Important Definitions

Email marketing articles and discussions revolve around a shared language.  Here are some definitions of the important terms you might see used.

Above-the-fold - the part of the web page or email that is visible without scrolling. It is generally the more desirable placement, due to visibility. 

Bandwidth - The amount of information sent across a connection (text, images, videos, etc.) The larger the amount of information sent, the larger amount of bandwidth needed (and often, the slower the email will load, especially in handheld devices)

Blacklist - An ISP uses a blacklist to determine which emails to block. Blacklists contain the IP addresses of known or suspected spammers, and it's easier than you think to get yourself onto those blacklists! 

Blocked Emails - The receiving email server prevents your email from being delivered to your intended recipient, usually due to blacklisting.

Click Through Rate (CTR) - The percentage of those clicking on a link out of the total number who see the link.

Click To Open Rate (CTOR) - The ratio of unique clicks as a percentage of unique opens.

Conversion Rate: The number or percentage of visitors who convert casual content views or website visits into desired actions.

False positive - When a legitimate, permission-based email is incorrectly filtered or reported as spam.

Filtering - Various email programs allow users to "filter" their incoming email based on keywords, the from, subject, or body copy of an email. This type of blocking occurs on a per-email basis, and is usually under the control of the individual recipient.

Hard Bounces - A permanent failure due to a non-existent address or a blocking condition by the receiver that returns the email to the server that sent it.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) - A company that, for a fee, provides business and consumers with access to the Internet. Local examples include Time Warner, Verizon, Earth Link, AOL, etc.

Open Rate: The total number of emails opened divided by the total number of emails delivered as a percentage.

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).

Opt out (or Unsubscribe) - To opt-out or unsubscribe from an email list is 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 prerequisite for legitimate email marketing.

Personalization – Addressing individual recipients by fi rst name, last name or both dynamically in an email. Personalization can also include a reference to previous purchases, or other content unique to each recipient. Avoid using personalization in the subject line of your emails as this is a tactic widely used by spammers.

Privacy policy - A 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. Your privacy policy builds trust especially among those who opt-in to receive email from you or those who register on your site. If subscribers, prospects and customers know their information is safe with you, they will likely share more.

Repeated Bounces - An address that has been sequestered by Informz due to repeated bounces. The email is not sent to that address, although it is counted against our email quota and it counts in terms of mailing statistics and overall sender reputation score.

Soft Bounces - A temporary failure due to a full mailbox or an unavailable server that returns the email to the server that sent it.

Spam - any email that is perceived as unwanted by the recipient

Targeting - Selecting a target audience or group of individuals likely to be interested in a certain product or service. Targeting is very important for an email marketer because targeted and relevant email campaign, yield a higher response and result in fewer unsubscribes.

Unique Opens - A single open by a single user.

Unique Clicks - A single click by a single user.

Whitelist - the opposite of the blacklist. The ISP keeps a list of IPs that are known to be reliable and acceptable, and you can be confident that your emails will be delivered if you are whitelisted.

 

Credit to Constant Contact's Top 25 Email Terms and Evan Carmichael.


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