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Above the fold A term, derived from printed media, which is used to indicate whether a banner advertisement or other content is displayed on a web page without the need to scroll. This is likely to give higher clickthrough, but note that the location of the 'fold' within the web browser is dependent on the screen resolution of a user's personal computer.

Access platform A method for customers to access digital media.

Access provider A company providing services to enable a company or individual to access the Internet. Access providers are divided into Internet service providers (ISPs) and online service providers (OSPs).

Accessibility An approach to site design intended to accommodate site usage using different browsers and settings particularly required by the visually impaired.

Accessibility legislation Legislation intended to assist users of web sites with disabilities including visual disability.

Acquisition See Customer acquisition. Active Server Page (ASP) A type of HTML page (denoted by an .asp file name) that includes scripts (small programs) that are processed on a web server before the web page is served to the user's web browser. ASP is a Microsoft technology that usually runs on a Microsoft Internet Information Server (usually on Windows NT). The main use of such programs is to process information supplied by the user in an online form. A query may then be run to provide specific information to the customer such as delivery status on an order, or a personalised web page.

ActiveX A programming language standard developed by Microsoft that permits complex and graphical customer applications to be written and then accessed from a web browser. ActiveX components are standard controls that can be incorporated into web sites and are then automatically downloaded for users. Examples are graphics and animation or a calculator form for calculating interest on a loan or a control for graphing stock prices. A competitor to Java. Ad creative The design and content of an ad.

Ad impression Similar in concept to a page impression; describes one viewing of an advertisement by a single member of its audience. The same as ad view, a term that is less commonly used. Ad inventory The total number of ad impressions that a web site can sell over time (usually specified per month).

Ad rotation When advertisements are changed on a web site for different user sessions. This may be in response to ad targeting or simply displaying different advertisements from those on a list. Ad serving The term for displaying an advertisement on a web site. Often the advertisement will be served from a web server different from the site on which it is placed. For example, the URL for displaying the advertisement is http://ad.doubleclick.net.

Ad space The area of a web page that is set aside for banner advertising.

Ad view Similar in concept to a page impression;

describes one viewing of an advertisement by a single member of its audience. The same as ad impression, the term that is more commonly used.

Advertisement Advertisements on web sites are usually banner advertisements positioned as a masthead on the page. Advertising broker See Media broker.

Advertising networks A collection of independent web sites of different companies and media networks, each of which has an arrangement with a single advertising broker (see Media broker) to place banner advertisements. Affiliate networks A reciprocal arrangement between a company and third-party sites where traffic is directed to the company from third-party sites through banner advertisements and links and incentives. In return for linking to the destination site the third-party site will typically receive a proportion of any resulting sale.

Agents Software programs that can assist people to perform tasks such as finding particular information such as the best price for a product. Aggregated buying A form of customer union where buyers collectively purchase a number of items at the same price and receive a volume discount.

Allowable cost per acquisition A target maximum cost for generating leads or new customers profitably. Alt tags Alt tags appear after an image tag and contain a phrase associated with that image. For example: <img src="logo.gif" alt="Company name, company products"/>.

Analysis phase The identification of the requirements of a web site. Techniques to achieve this may include focus groups, questionnaires sent to existing customers or interviews with key accounts. Animated banner advertisements (animated GIFs) Early banner advertisements featured only a single advertisement, but today they will typically involve several different images, which are displayed in sequence to help to attract attention to the banner and build up a theme, often ending with a call to action and the injunction to click on the banner. These advertisements are achieved through supplying the ad creative as an animated GIF file with different layers or frames, usually a rectangle of 468 by 60 pixels. Animated banner advertisements are an example of rich-media advertisements.

Announcements See Site announcements.

Archie A database containing information on what documents and programs are located on FTP servers. It would not be used in a marketing context unless one were looking for a specific piece of software or document name.

Asymmetric encryption Both parties use a related but different key to encode and decode messages. Attrition rate Percentage of site visitors who are lost at each stage in making a purchase.

Audit (external) Consideration of the business and economic environment in which the company operates. This includes the economic, political, fiscal, legal, social, cultural and technological factors (usually referred to by the acronym STEP or SLEPT). Audit (internal) A review of web site effectiveness. Auditors See Site auditors. Authentication See Security methods.

Autoresponders Software tools or agents running on web servers that automatically send a standard reply to the sender of an e-mail message. This may provide information for a standard request sent to, say, price [email protected] name.com, or it could simply state that the message or order has been forwarded to the relevant person and will be answered within two days. (Also known as mailbots.)

Availability See Security methods; Site availability.

Avatar A term used in computer-mediated environments to mean a 'virtual person'. Derived from the word's original meaning: 'n. the descendant of a Hindu deity in a visible form; incarnation; supreme glorification of any principle'.

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