Marketing is full of jargon. Email marketing even more so. As email forms a central part of your marketing strategy, it’s important we know exactly what we’re working with and what results we’re looking for. These are our key email marketing terms.
100 email marketing terms you need to know
- A/B split test: An A/B split test measures the performance of two variables in your email. For example, two subject lines or two calls to action.
- Abandoned cart email: An abandoned cart email is a triggered automation reminding customers about items they’ve added to their shopping carts after they exit your website.
- Abandoned browse email: Abandoned browse emails are triggered when customers exit your website after visiting specific high-intent pages.
- Above the fold: This refers to the visible part of your email that’s visible without scrolling. It’s important for email marketing as it’s the first visual customers see when they open their email.
- Acceptable spam report rate: Your acceptable spam report rate is the rate at which you can be reported as SPAM without it harming your reputation. Anything over 0.1% (1 report per 1000 email sends) will get a warning.
- Active subscriber: An active subscriber is an email subscriber with regularly opens your marketing campaigns.
- Alt-text: Alt text, also known as alt attribution, is used to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page or in an email. This is useful when image blocking is turned on in a recipient’s inbox.
- Application program interface (API): An API is a program (or application) that accesses another to share data. In ecommerce marketing, an API connects your ecommerce platform to your email vendor. It enables data to be shared back and forth between the platforms.
- Artificial intelligence (AI): AI marketing uses artificial intelligence to make automated decisions based on data collection, analysis, and observations of trends. AI decisions help make personalized marketing quicker and more efficient.
- Autoresponder: An autoresponder email is sent out after users take a specific action. For example, after a customer subscribes or unsubscribes from your marketing.
- Batch and blast: Batch and blast email marketing is a common term that refers to sending mass email marketing without tactics such as personalization and segmentation. Also known as bulk mail.
- Behavioral email: Behavioral emails are based on their history. For example, if they purchased a specific product, or visited a certain page on your website.
- Birthday program: This is an automation campaign based on customer data. Ecommerce brands use them to engage customers and drive sales.
- Blacklist: A blacklist contains IP addresses considered to be spammer IPs, disrupting email deliverability. They’re considered to be spam or fraudulent.
- Bounce rate: Your bounce rate is the rate of undelivered emails. A good bounce rate is less than 5%.
- Broadcast: Broadcast emails are sent to your entire email database wihtout using segmentation tactics.
- Bulk mail: Bulk mail is the name for large-scale email marketing that sends the same content to a large group of contacts.
- Business to business (B2B): B2B is a business model that focuses on one business making a commercial transaction with another.
- Business to consumer (B2C): B2C is a business model in which businesses sell products or services to services to consumers.
- Call to action (CTA): A call to action is the action you’re requesting email recipients to take, for example, clicking a link, purchasing a product, or booking a demo.
- CAN-SPAM: CAN-SPAM is short for ‘Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003’. It’s an American law created to reduce spam from commercial emails.
- Click-through: A click-through happens when a recipient clicks on a tracked link in your email marketing.
- Click-through rate (CTR): The click-through rate is the total number of clicks divided by the number of emails sent.
- Clicks per open (CPO): Clicks per open is a percentage measure of the number of clicks divided by the total number of opens.
- Content: Content refers to all the material in your email including pictures, copy, videos, and more.
- Conversion rate: Your conversion rate is the percentage of recipients who respond to your CTA in your email marketing campaign. This is a clear measure of success for most brands.
- CRM: A CRM is a customer relationship management system that manages interactions with customers and potential customers. A CRM system helps build customer relationships and streamline processes to increase sales and improve customer service.
- Customer data: Customer data is personal, behavioral, and democratic data collecting for marketing purposes from their customer base. You can use this data to personalize and trigger email marketing campaigns.
- Customer engagement: Customer engagement is every interaction you have with a customer, from the first interaction onwards. Engagement extends beyond the point of purchase and across your marketing channels.
- Customer experience: Customer experience refers to a customer’s perception of your brand, based on their interaction with your business.
- Data hygiene: Data or list hygiene is the best practice of cleaning out your email marketing lists by removing recipients who have unsubscribed are inactive, and updating list information.
- Dedicated IP: In email marketing terms, your dedicated IP is the address from which only you can send email marketing.
- Deliverability: Deliverability refers to how well an email sender can deliver emails that land in recipients’ inboxes.
- Direct to consumer (D2C): D2C is an ecommerce strategy where traditional B2B businesses sell directly to end-consumers, cutting out the need for intermediaries that would have previously sold their products to consumers.
- Double opt-in: A double opt-in email asks new subscribers to confirm they want to receive your emails. This is the recommended method of building an email list as it confirms that your audience’s engagement.
- Drip campaign or drip marketing: A drip campaign, or drip marketing, is an automated program that sends subscribers a series of connected emails over a set amount of time.
- Dynamic content: Dynamic content is specific content in your email that changes depending on the recipient such as location, gender, or being a new customer.
- Ecommerce: Ecommerce is the electronic activity of buying or selling of products on online services or over the internet. Ecommerce retailers can be B2B and B2C.
- Email campaign: An email campaign is a single send or series of lead nurturing emails that aim to achieve a specific marketing goal. Launching a new product would be an example of an email campaign.
- Email client: An email client is the software customers use to read emails, such as Outlook and Gmail.
- Email service provider (ESP): An email service provider is the email hosting platform that empowers marketers to send email campaigns to a list of subscribers.
- Email templates: Email templates are pre-designed templates which your ESP provides or they’re built by internal design teams.
- Email newsletter: An email newsletter should be a core part of your email marketing. It distributes editorial content on a regular basis, rather than serving up commercial, sales-based information.
- Event-triggered email marketing: Event email marketing uses triggered automation before, during, and after an event.
- False positive: A false positive is a blocked email flagged as spam despite being legitimate and permission-based.
- Follow-up email: A follow-up email is a triggered email or series of emails in response to the actions of your customers.
- Forward: A email can be forwarded when an email recipient sends your message to people they know, either because they believe they’ll be interested or because you offer incentives to forward messages.
- Friendly “from” name: Your friendly “from” name is the name that appears beside your subject line in the recipient’s inbox.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): GDPR is a European regulation in law created in 2016 to protect the personal data and privacy of email marketing recipients.
- GIF: A GIF is a short video, only a few second long, which play on a loop to create continuous movement.
- Hard bounce: A hard bounce is an email that bounces because the email recipient’s address no longer exists, is invalid or is a blocked email address.
- Header: The header of your email is where your logo sits, but can also include social media links and more.
- HTML email: A HTML email enables you to get more creative with the design of your email by editing the HTML code.
- Image blocking: Image blocking is a setting that can be turned on and off by the individual email recipient. When images are turned off, alt-text is displayed.
- Inactive subscribers: Inactive subscribers are email recipients that haven’t opened your emails in a set amount of time. For example, they haven’t opened an email for six months.
- IP address: An IP address is a unique number assigned to each device connected to the internet. Static IP addresses are best, as dynamic IP addresses that change with each send often trigger spam filters.
- IP warmup: When you switch email service providers, you need to build the reputation of your new dedicated IP address. An IP warmup involves progressively sending more emails to establish a strong sender reputation.
- Landing page: A landing page is a dedicated lead capture page that is linked to from your email marketing. It provides additional information directly related to the products or services promoted in your email marketing.
- Lead nurturing: Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with your leads and nurturing them through the buying process.
- List churn: Also known as your unsubscribe rate, your list churn is the number of contacts who have unsubscribed, divided by the total number of email recipients.
- List growth: List growth is based on how many new subscribers joined your marketing list over a set period of time.
- List hygiene: See data hygiene.
- List segmentation: See segmentation.
- Liquid script: Liquid script allows you to take the personalization of your emails to the next level. Liquid script uses filters to manipulate data and change the form it takes. You can personalize images with contacts’ names using liquid script.
- Marketing automation: Marketing automation streamlines your digital marketing to help you work more efficiently. You can automate your email marketing by triggering email series and campaigns depending on customers’ prior behavior.
- Marketing list: Your marketing list is a group of contacts who have consented to receive your email marketing.
- Marketing preferences: Marketing preferences are options you give your contacts to determine how and what they want to receive from you. The more preferences you can collect, the easier it’ll be to send relevant email marketing.
- Mobile open rate: Your mobile open rate is the number of email recipients who opened your email marketing on a mobile device, divided by the total number of email recipients.
- Multivariate testing: Multivariate tests involves testing more than one variable at a time rather than the same variable. An example of this would be testing the subject line and call to action in the same send.
- Open rate: Your open rate is the number of email opens divided by the total number of emails sent.
- Opt-in or subscribe: An opt-in is a specific, pro-active request by an individual to receive your email marketing by supplying their email address to your business.
- Opt-out or unsubscribe: An unsubscribe is when a contact chooses not to receive your email communications anymore and request to be removed from your marketing lists.
- Personalization: Personalization is the inclusion of customer data in your email marketing. For example, you can use a contact’s name, past purchases, or geographic location to personalize your email marketing.
- Physical address: Your physical address is the street address of your company. Usually found in the footer of an email, it’s a legal requirement to include in all your email marketing efforts.
- Plain text email: A plain text email is one without HTML code. Giving your readers the choice to read your emails in HTML or plain text is good for readability purposes.
- Preferences: See marketing preferences.
- Preview text: Preview text is the text shown under the subject line in the inbox. Its purpose is to give the email recipient an idea of what to expect in your email.
- Product recommendation: A product recommendation filters data to predict and display items in your ecommerce catalog that a user would like to purchase.
- Promotional email: Promotional emails advertise new content, products, services, and more.
- Re-engagement: Re-engagement is the activity you undertake to turn inactive subscribers into active subscribers. Common tactics for this include discount codes and running competitions.
- Responsive design: Responsive design refers to an email design that changes based on the device your email is opened on, such as on mobile, tablet, or desktop. All your email marketing should be responsive.
- Revenue per email sent: This is a calculation that tells you how much money you’ve made per email sent. To calculate divide revenue generated by total emails sent minus the bounces.
- RFM: RFM stands for Recency, Frequency, and Monetary and is a method for measuring customer value. Ecommerce brands use it to segment audiences based on how much they spend and how frequently they shop.
- Segmentation: Segmentation enables marketers to divide marketing lists into smaller groups that share similar traits. For example, you can segment customers based on location or gender.
- Soft bounce: A soft bounce is an email delivery that has failed due to a temporary issue such as a full inbox.
- Spam: Spam, also known as an unsolicited commercial email (UCE), is an email sent to someone who’s not opted-in or given permission to the sender. Emails considered to be spam automatically land in a spam folder.
- Subject line: The subject line is the text of an email that users see when an email lands in their inbox.
- Subscriber: A subscriber is a person who has opted-in, specifically requesting to join your mailing list and receive your marketing.
- Testing: Testing is best practice and involves testing various elements of your email to a small group of contacts to determine the best options to engage your audience. You can choose to perform A/B tests or multivariate tests.
- Throttling: Throttling is the practice of sending emails in batches to a large list of contacts to improve your deliverability rate.
- Transactional email: Transactional emails are sent after customers complete a transaction. Order confirmations and shipping notices are examples of transactional emails.
- Triggered email: A triggered email arrives in the customer’s inbox after they complete a specific action. For example, when a customer leaves a high-intent page like a pricing page, that triggers an abandoned browse email.
- Unengaged contacts: See inactive subscriber.
- Unique clicks: Unique clicks count the number of individual subscribers who have clicked on the links in your email.
- Unique open rate: Your unique open rate is the number of individuals who opened your email divided by the total number of recipients.
- Unsubscribe rate: Unsubscribe rates are calculated by dividing the number of email subscribers who unsubscribed by the total number of email recipients. Also known as list churn.
- Welcome email: Automated welcome emails are the first emails new subscribers receive when they subscribe to your email marketing.
- White list: A whitelist includes IP addresses approved to deliver emails to a recipient. This usually occurs when a user moves an email from the spam folder to their inbox or another folder, indicating they want to receive these emails.