As a Millennial or a Gen Z’er, you’ve probably encountered a lot of acronyms in your short life. OMG, LOL, WTF, ROFL, TBD, ILY, NSFW, BRB, BTW, JK, LMAO, ASAP, TTYL, TMI, SOL, NP, IRL, TBA, BFF, FYI, and probably way more that I don’t even know about yet.
But what happens when you’re in the office for your first internship or professional entry level job, and you get an email from your boss with acronyms like WOMBAT in it??
The business world loves acronyms almost as much as you do, so take a look at a few of the most common acronyms you will likely encounter in your career:
EOD: End of Day, EOW: End of Week
Example: “Please finish and submit this project by EOD.”
This one can be used in one of two primary ways:
EOM: End of Month
EOM: End of message. If you’re sending a very short email, you might end with EOM to signal that there isn’t anything else you meant to include in the email. You can also put it at the end of the Subject Line if that says it all and there is no body to the email.
Example: “Subject Line: Please Empty Dishwasher EOM”
OOO/OOF: Out of Office. When you’re going on vacation or will otherwise not be checking your email regularly, you can set up an automated reply to let others know where to direct their questions while you’re gone.
Example: “I’ll be OOO 1/29 – 2/2 and will not be checking email. Please direct inquiries to Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org”
WFH: Working From Home
Example: “I’m not feeling well so I’ll be WFH today but will be available on email and text from 8am to 6pm”
NWR: Not Work-Related
Example: “NWR: my daughter is selling Girl Scout Cookies. Would anyone like to order some?”
B2B: Business to Business. A type of commerce where businesses sell products and services to other businesses (e.g. software, consulting, office supplies, etc.)
B2C: Business to Consumer. A type of commerce where businesses sell products and services to consumers (e.g. clothing, groceries, haircuts, etc.)
Example: “Microsoft’s B2B line is outperforming its B2C operations.”
ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival
Example: “Running late this morning. ETA 9:15am”
KPI: Key Performance Indicators. The primary measures of how a company or campaign is performing. These can be sales figures, number of active monthly users, growth of social media following, etc.
Example: “Martin, please have your numbers ready for the monthly KPI reporting meeting on Friday.”
NRN: No Response Needed
Example: “Hi all, here is the weekly progress report for donations to the Annual Fund campaign. NRN.”
CTA: Call-To-Action. The thing you want your audience or customer to do when they engage with your marketing materials, such as click on a link, call your company, buy a product, share an article on social media, donate to a campaign, or sign up for a mailing list.
Example: “Susan, you need to make the CTA more clear on this email newsletter.”
RFP: Request for Proposal. A solicitation for bids on professional services from other companies.
RFI: Request for Information. A solicitation for information on service capabilities from other companies.
Example: “Toyota sent out an RFP to ad agencies this morning because they want to launch a new campaign. Let’s meet at noon to plan our proposal.”
Example: “Right now, sales are largely driven by WOM. We need to increase our marketing budget to grow the customer base and increase sales.”
SMB: Small and Medium-sized Businesses
Example: “Sales are strong with our SMB partners, but we’d still like to break into the enterprise market.”
CRM: Customer Relationship Management
Example: “Salesforce is a popular CRM software.”
WOMBAT: Waste of Money, Brains, and Time
WIIFM: What’s In It For Me?
DQYDJ: Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Example: “This first idea is a WOMBAT. This second idea is good but WIIFM? Also, I saw some videos of you singing Mariah Carey covers. DQYDJ.”
CPA: Cost-per-action. The cost to the advertiser of a specific marketing action: someone seeing a Facebook ad, a user clicking on a link, someone downloading an app, etc.
PPC: Pay-per-click. A form of CPA in which the advertiser pays for every time someone clicks on their paid link.
Example: “Our current CPA with this app download ad is $0.40.”
CTR: Click-Through Rate. The ratio of users who click on a link to the number of users who see the link or the ad.
Example: “The CTR on our last email newsletter was 10%.”
SEO: Search Engine Optimization. The process of improving the visibility of your website or web page on a search engine’s unpaid results page.
SEM: Search Engine Marketing. A form of digital marketing focused on improving the visibility of a website or web page, both with SEO improvements and with paid advertising like PPC.
Example: “Our SEM manager has improved the ranking of our site on search engine results pages, but further SEO improvements to the site are necessary to reduce our reliance on PPC.”
ROI: Return on Investment
Example: “I like the idea of this campaign, but I’m not sure if the ROI will be worth it.”
NDA: Non-Disclosure Agreement. A contract employers sometimes make you sign when you accept a new job. Signing the contract usually means you agree not to share any confidential information you learn about the company or its products to the general public.
Example: “Once you sign the NDA, complete your I-9 form, and set up direct deposits with our payroll department, you’ll be good to go!”
CMS: Content Management System. Computer applications like WordPress that allow companies to write, edit, and manage content like blog posts from a central interface.
Example: “We’ll need to choose a CMS tool if we want to launch a blog that all of our writers can have access to.”
MoM: Month over Month. Changes in key figures like sales from one month to the next.
QoQ: Quarter over Quarter. Changes in key figures like sales from one quarter to the next.
YoY: Year over Year. Changes in key figures like sales from one year to the next.
Example: “YoY, we’re up 12% in user growth, but that growth has been slowing. MoM September-October, we’re down 8%.”
UX: User Experience. The collection of attitudes, feelings, and thoughts a person has when using or engaging with a product, process, or service, like a website, app, or a trip to the DMV.
UI: User Interface. Everything you interact with when using an information device such as a computer or smartphone – the screen, keyboard, desktop, pop-ups, etc.
Example: “The UI of our re-designed website makes for a great UX.”
SaaS: Software as a Service. Software that is distributed through the internet and made available through a subscription fee, rather than installed permanently on a computer.
Example: “I’d love to work for a SaaS company like Concur someday.”
NPS: Net Promoter Score. A score of how loyal your firm’s customers are, usually on a scale between -100 and 100.
Example: “The survey we conducted last month indicates a NPS of +30.”
ISP: Internet Service Provider
Example: “Our current ISP is XFINITY/Comcast, but we’re looking to change soon.”
SLA: Service-Level Agreement. A contract between a service provider and a customer that outlines what services will be performed.
Example: “I’m still waiting on the SLA from the commercial photographer before we can start the shoot.”
RND/R&D: Research and Development
Example: “We need to spend more on RND before this product is ready to hit the market.”
QC: Quality Control. Procedures designed to check that a product, function, or service meets certain quality criteria, such as safety, reliability, and accuracy.
Example: “As a QC measure, we test every 200th bottle of wine we produce.”
ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
Example: “ICYMI, Mark is taking the team to lunch at 12 today – see you there!”
Unfortunately, this list is far from complete. You’ll probably be struggling to keep up with the latest acronyms for the rest of your life. But with the help of this starter list, sites like Urban Dictionary, and your more experienced colleagues, hopefully you’ll never encounter an acronym you can’t identify!