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37 Email Marketing Glossary – Email Marketers must know!

Email Uplers have always liked to incarnate & tag the latest trend. A lot of glossaries exist in the marketplace and if you are a newfangled kid i...

Email Uplers have always liked to incarnate & tag the latest trend. A lot of glossaries exist in the marketplace and if you are a newfangled kid in the Email industry, it might be imperative to excogitate the following terms.

Uplers scoured through the Email Guide’s version of Email Marketing terms and found some of the below ones interesting enough to be shared.

A/B Split Test In order to test which of two designs, offers, or approaches is more effective, a mailing list is divided into two equal segments, and each segment is sent one of the two designs.
Above-the-fold When you initially open a web page, this is the portion that you first see without having to scroll. On a Website, since it is the most readily visible, it is the most desirable location. Subscriber sign-ups, banners, headlines, links, or tags are most effective when placed “above the fold”.
Acquisition Campaign An email marketing campaign used to acquire new customers or leads.
Blacklist When domains or IP addresses are identified as senders of SPAM (unsolicited commercial email), they are placed on a blacklist. ISPs often use blacklists in their filtering process to determine which IP addresses will be banned from their servers and to protect members from unwanted email. Blacklists also include legitimate email service providers that end up there after a few spam complaints.
Bounce (Bounce Back) When an email is returned to the sender, usually with a message indicating that an email sent to a particular address could not be delivered. This happens when the address is no longer valid or the recipient’s ISP and/or email servers were not functioning for 3 days in a row. (See also: Hard Bounce; Soft Bounce)
Blocking Action taken by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or corporate server to prevent email messages from suspected spammers to reach the inbox of their intended destination. The ISP usually bounces back a message to the sender to inform them that their email has been blocked.
Call-to-Action Wording that encourages an email recipient or website visitor to take a certain action. Some examples are: “Click here to subscribe to the newsletter”, “Register today for a free trial of our marketing resources!”, “Download this valuable article now!”, etc.
Click Through Rate (CTR) This indicator of response to a given email message is measured by the percentage of recipients that click on a link enclosed in the email. To determine the CTR, divide the number of responses by the number of emails opened. Multiply the result by 100 to express it as a percentage.
Click-to-Open Ratio Ratio calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of email messages opened.
CPA (or Cost Per Acquisition) Payment is contingent on specific actions, such as sales or registrations.
CPL (Cost Per Lead) Payment is contingent on the generation of a lead or prospect.
CPM (or Cost Per Thousand) Cost per thousand names on a given rental list (really bad idea).
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) Style sheets are a way to describe the look and feel of an HTML document. Cascading style sheets refer to the hierarchy of styles, where styles found further down in the document take precedence over previous styles. Though used heavily on web pages, CSS is not recommended in emails due to the fact that some email programs ignore them.

For Information on how to implement CSS in email, visit here.

Deliverability Ways of ensuring that email messages are delivered to the inbox and aren’t blocked or rerouted by spam filters. The ongoing challenge for email marketers is to avoid being classified as spam. Successful deliverability depends on the use of best practices, including authentication and email reputation.
Drip Campaign Steady, low-level stream of advertising for a product or service to maintain general awareness of the brand

Uplers have compiled an infographic for an in-depth information about drip-email marketing

Dynamic Content Content inserted into an email based on individual subscriber information. Includes personalizing emails with a subscriber’s email address or using “If statements” to insert whole blocks of content.
Email Hygiene Accuracy of name and address info on a list. The greater the hygiene, the greater the deliverability.
False positive Occurs when a legitimate permission-based email is mistakenly filtered and/or blocked as spam.
Frequency Time sequence spacing in the distribution of an email message, newsletter, or campaign. Frequency can be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc.
Hard bounce Failed delivery of an email message that is returned to the sender due to a permanent reason that cannot be resolved, such as a non-existent address, an unknown recipient, or a domain name that doesn’t exist.
House List Another name used to describe an email list of subscribers.
List Churn The value that represents how many subscribers you lose in a specific time period.
List Rental The act of renting access to an email list but not actually physically gaining control of the list. Typically will include deployment of your message to the list. Any list rental that gives you physical control of the mailing list is a poor practice.
Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) Also called mail relay. Software used in all email marketing tools that transfers email messages from one computer to another. Responsible for the core tasks of email delivery including queuing, scheduling, connection management, data transfer, processing of deferrals, bounce generation, and delivery status tracking. Includes features for handling inbound email like replies and remotely bounced messages. MTAs work in the background while users interact directly with the email marketing tool. A correctly configured MTA can have great impact on the deliverability and performance of the email marketing tool.
Mobile Email Emails received on a mobile device.
Opt-In (or subscribe) An active agreement to receive messages from an email marketer, giving permission to the sender to send their messages to you. There are different types of opt-in practices, ranging in complexity. (See also: Double Opt-in, Notified Opt-in, Opt out, Single Opt-in)
Opt-In List A list of subscribers who actively agree by giving express permission to receive email from the sender.
Opt-Out (or Unsubscribe) An active demand, via email or other means, to be removed from an email marketing or membership list. To opt-out or unsubscribe, list members either click an “Unsubscribe” link in a website or email message, or they reply to an email message with the word “Unsubscribe” in the subject field.
Preference Center Webpage that connects a modifiable web form which will update a subscriber’s preferences ideally used for changes in email address, contact info, or updating and modifying subscription preferences.
Seed List A list of email addresses added to another mailing list at the point of send, typically adding a group of internal email addresses to a distribution.
Segmentation (Segmented Research Data) A subset of a mailing list based on specific criteria. Can be used in place of mailing lists when launching emails to target subscribers. The segmentation criteria could be the date a subscriber was added to the list, date last modified, email domain, custom field data (such as location), and behavioral conditions such as whether subscribers opened emails or clicked links.
Send Rate Number of messages that are sent from an email system on an hourly basis. (Also see Throttling.)
Soft Bounce Failed delivery of an email that is rejected for a temporary reason, like a full mailbox on the recipients end, or receiving server maintenance, etc.
Throttling Ability to regulate the flow of your email marketing delivery over time. Typical throttling settings would entail delivering X number of messages per hour. The purpose of this is either to prevent the overload of messages at an ESP or to help limit responses over time on your website.
Trigger Email Campaign Automatic email campaign that sends messages to subscribers based on an outside influence or action that takes place. Example: If a subscriber opens or clicks on one particular message, we will then transmit another appropriate message.
Viral Design When the design of an email makes subscribers feel impelled to pass it on to others, thus leveraging the email marketing effort. The designers of the email include elements, functions, and content which has that contagious appeal.
Whitelist List of commercial mailers approved to send through a certain ISP. Each email sender provides the ISP with a list of the IP addresses from which email will be sent and sometimes completes a test period after which each is approved or rejected.

We hope these terms enlightened a monk inside you. Feel free to chat with us live or drop us a line to get the best Email Coding and Consultancy services.

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Kevin George

Kevin is the Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing full-service email marketing companies. He is an email enthusiast at heart and loves to pen down email marketing content. You can reach him at or connect with him on LinkedIn.



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