Email Terms Every Marketer Needs to Know

Marketers love jargon.

And…we kind of have to.

Marketing gets really specific when it comes to promotions, campaigns, and funnels. We need to know how many active subscribers we have on a list, what a subscriber’s value is, and the difference between an open rate and a unique open rate.

The specificity of this jargon helps our teams understand exactly what’s going on under the hood of our marketing strategies.

And it helps us get those conversions.

Here are the email terms every marketer needs to know so they can skyrocket their active subscribers, give back to their most valuable subscribers, understand how many times their emails are really being opened, and so much more.

A/B Split Test (noun) – Testing variables in your email against each other to see which performs better (for example, 2 subject lines, 2 preview texts, 2 call to actions)

Active Subscriber (noun) – An email subscriber who opens emails from a sender

ALT Tags (noun) – text that describes an image to help the visually impaired understand the image and search engine crawlers to correctly index the image

Attachment (noun) – An image, PDF, or other type file added to an email that a user opens to view

Attachment Open Rate (noun) – The number of email recipients who opened the attachment in an email divided by the total number of recipients who opened the email (shown in a percentage)

Auto Follow up (noun) – An automated email sent to a user after they take a specific action (for example, after purchasing a product a user gets an automated follow up with their order confirmation and number)

Autoresponder (noun) – Emails that are automated to be sent out after users take specific actions (subscribing, clicking a link in an email, purchasing, etc.) that can range from one email to 2+

Behavioral Email (noun) – Emails sent to users depending on their history (for example, if they purchased a specific product, they visited a certain webpage, etc.)

Blacklist (noun) – A list of email senders who’s emails do not reach inboxes because of a bad reputation as being spam or fraudulent

Bounce Rate (noun) – The number of emails that couldn’t be delivered to inboxes (see Soft Bounce Rate and Hard Bounce Rate)

Broadcast (noun) –  Email(s) sent out to your entire email list, not specific to segments

Call To Action (noun) – The action you’re requesting email recipients take (for example, click on a link, purchase a product, sign up for a tutorial, etc.)

Campaign (noun) – an email or series of emails sent to customers and prospects

Canadian Anti-Spam Law, CASL (noun) – A Canadian law created in 2014 to protect Canadians from spam emails

CAN SPAM (noun) – An American law created in 2003 to reduce spam from commercial emails

Cinemagraph (noun) – Videos that are a few seconds long and loop to create continuous movement, also known as a GIF

Click (noun)- The total number of times a link in an email was clicked (not shown as a percentage and does not include the unsubscribe button)

Click To Open Rate (noun) – The number of unique clicks divided by the number of unique opens (shown as a percentage)

Click Rate (noun)  The number of email recipients who clicked a link in an email divided by the total number of recipients (shown as a percentage)

Cold email (noun) – The email version of a cold call, an email sent to a recipient who you’ve never emailed or interacted with before

Complain rate (noun) – The number of email recipients who marked an email as spam divided by the total number of email recipients (shown as a percentage)

Conversion Rate (noun) – The amount of email recipients who performed the call to action divided by the total number of recipients who opened the email (shown as a percentage)

Deliverability (adjective) – How well an email sender is able to deliver emails to recipients inboxes

Delivery rate (adjective) – The number of emails sent that reach recipients’ inboxes divided by the total number of email sent (shown as a percentage)

Deploy (verb) – To send or make live an email or email campaign

Drip Marketing (noun) – Automated marketing that sends email subscribers a series of emails over a set amount of time

DomainKeys Identified Mail, DKIM (noun) – Email authentication that lets an email recipient see if the email sender they see on the email is confirmed as the real sender of the email to avoid spam and phishing emails

Double Opt-in (noun) – An email sent to a subscriber after they’ve filled out the opt-in form (first opt-in) that asks them to confirm they want to receive emails from this sender (second opt-in)

Dynamic Content (noun) –  Specific content in an email that changes depending on the recipient such as, location, new customer, previous customer, etc.

Email Domain (noun) – The website domain name that an email is sent from seen after the @ symbol in an email

Email Marketing (noun) – Using strategized emails to promote products, services, events, brands, etc. to select people who have opted-in to receive emails from a business

Email Service Provider, ESP (noun) – The email hosting platform with the subscriber list, flows, campaigns, etc. (ex. Mailchimp, Hubspot, Klaviyo)

Email Templates (noun) – Predefined templates to use in emails, either provided by the ESP or made by your business

Email Queue (noun) – The number of people waiting to receive a live email (see Throttling)

Engage Tag (noun) – A tag that is added to the account of any person who has NOT opened an email in the past 90 days

Forwards (verb) – The number of times subscribers forwarded your email(s)

Footer (noun) – The bottom of an email that can contain a privacy policy, any necessary legal information (ex. for affiliate programs), the business’s address, the unsubscribe option, etc.

General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR (noun) – A European regulation in law created in 2016 for data protection and privacy of email recipients

GIF (noun) – Videos that are a few seconds long and loop to create continuous movement, also known as a cinemagraph

Gray email (noun– Emails that an email recipient initially subscribed to, no longer opens, but also doesn’t mark as spam

Hard bounce (verb) – An email that bounces because the recipient email address no longer exists

Header (noun) – The content in an email at the very top, usually a company logo

Honey Pot (noun) –  An email address used to trick spam senders into sending spam so they can be flagged and blacklisted

Image blocking (verb) –  A setting to turn on or off images in received emails set by individual email recipients

Inactive subscribers (adjective) – Subscribers that haven’t opened an email from a business in over a set amount of time chosen by the business, also known as unengaged

List (noun) – A group of contacts to who fulfill a specific criteria as it pertains to their lead status, purchase status, or member status

List broker (noun) – An email professional who connects businesses with large lists to email marketers who want to market to that list

List Churn (verb) – The number of email recipients who unsubscribed divided by the total number of email recipients (shown as a percentage), also known as Unsubscribe Rate

List Fatigue (adjective) – An email list with a declining engagement rate due to being sent too many promotional emails or too many emails in general

List Growth (adjective) – How many new subscribers have been added to a list in a chosen amount of time, with the consideration of list churn/unsubscribe rate

List Hygiene (noun) – Cleaning out an email list by removing recipients who have unsubscribed, inactive subscribers, and updating necessary list information

Marketing Automation (noun) – Automating email series and funnels to be sent to subscribers depending on their prior behavior

Mobile Open Rate (noun) – The number of email recipients who opened an email on mobile divided by the total number of email recipients (shown as a percentage)

Multivariate Testing (noun) – Testing more than one variable at a time (ex. subject line and call to action) as opposed to the same variables (ex. Subject line vs. subject line in an A/B test)

Newsletter (noun) – An email sent out on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. scheduled basis

Open Rate (noun) – The number of email recipients that opened an email divided by the total number of email recipients (shown as a percentage)

Opt-in Box (noun) – The form on a website where visitors fill in their email address to become subscribers

Opt-out (noun) – The option for subscribers to stop receiving emails from a recipient, usually shown at the bottom of emails as “opt-out” or “unsubscribe”

Personalized Email (noun) – An email that changes for each recipient based off of name, interests, locations, transaction history, etc.

Plain Text (adjective) – An email that doesn’t use a template and just written text with outbound links to a chosen webpage

Preview Text (noun) – The text of an email shown under the subject line that shows users what content is inside the email

Privacy Policy (noun) – The policy that tells website visitors and new email subscribers how their information is used

Promotional Email (noun) – Emails sent to advertise new content, products, services, collaborations, etc.

Reply Rate (noun) – The number of email recipients who replied to an email divided by the total number of email recipients (shown as a percentage)

Re-engage (verb) – Getting an inactive subscriber to become an active subscriber

Responsive design (adjective) – Email design that changes based on the device the email is opened on (mobile, desktop, tablet, etc.)

Revenue Per Email Sent (noun) – How much money you’ve made per email sent

Scraping (noun) – Used by spam bots to acquire new email addresses from websites, social profiles, etc.

Segmentation (noun) – A portion of an email list defined by a rule (or set of rules) narrowing down a subscriber base into higher-value groups called segments

Single Opt-in (noun) – As opposed to Double Opt-in, new subscribers only need to confirm they want to be added to a list one time when filling in the opt-in form

Soft Bounce (verb) – An email that bounces because the recipient email address has a full inbox, the server wasn’t working, or the email or it’s contents were too large

Spam Folder (noun) – The folder in a recipient’s inbox where emails believed to be spam from their email service provider automatically are sent to

Subject Line (noun) – The text of an email that users see underneath the name of the sender that tells them what content is in the email

Subscriber (noun) – A person who opts-in to be on an email list to receive emails from a business

Subscriber Value (adjective) – How much an individual subscriber is worth depending on how active they are, their buying behavior, if they’re referring new subscribers, etc.

Targeting (verb) – Segments of an email list that are targeted for a specific product, promotion, service, campaign, etc.

Thank You Page (noun) – The website page a new subscriber is brought to after they’ve opted-in to become a subscriber

Throttling (verb) –  Sending emails to a large list in batches to improve deliverability rate

Transactional Email (noun) – Emails received by customers who just purchased a product, service, etc.

Triggered Emails (noun) – Emails sent to subscribers based off of specific action or behavior that are automated and scheduled out in a sequence

Total Open Rate – (noun) The number of email recipients who opened an email divided by the total number of recipients who received an email (shown in a percentage)

Unengaged (verb) – Subscribers that haven’t opened an email from a business in over a set amount of time chosen by the business, also known as inactive subscribers

Unique Clicks (noun) – The number of individual subscribers who clicked on links in your email, not counting the number of times subscribers click on links multiple times

Unique Open Rate (noun) – The number of individual email recipients who open an email divided by the total number of recipients, not counting the number of times recipients opened the email more than once

Unsubscribe Rate (noun) – The number of email recipients who unsubscribed divided by the total number of email recipients (shown as a percentage), also known as List Churn

Welcome Email (noun) – The first email a new subscriber receives after being added to a list (this is an automated email)

White List (verb) – When a recipient takes an email and puts it into their inbox from the spam folder or moves it to another folder, showing their email provider that they want these emails to go to their inbox

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