As with offline advertising, industry participants have undertaken numerous efforts to self-regulate and develop industry standards or codes of conduct. Several United States advertising industry organizations jointly published Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising based on standards proposed by the FTC in 2009. European ad associations published a similar document in 2011. Primary tenets of both documents include consumer control of data transfer to third parties, data security, and consent for collection of certain health and financial data.:2–4 Neither framework, however, penalizes violators of the codes of conduct.
Historically, it has been difficult to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns because target markets cannot be adequately defined. Email marketing carries the benefit of allowing marketers to identify returns on investment and measure and improve efficiency. Email marketing allows marketers to see feedback from users in real time, and to monitor how effective their campaign is in achieving market penetration, revealing a communication channel's scope. At the same time, however, it also means that the more personal nature of certain advertising methods, such as television advertisements, cannot be captured.
A standard industry term used in email marketing to describe the act of "blasting" a message out to a group of hundreds or thousands of people simultaneously, similar to the act of "blasting" a verbal message out with a loud speaker. Typically used to differentiate between two-way email interactions (where a customer emails a question and the company responds), and one-way bulk email interactions (such as newsletters or promotions).
As advertisers collect data across multiple external websites about a user's online activity, they can create a detailed profile of the user's interests to deliver even more targeted advertising. This aggregation of data is called behavioral targeting. Advertisers can also target their audience by using contextual to deliver display ads related to the content of the web page where the ads appear.:118 Retargeting, behavioral targeting, and contextual advertising all are designed to increase an advertiser's return on investment, or ROI, over untargeted ads.