Ranya Barakat

Email Marketing Terms You Should Know

Reading time: 6 minutes

The Ultimate Glossary of Email Marketing Terms

Email marketing still proves to be one of the most effective forms of marketing available today. Accoridng to Direct Marketing email marketing ROI of 4300%.Below are email marketing terms you're most likely to come across as you deal with  email marketing. 


A/B split: This refers to a method of testing your list for best results. Your list is split into two with every alternate name going to a list. A different email is sent to each list. The objective is to measure which subject line, creative and message has higher conversion rates.

Above the fold: Above the fold is an old newspaper term, it refers to the top half of the paper you see on a newsstand that shows the top story. This term has been adopted in email marketing to describe the top 1/3 of an Email that's viewable when the message is opened without scrolling. Your most valuable content should be in this area as it is considered more valuable because the reader sees it first. The Entrepreneur's Guide to Social Media Prospecting

Acceptable Spam Report Rate: Your email list subscribers have the option to report your messages as SPAM if the don’t want your email, acceptable spam report rate is the rate at which your email campaign recipents can report you as SPAM. Anything over 0.1% (1 report per 1000 emails) will get a warning.

Acceptance Rate: This is the percentage of email messages that are accepted by your recipient's mail servers. Even that your email has been accepted it can be still flagged as spam and will never reach your recipent's inbox.

Acquisition cost: This is the cost to generate one lead or one customer, that depends on the campaign's objective. This is calculated by dividing the total cost of the email campaign divided by the number of leads, subscribers or customers generated.

Autoresponder: Event triggered email message sent, can be set-up to send new subscriber welcome message, when a lead is converted by filling a form on a landing page, or ecommerce transactions, etc. Autoresponders can be as simple as a single message or an advanced work flow that sends a series of email marketing campaigns.

Block: ISPs servers block emails from domains and IP addresse that have been reported as spam. 

Bounce Rate: The rate at which your emails are not delivered. This can be because of many reasons, such as invalid email, mailbox full, etc.. It is important that you track your bounce rate.

Call to action: To engage and convert your subsribers, your email message should have a call-to-action that clearly what is action to take next.

CAN-SPAM: The law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

Clickthrough rate (CTR): Total number of clicks on links in your email messagedivided by the total number of emails sent.

Conversion Rate: The percentage of recipients who respond to your call-to-action in a campaign either by filling in a form with their information or downloading content, watching a video etc… Conversion rate is your metric for the success or failure of your promotion / campaign.

Double Opt-In: This is the advised method of building an email list since it asks subscribers to confirm their subscription following an instruction in a follow-up email. This is done as a method to make sure that the subscriber is a real person who wants to join this mailing list.

Dynamic content: Email content that changes from one recipient to the nextbased on the interests or past behavior of the viewer. .

Email Campaign: A single email or series of lead nurturing emails designed to accomplish an overall marketing goal.

Email Filter: A technique used to block email based on the sender, subject line, or content of an email. The increase in email filters has forced the email marketers to find ways of getting passed the filters. Personalisation is the best way.

Event triggered email: Pre-programmed messages sent automatically based on an event such as shopping cart abandoment, birthday, click on a call to action in a previous email campaign, a tweet with a specific #hashtag etc..

Footer: The bottom of your email that contains static information. Usually, the footers are home to contact information, address, disclaimer, and an unsubscribe link.

Grey-listing: An anti-spam technique that has the mail receiving server return a failure code that says the mail should be retried later, with the hope that spammers would not maker further attempts. 

Hard Bounce: Hard bounce is the failed delivery of an email due to a permanent reason like a non-existent, invalid, or blocked email address. Hard bounce emails should be removed from your list.

HTML message: Email message which contains HTML to add color,fonts, embed images and videos, and  hyperlinks.

List Segmentation: The more information you have about each person on your email list, the better your email segmentation becomes. Information you are looking for is things like age range, gender, interests, social profiles, industry etc.. A segmented list means a more targeted and relevant email campaign, thus a higher response rate and less unsubscribes and spam reports.

Open Rate: The percentage of emails opened in an email marketing campaign, or the percentage opened of the total number of emails sent. This is a very important metric because it gives you an indication on the success of your email subject line. Was it exciting enough and therefore opened?

Opt-in: When a person gives permission for a specific company to send them email.

Opt-out: A specific request from an email recopeint to unsubscibe from the email list.

Personalisation: This works parallel to your list segmentation. Personalized emails containing the information you know about the recipient will increase the open and conversion rates.

Plain text: Text in an email message that includes no formatting code. See HTML.

Preview Text: Some email clients (Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, Windows Mobile 7) will display a portion of your preheader text as “preview”. This text is what the user sees before opening your email

Rich Media: Rich media emails usually have high open and click through rates. Remember though that rich media email require more bandwidth and are not compatible with all email clients and devices. So make sure before you send an email with rich media, to only send it to a segmented list based on the recipients email client and device.

Signature: An e-mail signature is a block of text that is appended to the end of an e-mail message you send. Generally, a signature is used to provide the recipient with your name, e-mail address, business contact information, or Web site URL

Single Opt-In: A single opt-in list is an email list sign-up  process, Where the users don't need to confirm their subscription request. 

Soft Bounce: A soft bounce is the failed delivery of an email due to a temporary issue, like a full mailbox or an unavailable server.

Spam: Irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to large numbers of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.

Test: Always send a test email to your testing team before it goes out to your full list. Always. Test: A necessary step before sending an email campaign or newsletter. Many email clients permit you to send a test email before sending a regular email newsletter or solo mailing, in which you would send one copy of the message to an in-house email address and then review it for formatting or copy errors or improperly formatted links. Email marketers should also send a test campaign to a list of email addresses not in the deployment database to determine likely response rates and how well different elements in the message perform.

Transactional email: Are sent to one person as a result of an action triggered by the user. These are automated notifications such as welcome emails, shipping notices, order confirmations, password reminders, purchase receipts, etc.

Unsubscribe Link: Every email must have an unsubscribe link that the user can click on and follow instructions. Make sure that it is very clear where this link is all of your emails. Emails without unsubscribe options are commonly considered as spam.

Whitelist: Rather than listing IP addresses to block, a whitelist includes IP addresses that have been approved to deliver email to a recipient.

I hope you find these useful and helpful. If you have any additional tips to add to this list, drop a line in the comment box below.


Ranya Barakat

Ranya Barakat

Ranya is an entrepreneur with over a decade experience in pulling up her sleeves and getting S*** done. She is specialized in inbound marketing and inbound sales.

Twitter Linkedin

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. With * you will find the data required to make the comment.

Related posts

Inbound Marketing:  What is the buyer journey?

Today’s digital marketing trends are highly competitive and challenging. Customers want unique market perspectives, they are highly segmented, and like to be educated and explore several alternatives ...

10 Great Books That Improve Skills Of An Entrepreneur

Q1 is almost coming an end, and the ball is rolling. If you are an entrepreneur you will most probably be asking yourself the dreadful questions; are you on target? Are you achieving your q1 set ...