selling stuff to people who’ve already bought from you. Once they’re on your mailing list you can keep sending them offers for new products. This is where most of the profit is. If they’ve bought from you already and found that they can trust you, and they like you and your products, then they will generally buy from you again. You no longer have to overcome the trust barrier that prevents them from buying from you in the first place.
Typical back end products include audio recordings of your e-book, more expensive e-books, e-book bundles, courses, software, videos, seminars and workshops (online or real life), gadgets, kits, materials, and so on.

Dave Haslett, ideas4writers,

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