Email Marketing Terms

Above the Fold
Part of a web page that is visible without scrolling. It is generally more desirable placement on a website because of its visibility. If you have a “join our mailing list” form on your website, you should place “above the fold” making it easy for visitors to opt-in.
Campaign
An email marketing message or a series of messages, such as lead nurturing, designed to accomplish an overall marketing goal.
CPM (Cost per Thousand)
In email 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 email address.
CTR (Click-Through Rate)
The percentage (# of clicks divided by the number of times the ad was seen) of recipients that click on a given URL in your email.
Conversion Rate
The # or % of recipients who respond to your call-to-action in a given email marketing campaign or promotion. This is the measure of your email campaign’s success. You may measure conversion in sales, phone calls, opportunities, or appointments.
Email Blacklist
Contain lists of domains or IP addresses of known and suspected spammers. Unfortunately, these blacklists also contain many legitimate email service providers. Just a few spam complaints can land an email service provider/IP address on a black list.
Email blocking
Refers to blocking by ISPs or corporate servers. Email blocking occurs when the receiving email server (i.e. Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail) prevents an inbound email from reaching the inbox of the intended recipient. Most times, the sender gets a “bounce” message notifying the sender that their email has been blocked.
Email Filters
Technique used to block email based on the content in the “from” (i.e. line, subject line, body copy of an email). Filtering software searches for keywords and other indicators that identify the email as potential spam. This type of blocking occurs on a per email basis.
Email Newsletter Ads or Sponsorships
Refers to buying ad space in an email newsletter or sponsoring a specific article or series of articles. Advertisers pay to have their ad (i.e. text, HTML, or both) inserted into the body of the email. Email newsletter ads and sponsorships allow advertisers to reach a targeted audience driving traffic to a website, store, or office, signups to a newsletter or sales of a product or service.
Email Whitelist
Opposite of a blacklist; includes IP addresses that have been approved to deliver email despite the blocking measures.
False Positive
Occurs when a legitimate permission-based email is incorrectly filtered or blocked as spam.
Hard Bounce/Soft Bounce
Hard bounce is the failed delivery of an email due to a permanent reasons like a non-existent address. Soft bounce is the failed delivery of an email due to a temporary issue like a full inbox or an unavailable server.
House List (Retention List)
A permission-based list that you built yourself. Can be used to market, cross sell and upsell, and to establish a relationship with customers over time. Very valuable tool for marketing since it is easier to market to existing customers than to acquire a new one.
HTML
Sending HTML email enables marketers to include unique fonts, graphics and background colors. HTML makes an email more interesting and when used properly, can generate response rates up to 35% higher than plain text.
Landing Page
A lead capture page on your website that is linked from an email to provide additional information directly related to products or services promoted in the email’s call-to-action. Every email should have a unique landing page to capture leads or a tracking URL to a standard landing page in order to determine ROI.
Open Rate
Percentage of emails opened in any given email marketing campaign, or the percentage opened of the total number of emails sent.
Opt-in (or subscribe)
To opt-in, or subscribe to an email list, is to choose to receive email communications by supplying your email address to a particular company, website, or individual thereby giving them permission to email you. The subscriber can often indicate areas of personal interest (e.g. mountain biking) and/or indicate what types of emails they wish to receive from the sender (e.g. newsletters).
Single Opt-In
The most widely accepted and routinely used method of obtaining email addresses and permission. A single opt-in list is created by inviting visitors and customers to subscribe to your email list (i.e. when you use a sign-up form on your website, a message immediately goes out to the subscriber acknowledging the subscription). This message should reiterate what the subscriber has signed up for, and provide an immediate way for the subscriber to edit interests or opt-out.
Confirmed Opt-In (Double Opt-In)
A more stringent method of obtaining permission to send email campaigns; adds an additional step to the opt-in process because it requires the subscriber to respond to a confirmation email, either by clicking on a confirmation link or by replying to the email to confirm their subscription. Only those subscribers who take this additional step are added to this list.
Opt-Out (Unsubscribe)
To choose not to receive communications from the sender by requesting the removal of your email address from their list.
Permission-Based Email
Email sent to recipients who have opted in, or subscribed, to receive email communications from a particular company, website, or individual. Permission is an absolute requirement for legitimate email marketing.
Personalization
Refers to addressing individual recipients by their first name, last name or both dynamically in an email. Can also include a reference to previous purchases, or other content unique to each recipient.
Privacy Policy
Clear description of a website or company’s policy on the use of information collected from and about website visitors and what they do, and do not do, with the data; builds trust esp. among those who opt-in to receive email from you or those who register on your site.
Rental List (Acquisition List)
List of prospects or a targeted group of recipients who have opted-in to receive information about certain subjects. Using this, marketers can send email messages to audiences targeted by interest category, profession, demographic information and more. Renting a list usually cost between $.10 and $.40 per name. Must make sure that your rental list is truly permission-based, opt-in list.
Signature File (SIGFILE)
A tagline or short block of text at the end of an email message that identifies the sender and provides additional information, such as company name and contact information.
Spam
email sent to someone who has not opted-in or given permission to the sender. Generally, it’s unwanted and unexpected email from a sender unknown to the recipient.
Targeting
Sending emails to a select audience or group of individuals likely to be interested in the message. Targeting is very important for an email marketer because a relevant email campaign will yield a higher response rate and result in fewer unsubscribes.
Viral Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing that is carried out voluntarily by a company’s advocates. Email has made this type of marketing very prevalent (i.e. “send this page, article or website to a friend” encourage this).