Email Marketing Terms

Ad click rate
The number of ad clicks relative to the number of ad views.

An e-mail utility that automatically sends a reply to an e-mail message. Auto-responders are used to send back boilerplate information on a topic without having the requester do anything more than e-mail a particular address. They are also used to send a confirmation that the message has been received

A/B split
When the list is divided into two segments, each of which is tested for different offers or creative.

As regarding spam, blacklists are lists of known spammers, their IP addresses, and/or their ISP (Internet Service Provider). Using this information, spam filters can block all messages coming from known spammers and/or their ISPs.

Bounce message
A notification returned to sender indicating that an E-Mail message could not be delivered. Usually the message is automatically generated by the Postmaster at the recipient’s site, sometimes with an indication of what went wrong.
Bounce rate
The total number of emails that were returned as undeliverable divided by the total number of emails sent.
Bulk email
The phrase Bulk Email is often looked upon as having the same meaning as the word “spam”. Typically, the phrase bulk email is used by low cost email marketing service providers, the phrase
Call to action
Statement usually found near the conclusion of a commercial message that summons the consumer to act. A call to action will beg the consumer to “run right out” and purchase, “call now, while supplies last,” write a letter, return a coupon before a deadline, or call an 800 phone number to place an order.
A law, which became effective January 1, 2004, that establishes requirements for those who send email with primary purpose of advertising or promoting a commercial product or service.

The act of clicking on a banner or other ad, which takes the user through to the advertiser’s Web site. Used as a counter point to impressions to judge the response-inducing power of the banner.
Click-through rate (CTR)
The percentage of those clicking on a link out of the total number who see the link.
Commercial email
Any email sent for commercial purpose; for instance, an advertisement to buy a product or service, an order confirmation from an online store, or a paid. subscription periodical delivered by email.
Conversion rate
The percentage of recipients of an email who take the marketer’s desired action whether it is to purchase a product or provide information.

CPM (or Cost per thousand)
In e-mail marketing, CPM commonly refers to the cost per 1000 names on a given rental list. For example, a rental list priced at $250 CPM would mean that the list owner charges $.25 per e-mail address.

It is a practice of suggesting related products or services to a customer who is considering buying something.
Direct delivery
The ability of an email program to deliver email directly to each recipient without using an intermediate mail server.

Double opt-in
An email subscription practice that allows marketers to ask new email subscribers to confirm (via email) that they want to be added to an email distribution list for promotions, before the subscriber actually receives the information. The double confirmation is the best guarantee of user interest.
Double opt-out
Same as Opt-In, but the recipient unsubscribes instead of subscribes. Borderline spam operations frequently make it difficult to unsubscribe from lists, in order to keep their lists large.
Email Client
A program used by the user to read and send email messages. As opposed to the email server, which is used to transport email from one location to another.

Email Frequency
The intervals of sending the email newsletter or campaign. For example; monthly, bi-monthly, etc.

Email newsletter
An email sent to subscribers with relevant information on a topic. Email newsletters are mainly used to keep in touch with existing customers or members.
Email Server
A program running on a server that is constantly connected to the Internet. The email server is the point of contact for the email client, and is responsible for transporting the email from the sender to the recipient’s email server. Email servers also store email data prior to delivery.
False positives
Email that is not spam but is labeled spam by a spam filter of the recipient. Note that email marketers may have different opinions of what is “spam” than email recipients.

Emails can be sent in plain text, HTML, text and HTML (MIME) or Microsoft’s rich text format
Hard bounce
An e-mail message that has been returned to the sender because the recipient’s address is invalid. A hard bounce might occur because the domain name doesn’t exist or because the recipient is unknown.
House list
A permission-based list that you built yourself. Use it to market, cross sell and up-sell, and to establish a relationship with customers over time.

HTML Email - HTML email is simply an email created with HTML that allows for the display of images as opposed to simple text.
List broker
Agent who arranges for the rental of lists by a list user on behalf of the list owner in return for a commission on the rental fee.
List building
Process of generating a list of email addresses for use in email campaigns.
List host
A service providing users with tools and facilities for distributing high volumes of e-mail and managing a list of e-mail addresses.
List manager
Owner or operator of opt-in email newsletters or databases. Also software used to maintain a mailing list.
Look and feel
Appearance, layout, design, functions & anything not directly related to the actual message on an email.
Mail Bomb
The act of sending large numbers of large email messages to the same server or email address in an attempt to cause heavy loads which result in performance loss or server failure.

Software in a mail server that delivers messages to recipients. When you get a message in your inbox, the server at that company is informing you that it is returning your message because of some failure.

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
MIME is a method of encoding binary data into ASCII strings for the purpose of transferring files via email.

Open rate
Total number of times that recipients opened the e-mail messages in HTML format (excludes plaintext e-mails) vs. the number of e-mail that were delivered.
The action of agreeing to receive emails from a particular company, group of companies or associated companies, by subscribing to an email list.
A mailing list which transmits emails to people who have not subscribed and lets them “opt-out” from the list. The subscribers’ email addresses may be harvested from the web, USENET, or other mailing lists. ISP policies and some regions’ laws consider this equivalent to spamming.
Open Relay
Most modern email servers will not allow unauthorized users to send email through them. Some email servers, however, will allow outsiders to send (or relay) email through them. These servers are known as “Open Relay Servers”.

The practice of writing the e-mail to make the recipient feel that it is more personal and was sent with him or her in mind. This might include using the recipient’s name in the salutation or subject line, referring to previous purchases or correspondence, or offering recommendations based on previous buying patterns.

POP/POP3 - (Post Office Protocol) - A mail protocol that leaves the user’s email on the server until he or she connects to the server and downloads it to the local machine. Whereas SMTP describes the way email is transferred from server to server, POP describes the method in which the email client communicates with the email server.
The quality or condition of being free from unsanctioned intrusion. Communications need to reassure the prospect through clear, accessible and enforced assurances so he/she can feel comfortable about providing personal information and transacting business.
Rental list
A mailing list that can only be used once or for a limited time. The user of the list pays the owner of the list less money than if he/she would have bought the list outright. Note that this term is usually used for lists generated by address harvesting or other means; the investment made by the list creator does not correlate with the permission of the email recipients. Many firms who “rent” or “buy” a list face spam complaints afterward from persons who never subscribed.
Process of dividing the population into groups of households for preparation of mailing lists and direct mail advertising. Market segmentation allows a financial institution to identify the best prospects for new products and services, based on income, life-style, and other characteristics.
Soft bounce
A soft bounce is an email that gets as far as the recipient’s mail server but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the intended recipient. It might occur because the recipient’s inbox is full. A soft bounce message may be deliverable at another time or may be forwarded manually by the network administrator in charge of redirecting mail on the recipient’s domain.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The most common protocol used for transferring e-mail across the Internet.

Spam or UBE (Unsolicited Bulk email)
Unsolicited bulk email generally sent for commercial or political purposes, and always sent using an automated email program.

Spam filter
Software that is usually installed in the users email client, with the purpose of avoiding spam email to get into the client’s inbox or at least to be flagged as such.
Subject line
The field at the top of an e-mail template in which the title or subject of the e-mail can be typed. The subject line is the only part of the e-mail apart from the name of the sender which can be read immediately by the recipient. It is important to have a strong subject line, particularly if using e-mail for advertising or promotional purposes, or the recipient may simply delete the e-mail.
A message, or part of a message, designed to arouse curiosity and interest and cause the reader to explore further, but without revealing too much detail about the offer being promoted.

Collecting and evaluating the statistics from which one can measure the effectiveness of an email or an email campaign.
Trigger based messaging
Triggering a message based on an event or interaction with a previous message. Popular for customers who request more information
Unique click
During a particular period, a visitor to a website could click several times on a particular link, but during that period it is counted only as one and considered a unique visitor.
Unsolicited commercial email (UCE)
Spam by e-mail is a type of spam that involves sending identical or nearly identical messages to thousands (or millions) of recipients. Addresses of recipients are often harvested from Usenet postings or web pages, obtained from databases, or simply guessed by using common names and domains. By definition, spam is sent without the permission of the recipients.
When the owner of an email address unsubscribes, this indicates that the individual no longer wishes to receive emails from your organization. People can unsubscribe either by clicking the “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of each email sent through our system, or by replying to the email with the word “Unsubscribe” in the subject line.

Viral Responses
The number of recipients who received the referral, opened it and clicked on a link.