email marketing terms

20 Email Marketing Terms That You’ll Want to Know

Whether your nonprofit is new to email marketing or a seasoned veteran sending targeted emails to your list on a regular basis it’s always good to have a refresher on some of the terminology email marketers use on a daily basis industry. Below we’ve compiled a list of 20 email marketing terms we think all nonprofits should know. While this isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list, there is something here for email marketers of all skill levels and backgrounds.

20 must-know email marketing terms

Above The Fold

This term carries over from the print industry. It represents the area of a newspaper that you can see when it’s folded. In email it’s the area that you see when you view the message without scrolling.

Autoresponder

An automated email send that is triggered by an event like sign-up, unsubscribe, website action or conversion. These can also be triggered by in email behavior and time lapsed and may even be a series of messages. Also called a Triggered Message

Blacklist

List of IP addresses developed by persons or organizations that are known senders of SPAM. Mailbox providers and corporations use these as a means of filtering out the good from the bad.

Click Through Rate

The number of unique clicks in the content of your email message divided by the number of emails delivered expressed as a percentage.

Click to Open Rate

The number of unique clicks divided by the number of unique opens expressed as a percentage. This is also called the Engagement Rate and shows how effective your email content is based on those who actually saw it.

Delivery Rate

The number of emails delivered to the recipients mailboxes divided by the number on emails sent expressed as a percentage. Note: A delivery doesn’t mean that your email actually went to a subscriber’s inbox; it could be in a bulk or spam folder or in one of Gmail’s tabs (Link to Gmail tabs article)

Double Opt-in

A method of confirming opt-in where the list owner requires the subscriber to confirm their email address by taking an action like clicking a link in an email before they are confirmed as an opt-in.

Friendly From Name

This is the name that email recipients will see in their inboxes as who is sending the messages. Often in commercial and nonprofit email this is the name of the organization who is send the email.

Hard Bounce

An email that is returned to the sender because the email address it was sent to is invalid or nonexistent. Hard bounces should be immediately removed from your list.

Open Rate

The number of emails opened divided by the number of emails delivered expressed as a percentage.

Opt-in

This is an affirmative request by an individual to receive email or be placed on an organizations email list.

Personalization

Sometimes called mail merge (a term that used to be only associated with print marketing) this is the process of pulling individual data from a subscribers contact record and inserting it in to an email giving the effect that this email was build just for them.

Preview Pane

A window in some email inboxes that lets you preview the content of the message without leaving your inbox.

Reply To Address

This is the address that will receive any replies to the original message. This should be a monitored inbox – remember that email isn’t just a one way conversation.

Single Opt-in

A method of opt-in where a potential subscriber just has to submit their email address to a list owner to be eligible to receive email messages. Because there is no verification process (as opposed to Double Opt-In) single opt-in lists are susceptible to fake email addresses, spam traps and it is possible to sign up recipients only by knowing their email address.

Soft Bounce

An email that is sent to an active email address but is turned away before being delivered. These happen when a recipient has a full inbox or has reached a quota and may be delivered at a later time. It’s often hard to diagnose what happened with a soft bounce but is a best practice to remove address that have 3 or more soft bounces in a period of 15- 30 days.

SPAM

Unsolicited commercial email messages (or a type of meat made famous during World War II)

Tracking Pixel

A small 1×1 pixel image that is inserted in to an email (or webpage) that allows the host to keep track of how many times the email was opened or viewed.

Triggered Message

An automated email send that is triggered by an event like sign-up, unsubscribe, website action or conversion. These can also be triggered by in email behavior and time lapsed and may even be a series of messages. Also called a Autoresponder

Unsubscribe

A list member who has asked to no longer receive any email from a specific sender. US law requires that senders provide a way for recipients to unsubscribe from their lists.

Did we miss some email marketing terminology that you think should be on this list or do you have a term that you could use a little help understanding? Let us know in the comments section below and we’ll see if we can help!