Email Marketing Glossary

A complete guide of the must know terms related to email marketing

Andrew Trentor
Feb 26, 2019 · 5 min read
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Email marketing like other specialized fields have terms that people in the business know and use. If you’re starting out, terms like CTA, open rate and others may seem like Greek to you. Here is a handy email marketing glossary to get you started:

  1. A/B split test: A technique for optimizing email marketing efforts that divides your email list into two with both groups getting a different email to see which converts better.
  2. Acceptance rate: This is the percentage of your emails a mail server accepts. Accepted emails don’t often equal delivery.
  3. Autoresponder: An automated message triggered by the actions of a customer. A good example is a welcome email you get when you opt-in to a newsletter.
  4. B-to-B: Business-to-Business (aka B2B). For example, B2B email marketing refers to email marketing targeted at businesses.
  5. B-to-C: Business-to-Consumer (aka B2C).
  6. Blacklist: A list of email senders presumed to be sending spam. Email senders who are blacklisted are blocked from sending emails to the people who have blacklisted them.
  7. Bounce rate: The percentage of your emails which did not deliver. Things like a subscriber deleting their email address, full inbox or server unavailability can cause your emails to bounce. Your bounce rate should not be over 5%.
  8. Call to Action (CTA): A word or phrase that encourages the subscriber to perform an action you desire. CTA copy can be seen as links or boldly colored buttons in the email.
  9. CAN-SPAM: is the acronym for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003”. This law governs commercial emails and all that concerns them in America.
  10. Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of recipients that click on any links in your email.
  11. Click-to-open rate: The percentage of people who opened your email and then clicked on a URL inside.
  12. Conversion rate: This percentage shows how many people performed a particular action in your email. Say you email your subscribers with special offers and 10 people out of 200 took advantage of your special offer to buy the item on sale, the conversion rate will be 5%.
  13. Cost per Thousand (CPM): refers to the cost per 1000 names on a leased email list. Marketers use CPT and CPM interchangeably.
  14. Delivery rate: The percentage of emails you send that reaches your subscribers’ inboxes.
  15. Double Opt-in: A method of processing new email subscribers that calls for them to confirm their email address before they can be on your list.
  16. Email Campaign: An email sent to your subscribers meant to achieve a specific marketing goal. Any promotional email you as an email marketer send to your subscribers is a campaign.
  17. Email List: A list of subscribers. Depending on who your target customers are, you may have a B2C or B2B email list.
  18. Hard Bounce: When your email isn’t delivered because of a permanent condition like your subscriber deleting their email address.
  19. Honey Pot: is an email address that serves as a spam trap. This email address is usually left where a spammer can find it. Once the email address is sent an email, spam filters flag the sender as a spammer and they can be blacklisted.
  20. Landing Page: refers to where a subscriber goes after they click on a URL in your email. It can also be used for the place a user goes to when they click on an online ad.
  21. Open rate: The percentage of all emails opened in a campaign.
  22. Opt-in: This means to provide your email address to a business thereby consenting to receive emails from said business. Subscribers can decide the type of emails they want to receive (for example, newsletters) and their areas of interest like sports or DIY tricks and tips. It can also be referred to as “subscribe”.
  23. Opt-out: A subscriber can choose to revoke consent and stop receiving emails from your business. You as the business are legally obligated to provide a clear way for your subscribers to opt out (or unsubscribe) from receiving emails from your company.
  24. Personalization: Adding personal touches in the emails you send to subscribers such as names, last purchases or their interests.
  25. Responsive Design: An email design that displays properly on mobile and other devices.
  26. Revenue per Email Sent: This shows how much you earned per each email sent.
  27. Segmentation: An email marketing technique of dividing your email list into different groups based on demographics like age, interest, occupation etc.
  28. Single Opt-in: A way of processing subscribers’ emails that don’t require them to confirm their emails (see Double Opt-in).
  29. Soft Bounce: When your email can’t be delivered because of a temporary condition like a full inbox on your subscriber end or your server is unavailable.
  30. Subject Line: This is the title or headline in an email. It is the first thing a subscriber sees before they open your email.
  31. Subscriber: A person who signs up to receive emails from your website/business.
  32. Unique clicks: This shows how many subscribers clicked on the URLs in your email. It is more specific than the click-through rate as it shows the number of people that clicked on the links rather than a total number of clicks.
  33. Unique Opens: Sometimes a subscriber may open your email more than once. This metric shows how many subscribers have opened your emails not just the number of times your emails were opened.
  34. Unsubscribe rate: The percentage tells you how often subscribers are opting out from receiving your emails. This metric can be calculated on a per campaign basis although not always.
  35. Whitelist: Unlike the blacklist, the whitelist contains email addresses that have been approved to send emails to the subscriber. Therefore email marketers will often ask subscribers to whitelist their email addresses.

Email marketing is a vast field with so many terms. This email marketing glossary only deals with a few terms. As you grow past the beginner stage in your email marketing journey, you will learn more terms.

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