This glossary of email marketing terms does not have the goal to be all comprehensive. We aimed at listing the most important terms for non-techies. Feel free to ask your questions in the comment section or send an email to email@example.com
Unsolicited email or email that we didn’t sign up (opt in) to receive.
The recipient actually determines whether your email is spam.
This act is the minimum standard for sending commercial email in the United States. Most email service providers (ESPs) have much stricter requirements.
A list of “approved” IP addresses and senders. If an Internet service provider (ISP) has whitelist an IP address, it is more likely to accept incoming email from that address. Having your sending IP address whitelisted does not guarantee that your email will be delivered 100% of the time.
A list of specific email or IP addresses blocked from by an email provider or spam filter.
Permission-based email marketing
Asking for, and obtaining, permission to email subscribers is the basis of permission marketing. Most often, subscribers will check a box to give you consent (permission) to send them emails.
Confirmable proof received from the subscriber that indicates they want you to communicate with them.
Opt-in, also Double opt-in
The act of someone granting their permission to be added to a list. Double-opt in if asked to confirm subscription.
Someone who has opted in to your list in order to receive emails from you.
A collection of subscribers that have opted-in to receive correspondence from you or your organization.
Buying an email list normally involves not only an exchange of money but also an actual handover of an email list (a file).
List renter is using the list owner’s email addresses to send a targeted message.
A section of your list that includes only those subscribers who share specific common field information. Group categorizes subscribers based on their interests or preferences
Comma separated values: *.csv
File type for storing tabular data and a preferred file type when importing/exporting subscribers and/or data from or to provider’s database
Each bulk email that is sent to the list is considered a separate campaign.
Campaign type that allows 2 different versions of the same campaign to be tested and determine the better option. Subject lines, from names, or send times can be tested along with content.
Content of a campaign tailored for each subscriber (Dear |:firstname:|) Mergetags.
A method of sending that allows for a campaign to be sent in chunks, at least a few minutes apart, to help alleviate website traffic floods to the sender’s website.
Deliverability, also Inbox Deliverability
sometimes Email Deliverability Rate, indicates the ability to deliver opt-in email messages and place them before the recipient.
A stat that indicates the campaign has been opened and viewed by your subscribers. When an email is opened and its images viewed, an invisible open-tracker graphic that we embed into your email is downloaded from our server. Each time that graphic is downloaded, it is counted that as an open on the campaign report.
The measure of opens per sent email campaign divided by the number of people sent that campaign on a list.
The number of clicks that occur in a sent campaign divided by the number of people sent to on that list.100 people and 12 of them clicked on one or more links, your click-through rate would be 12%.
Bounce also: soft bounce, hard bounce
An email can be returned as “bounced” for many reasons, typo in email address, unknown user, full inbox.
Hard bounce: email positively cannot be delivered.
Softbounce: indicates a temporary delivery issue, (inbox is full) (server is down)
Campaign type where content is automatically populated by blog post and triggered to send once a day, once a week, or once a month automatically when the RSS feed is updated with new posts.
Email service provider (ESP)
An ESP is an organization that provides a tool or service that enables marketers to send out mass emails to their clients, prospects, and customers.
Examples: Mailchimp, Constant Contact, AWeber,
Cost per thousand (CPM)
thousand of email sent in a month/year
list of 2000 – sending 4 campaigns a month: 8,000 emails sent.