80/20 RuleThe age-old rule where 80% of your business will come from 20% of your market. As regards email marketing, 80% of your respondents come from 20% of your list.
ABC (Always Be Closing)“Always Be Closing” was made famous in the movie Glengarry, Glen Ross.
A/B Split TestIn order to test which of two designs, offers, or approaches is more effective, a mailing list is divided into two equal segments, and each segment is sent one of the two designs.
Above-the-foldWhen you initially open a web page, this is the portion that you first see without having to scroll. On a Website, since it is the most readily visible, it is the most desirable location. Subscriber sign-ups, banners, headlines, links, or tags are most effective when placed “above the fold”.
AbuseIn reference to spam from the recipient’s side, it means to have someone abuse their inbox by sending spam. From the ISP side, it means someone abusing their network by trafficking spam. Don’t forget that you can report each spam message with the “Report as spam” button.
Acquisition CampaignAn email marketing campaign used to acquire new customers or leads.
Ads or sponsorshipsAdvertising space that is purchased in an email newsletter that is meant to target a specific audience. The ad may sponsor a specific article or series of articles presented in an email newsletter. The ad copy can be inserted into the body of the email as HTML, as text, or as both.
Ad copyThe printed text or spoken words that are used in an advertisement, generally to deliver the value proposition of the product or service.
Ad ServerSoftware or hardware technology device used to display banner advertising, such as Double Click by Google or AtlasSolutions.com
Ad ServingThe act of actually serving the ads by the ad server.
AdvertisingMarketing activity used to attract public attention to a product, service, or business. Delivered by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.
AlgorithmA precise rule (or set of rules) specifying how to solve some problem. Also relates to spam filtering (see spam filtering).
Anchor TextThe visible clickable text in a hyperlink that links to another webpage or part of a page.
API (Application Program Interface) A means of connecting one piece of software, like a CRM, to another, like Publicaster. The API can be set up to extract data from or submit data to an email service provider (ESP) account.
Appliance/Hardware or SoftwareAn appliance refers to an MTA (message transfer agent) often used as the sending engine from an ESP (email service provider).
Apps (Applications)A piece of software that can run on the Internet, computer, phone, or other electronic device.
Audit TrailA record of events on the network including when users requested specific resources.
Auto Reply (Auto Responder)An automated reply message that can be set up by the user to alert email senders whenever the user – the intended recipient of the email – is either ‘out of the office’ or ‘away on vacation’.
Auto Response Campaign (Automated Campaign)A type of automated email distribution that is triggered based on a timeframe to go out to email subscribers. The automated trigger can be set to send the email 24 hours after the subscriber opts-in, or in response to certain behavior, such as when the subscriber clicks a link in another received email.
B2B Email MarketingMarketing that is sent via email between businesses, most typically by marketers who promote their goods and services to businesses rather than to individual consumers.
B2C Email MarketingMarketing sent via email to promote goods and services from a business to individual consumers rather than to other businesses.
BandwidthThe volume of information that can be moved in a specific amount of time over a network such as the Internet.
BarcodesAn optical representation of certain data on certain products that is readable by a machine. Originally this data was encoded in the widths and the spacings of parallel lines, called linear or 1-D barcodes. (Also see QR Codes)
BenchmarkingGathering information about similar companies in your industry. The process is then used to compare your company’s performance and to set goals.
Best PracticesGuidelines that allow your business to maximize its ROI from permission-based email marketing. In addition to obtaining explicit permission, these guidelines include relevant content, consistent frequency, inclusion of both plain text and HTML versions, etc.
BlacklistWhen domains or IP addresses are identified as senders of SPAM (unsolicited commercial email), they are placed on a blacklist. ISPs often use blacklists in their filtering process to determine which IP addresses will be banned from their servers and to protect members from unwanted email. Blacklists also include legitimate email service providers that end up there after a few spam complaints.
BlockingAction taken by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or corporate server to prevent email messages from suspected spammers to reach the inbox of their intended destination. The ISP usually bounces back a message to the sender to inform them that their email has been blocked.
Blog CommentsUsually set up as a section following a blog post where readers provide their reactions to its content.
BloggingThe act of posting content on a blog (a web log or online journal). Can also refer to the posting of comments on someone else’s blog.
Body CopyThe main copy (text, words, and narration) included in your message. Not the headline, the subhead, or the caption.
Bonded Sender ProgramUsed to identify legitimate email traffic. Legitimate email senders post a financial bond to ensure the integrity of their email campaign. If you receive an unsolicited email from a Bonded Sender, you can complain to their ISP, enterprise, or to IronPort Systems (sponsor of the program) and a financial charge will be debited from the bond. The program allows email senders to ensure their message reaches the end user, and provides corporate IT managers and ISPs with an objective way to ensure that only unwanted messages are blocked.
Bounce (Bounce Back)When an email is returned to the sender, usually with a message indicating that an email sent to a particular address could not be delivered. This happens when the address is no longer valid or the recipient’s ISP and/or email servers were not functioning for 3 days in a row. (See also: Hard Bounce; Soft Bounce)
C-28Also known as FISA, the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act, C-28 is intended to deter the most damaging and deceptive forms of spam, such as identity theft, phishing and spyware, from occurring in Canada. It prohibits sending email without consent, prohibits false or misleading commerical representations online, and prohibits collection of personal info by unlawful access to computer systems and by unlawfully sharing electronic addresses.
Call-to-ActionWording that encourages an email recipient or website visitor to take a certain action. Some examples are: “Click here to subscribe to the newsletter”, “Register today for a free trial of our marketing resources!”, “Download this valuable article now!”, etc.
CampaignAn email marketing message or a series of programmed email messages designed to accomplish an overall marketing goal.
Case StudiesIn-depth examples of others’ experiences shared in order to teach invaluable information about best practices and problem-solving strategies.
CAUCE (Coalition Against Unsolicited Email)North America was formed March 2007 as an all-volunteer consumer advocacy organization originally to encourage the creation and adoption of anti-spam laws and now to defend the interests of the average Internet user.
Channel ManagerPerson responsible for marketing by the vertical (see Channel Marketing). NOT the one who holds the remote.
Channel Marketing (or Channel Distribution)Also know as marketing by the vertical. Verticals are group classifications of industries, such as financial, entertainment, sports, not-for-profit.
Checkout ProcessThe process of paying for items that have been placed into online shopping carts, usually involves providing full contact details and a method of payment.
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)The company executive responsible for branding, advertising, marketing channels, customer outreach and all other aspects of corporate marketing.
Click Through Rate (CTR)This indicator of response to a given email message is measured by the percentage of recipients that click on a link enclosed in the email. To determine the CTR, divide the number of responses by the number of emails opened. Multiply the result by 100 to express it as a percentage.
Click-to-Open RatioRatio calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of email messages opened.
Community (marketing)A marketing strategy that is used to engage an audience in an active, non-intrusive prospect and customer conversation.
ComplianceA set of rules spelled out for commercial emailers to follow (such as the CAN-SPAM Act), including giving recipients the right to have you stop emailing them. Non-compliance can result in strict penalties.
Compliance OfficerThe enforcer of the set of rules who makes sure that all regulations are followed so that deliverability is assured and there is no risk of being labeled as spam by an ISP.
Confirmed Opt-In (or Double Opt-In)This method requires that subscribers confirm their subscription, either by clicking on a confirmation link or by replying to a confirmation email, before you include them in your opt-in list and send them any emails and/or campaigns. See also: Double Opt-In.
ContentThe copy (text, words, and narration), graphics, and images included in a web page, website, podcast, or video presentation.
Content MarketingAn umbrella term that includes all marketing involving the creation or sharing of content to engage current or potential customers. Based on the assumption that delivery of high quality, relevant, and valuable info drives profitable consumer activity, retains reader attention, and improves customer loyalty.
Contextual LinkA web link that is incorporated into a line of text in a simpler way than a conventional URL link. It might say <click here> or it might be hyperlinked to a word or phrase, for instance.
Conversion RateThe number or percentage out of the total number of recipients of a specific campaign that actually respond to the call-to-action. The conversion rate is a measurement of the campaign’s success and is measured in sales, subscriptions, appointments, phone calls, etc., depending on what was requested.
CopyThe text (words) in a web page, website, video, podcast, or email campaign. Does not include images and graphics.
Corporate BloggingThe activity of posting content on a weblog in order to reach the organizational goals of the corporation.
CouponA ticket or a document that can be exchanged for a discount or a rebate on a product or service.
CPA (or Cost Per Acquisition)Payment is contingent on specific actions, such as sales or registrations.
CPL (Cost Per Lead)Payment is contingent on the generation of a lead or prospect.
CPM (or Cost Per Thousand)Cost per thousand names on a given rental list (really bad idea).
CreativeIn the context of email marketing, creative is the actual email content you send to your subscribers which includes any text and graphics.
CRM (or Customer Relationship Management)These software and browser-based applications help to organize customer relationships in an organized way by collecting info about customers’ wants and needs and building relationships between businesses and customers. They are used to identify and target best customers, generate quality sales leads, and plan and implement campaigns with clear goals and objectives. CRMs are used to improve satisfaction and provide the highest levels of service to the most profitable customers.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)Style sheets are a way to describe the look and feel of an HTML document. Cascading style sheets refer to the hierarchy of styles, where styles found further down in the document take precedence over previous styles. Though used heavily on web pages, CSS is not recommended in emails due to the fact that some email programs ignore them.
Customer AcquisitionThe act of gaining or acquiring new customers.
Customer BehaviourDescription of the customer’s practices of obtaining, using, and disposing of products or services.
Customer-centricWhen you put your customer experience (solutions, service provision, content, and value-added features) in the focus of your website or marketing designs versus being primarily focused on relaying the features and benefits of your company’s product or service.
Customer CommunitiesWhen groups of users of a product or service come together to share information and discuss common issues. Some businesses assist with such events.
Customer EngagementMeasurement used to define whether or not your customer is engaged with other customers or with the business itself. Can be initiated by the customers or by the business and take place on- or offline.
Customer EvangelistsCustomers who believe very strongly in a particular product or service and that freely try to convince others to buy and use it. They are voluntary advocates who actively spread the word on behalf of the company. Simply in order to provide benefit to other individuals, they spread their recommendations and recruit new customers.
Customer ExperienceThe sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services. What your customer feels, thinks about, and takes away when they’ve interacted with your brand. Always be aiming for a great customer experience.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing (CLM)The act of marketing to a customer throughout the period of time in which they are engaged with your brand.
Customer LoyaltyLevel of love a customer feels for your product or service demonstrated through purchases or evangelism.
Customer RelationshipThe ways that a business communicates and deals with existing customers.
Customer RetentionThe act of keeping customers happy so they will not leave.
Customer SatisfactionThe feeling you want your customers to have when you meet or exceed their expectations.
Customer ServiceHow a business provides service to its customers before, during, and after a purchase.
DatabaseAn organized collection of info that is stored in a computer. An email marketing database is the software where you store your records, forms and lists. There are many forms of databases that can be accessed and consulted in different ways, including MS Excel, Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape, Oracle, and Sybase.
DeliverabilityWays of ensuring that email messages are delivered to the inbox and aren’t blocked or rerouted by spam filters. The ongoing challenge for email marketers is to avoid being classified as spam. Successful deliverability depends on the use of best practices, including authentication and email reputation.
DeliveryThe transporting of an email message to the recipient, typically done via SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol).
DemographicsPertaining to market research, a certain population’s age, gender, income, education, employment status, and other various info used to segment your marketing.
Digital MarketingPromoting of brands using all forms of digital advertising channels to reach consumers. Includes television, radio, Internet, mobile, and social media, and any other form of digitial media.
Digital StrategyBusiness strategy based on the used of IT.
Direct MarketingA promotion delivered directly to individual customers/prospects (via snail mail).
DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail)A method for validating domain name identity associated with a message through cryptographic authentication. Lets an organization take responsibility for a message while it is in transit.
Do Not Send ListList of potential or former subscribers who have opted-out and do not wish to receive further emails.
Drill DownTo move from summary info to detailed data by focusing in on something. May involve clicking on some representation to reveal more data.
Drip CampaignSteady, low-level stream of advertising for a product or service to maintain general awareness of the brand
Double Opt-In (Confirmed Opt-In)A means of additional security requiring that email accounts are opened and then verified with an email validation message that only the person who has access to the account can respond to. Regarded as the gold standard for secure email marketing. (See also: Confirmed Opt-In)
Dynamic ContentContent inserted into an email based on individual subscriber information. Includes personalizing emails with a subscriber’s email address or using “If statements” to insert whole blocks of content.
E-BooksElectronic or digital text equivalent of a printed book. Fully available electronically via a website or download on the Internet.
E-CommerceBuying and selling of products and services through an electronic medium such as the Internet. Includes B2B, B2C, and C2C buying and selling via any electronic means.
Email AppendingProcess of merging a database of info on individuals that contains info other than email addresses with a service provider’s database of email addresses in an attempt to match them with those in the original database.
Email CampaignAn email marketing message or a series of messages designed to accomplish an overall marketing goal. May be a newsletter or may consist of offers. Some marketers define a campaign as a series of email messages using a common theme, but others say that any email sent is classified as a campaign.
Email ClientAn application used to send, receive, store and view email.
Email CreativeThe HTML content of an email, referring to the code or the design of an email.
Email FiltersUsed to block email based on the content included in the “from:” and/or “subject:” lines, or in the copy of an email body. The email filtering software finds key words that identify an email as spam and email messages are individually blocked.
Email HygieneAccuracy of name and address info on a list. The greater the hygiene, the greater the deliverability.
Email Marketing Promoting products or services via email.
Email Marketing SoftwareApplications that upload a list of subscribers or an email and then distribute the email to the list, for example: Publicaster.
Email Newsletter Ads or SponsorshipBuying adspace in an email newsletter or sponsoring a specific article or series of articles. Advertisers pay to have their ad inserted into the body of the email, allowing them to reach a targeted audience. The intention is to drive traffic to a website, store or office; increase sign-ups to a newsletter; or promote sales of a product or service.
EMAPP (Email Marketing Association for Puppy Protection)Established by the eMail Guide to drive the point home that buying email lists is wrong! There is no right way or time to purchase an email list.
EncodingThe way that letters, digits, and other symbols are expressed as numeric values that a computer can understand. For instance HTML is encoded with a particular character encoding. Info about the encoding is sent to a server to properly interpet the bits and bytes. If your actual encoding doesn’t match your declared type of encoding, then the browser may render your page as gobbledygook.
ESP (Email Service Provider)Companies that provide a service that enables a user to send permission-based email campaigns to other designated users. They are usually Application Service Providers (ASPs) who offer their services online. There are also ESP software programs.
ESPC (Email Service Provider Coalition)A coalition formed to fight spam and protect the delivery of legitimate email. Active in the war against spam.
FacebookA privately owned social networking site that anyone over the age of 13 can register to use. Users can create profiles, post to friends, join interest groups, search for others, and send messages. Created by Mark Zuckerberg and others while attending Harvard.
False positiveOccurs when a legitimate permission-based email is mistakenly filtered and/or blocked as spam.
Feedback Loop (FBL)Provided by many ISPs to companies that send bulk emailings. Identifies pro-active companies and reduces the amount of spam sent to their users. By subscribing to an FBL you know who is labeling you as spam so you can remove them from your list and get white-listed by the top ISPs.
FISAFighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act of 2011. Includes a mandatory opt-in provision (in comparison to the opt-out of CAN-SPAM Act in US) for all email marketers whether email originates from within or without Canada. Express consent cannot be obtained by sending an email to request consent. Subject lines must not be deceptive or misleading. From lines must clearly be from the company or individual sending. Violators can be fined and jailed. (See also C-28)
Fishing (See Phishing)
FontA type with dimensions and style that are specific to a type family (for example, Times New Roman or Arial Black) .
FooterThe space at the bottom of an email where you typically find disclaimers, privacy policies, forward-to-a-friend, and subscribe or unsubscribe instructions.
Forward to a Friend (FTAF)Encouragers subscribers to pass your campaign to other friends and colleagues. When recipients click the FTAF link they are taken to a page where they can enter the email addresses of others. Allows you to track who is forwarding and to how many others.
FoursquarePopular iPhone application that helps users connect with friends or find new things to do. Displays locations in your city and then where you are when you “check in” on the app. Users write reviews and tips or may become a superuser, explorer, or “mayor” of a location with multiple visits.
FrequencyTime sequence spacing in the distribution of an email message, newsletter, or campaign. Frequency can be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc.
From Address / Reply to AddressThe email address that appears next to the From Name in a subscriber’s inbox. In contrast, the Reply to Address is the email address that appears in the subscriber’s email client when they click “Reply” to the email.
From: LineThe line at the top of an email message where the sender types his or her name or the business name.
GeomappingConcept that “birds of a feather flock together”. The understanding of group or clustered likeness. Geomapping is the act of grouping in this manner, by postal code, area code, etc.
GeoprofilingApplying geomapping to an individual or group of individuals to understand what traits or preferences apply to this demographic.
GeotargetingDesigning a campaign to address the geomapping and geoprofiling info and then maximize individual/group interest in particular products or services.
GmailGoogle’s free email service, supported by text advertising similar to Google’s Web search. Launched in 2004, Gmail offers 2.5 GB of mailbox storage space.
Hard bounceFailed delivery of an email message that is returned to the sender due to a permanent reason that cannot be resolved, such as a non-existent address, an unknown recipient, or a domain name that doesn’t exist.
Hard bounced email(see: Hard bounce)
HeaderPart of the document that is usually not visible to the recipient unless the ‘view headers’ feature of their email software is selected. May include information such as the server from where the email was sent, the program used to originate it, the route it followed through the Internet, etc.
HeadlineUsually announces the value proposition of the business sending the email in a way that entices the recipient to read the whole message.
Heatmap (Eye Tracking)Graphical representation of where people are looking at your message, where their eyes are drawn and the pattern in which it is read. Performed in focus groups where the eye direction is monitored.
Hosted emailAllows users to view the email message as a web page, ensuring that all formatting remains intact. Hosted versions of your email are great for your Twitter and Facebook followers when you launch your campaign.
HotmailFree email service operated by Microsoft Corporation since its purchase in 1997. Integrates with Messenger and Passport and offers a variety of other options which are constantly being upgraded.
House List
Another name used to descrigbe an email list of subscribers .
HTML emailAn email message composed with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML, a language designed for the creation of web pages and other information viewable in a Web browser), as opposed to plain text. HTML allows you to apply a wide variety of text effects, graphics, images and background colors, and the result is a more appealing message that can increase response rates up to 35%.
IMAP (Internet Message Application Protocol)Method of retrieving mail off of a mail server. IMAP typically leaves a copy of the message on the server unlike POP (Post Office Protocol) which downloads the message to your desktop client software.
Interactive MarketingThe ability to address the customer, remember what the customer has said, and to address the customer again in a way that illustrates that we remember what the customer has told us.
Internet Service Provider (ISP)A company that provides access to the Internet. AOL, Juno, Yahoo!, MSN, Comcast and various local phone companies are common examples of ISPs.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI)Metric used to help organizations define and measure progress toward organizational goals.
KeywordsWords that can be specifically tagged to be searchable, and that help as a reference point to define the meaning or content of an article.
Landing PageThe page where the visitor arrives on a website – not necessarily the home page, it may be a bookmarked page or a linked page. It is the page where the message directs the email recipient via a link.
LayoutThe manner in which the content – including copy, images and graphics – is organized in an email message. The layout is intended to effectively capture and retain the recipient’s attention.
Lead GenerationCreation of consumer interest or inquiry into the products or services of a company. Leads can be generated for list building, e-newsletter acquisition, etc., through search engines, direct mail, email, or by making telephone contact. A lead includes contact info and may include demographic info.
Lead NurturingProcess by which leads are tracked and developed into sales opportunities. Begins with unqualified leads entered into a CRM system, which are then tracked and nurtured until the process converts or abandons.
Lead ScoringA lead qualification process that qualifies or ranks leads according to their level of buying interest. The higher the score the more likely a customer is the right target prospect, actively engaged in the buying process, and ready to be routed to sales. Assigning points is one means of tracking lead scoring.
Lifetime ValueMeasurement of total worth to an organization of its relationship with an identified customer over time.
LinksA means of directing traffic to another online location by clicking on text, graphics, or images in the email or web page text.
Links, AnchorThe type of link directing the reader to another part of the same email, rather than opening another page in a browser, such as links in a Table of Contents.
Links, HyperThe type of link directing the reader to an external page, usually opening another page in a browser.
Links, MailtoThe type of link opening an email box in the reader’s email program to send an email to a specified address.
List (Electronic Email List)A special usage of email addresses that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users.
List ChurnThe value that represents how many subscribers you lose in a specific time period.
List RentalThe act of renting access to an email list but not actually physically gaining control of the list. Typically will include deployment of your message to the list. Any list rental that gives you physical control of the mailing list is a poor practice.
Liquid PaperWhen typewriters were in use (before word processors were developed), there was no option to save or copy text. Corrections were made by covering the mistakes with this white liquid substance and allowing the correction to dry and then making another key strike over the original. (Also see Wite-out)
Load TimeThe time it takes for a web page to completely open in the browser window.
LongtailGood values that you still get long after an initial peak of activity has occurred.
Mail Transfer Agent (MTA)Also called mail relay. Software used in all email marketing tools that transfers email messages from one computer to another. Responsible for the core tasks of email delivery including queuing, scheduling, connection management, data transfer, processing of deferrals, bounce generation, and delivery status tracking. Includes features for handling inbound email like replies and remotely bounced messages. MTAs work in the background while users interact directly with the email marketing tool. A correctly configured MTA can have great impact on the deliverability and performance of the email marketing tool.
Mailing ListA special usage of email addresses that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users for the purpose of email campaigns or messages.
Marketing AutomationThe task of automating your marketing tasks with CRM online and Internet marketing. Simplifies the process by automating repetitive tasks.
Marketing BudgetMoney allocated by a business or NFP organization for its marketing activities.
Marketing DashboardsWhere all the data and metrics are collated and presented as useful marketing performance information for the organization. Ideally show the progress of marketing, help assess productive areas, and help in decision making. Provide an indication of the value of marketing and help to align it with the business.
Marketing PlansOutline of specific actions a business intends to carry out to interest potential customers and clients in its products or services and to persuade them to buy what’s offered. A specific roadmap to get you where you want to go, implementing marketing strategy.
MAAWG (Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group)Industry association that works together to address various forms of messaging abuse such as spam, viruses, and denial of service attacks.
Media KitEither a press kit of promotional material designed for members of the media or a package of information detailing the various options for advertising in a publication.
MessageActivity that communicates the value of the product or service, the core activity of marketing communications.
MetricsThe numbers that represent the success or failure of a marketing campaign. Measured by delivery, open, click-through, and conversion rates.
MobileLiterally means possessing the ability to move. Slang for cellular or mobile phone.
Mobile EmailEmails received on a mobile device.
Mobile MarketingPromotions designed for delivery to cell phones, smart phones, and other handheld devices. Most often conducted as a component of a multi-channel program.
Multi-part MIME EmailMultipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) is an Internet standard format for email, and almost all e-mail is transmitted in MIME format.
NavigationMoving-around the Internet by clicking from website to website and from page to page in a single website, as well as within a single web page.
Newbee (Newbie)Someone who is new or unfamiliar with a given topic. In our world newbees are people who have never email marketed or are new to email marketing.
New MediaTerm that encompasses the emergence of digital technology in the latter part of the Twentieth Century. Refers to interactive digital media such as the Internet as opposed to traditional media such as print, radio, and television.
NewslettersRegularly distributed email or publication about one main topic that is of interest to its subscribers. Newsletters can be a form of advertising sent periodically.
NinjaA member of the Ninja who is trained in martial arts. In our world, a member of the community who is at the top of the profession.
Non-Profits (or NPO, Not-for-Profit Organization, N4P)An incorporated organization which exists for educational or charitable reasons, and from which its shareholders or trustees do not benefit financially.
Notification EmailEmail that is sent in response to an event, such as list upload, message delivered, or system errors.
Notified Opt-InWhen an email address subscribes to the list, an email is sent offering the subscriber a chance to be removed from the list of recipients. If the subscriber decides not to unsubscribe, the address remains in the list until and if he or she opts-out. The account subscribes by default, so it does not require active confirmation by the subscriber.
Nth SamplingA secondary mailing list that is produced for the purpose of testing email variations based on every Nth address in the list. For example, in a Tenth Testing, an email is sent to every address on the list that is at the position of a multiple of ten (10, 20, 30, 40.).
OfferA conditional promise made by a seller to a buyer, submitted for acceptance, and which becomes legally enforceable if accepted. Includes terms and conditions such as quantity, price, discounts, delivery date, shipping costs, etc.
Online MarketingAlso called digital marketing, i-marketing, Internet marketing, web-marketing, or e-marketing, it is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.
Online VersionBack-up hosted copy of your email message that is available as a webpage.
Open RatePercentage of recipients who actually opened the email message in a marketing campaign. It is considered a useful measurement of the response to an email marketing campaign. The rate is only valid when the message has actually been opened. Some email clients allow recipients to scan the content in their messages before opening them, skewing the results.
Operating System (OS)The software required to make your computer run. Typical OS versions include Windows, Linyx, Mac OS, etc.
Opportunity CostThe cost of a foregone opportunity and the benefits that could have come from taking advantage of it.
Opt-In (or subscribe)An active agreement to receive messages from an email marketer, giving permission to the sender to send their messages to you. There are different types of opt-in practices, ranging in complexity. (See also: Double Opt-in, Notified Opt-in, Opt out, Single Opt-in)
Opt-In ListA list of subscribers who actively agree by giving express permission to receive email from the sender.
Opt-Out (or Unsubscribe)An active demand, via email or other means, to be removed from an email marketing or membership list. To opt-out or unsubscribe, list members either click an “Unsubscribe” link in a website or email message, or they reply to an email message with the word “Unsubscribe” in the subject field.
OutlookWindows-based software used for sending and receiving email, scheduling a calendar, and keeping an index directory of your contacts.
Paid SearchAdvertising strategy that involves purchasing web traffic from a search engine. The ad appears as a sponsored link when someone conducts a search through a search engine. Any form of online advertising that ties the presentation of an ad to a specific keyword base search request.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC)Internet advertising model where the advertiser will pay a set dollar amount for every click of their ad.
Permission Email Marketing (Permission-Based Email)Sending email marketing messages or newsletters to a list of recipients who have agreed to receive them by opting-in, subscribing, or registering. Legitimate, professional, reputable email marketers use this method to build their business. (See also Acquisition List)
PersonalizationWriting email messages to makes the recipient feel that it was composed specifically for him or her. The recipient’s name appears in the salutation line, and there are references to his or her message or purchase in the body of the email. Suggestions based on previous business with the recipient are used to further contribute to the message’s personalization.
Personas Voices or characters representing the speaker or narrator in a written work. Public images or personalities.
PhishingA scam in which a spammer poses as a reputable or trusted third party to impel email recipients to disclose personal information – such as Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers – or to purchase illegal or counterfeit products or services. (See also: Spoofing)
Plain Text EmailEmail that contains no HTML content, only plain text content. They are sent along with HTML emails in multi-part format or sent independently, without an HTML version. They cannot contain any of the HTML code elements of an HTML email, such as images, hyperlinks or font formatting.
PodcastingSeries of digital audio files that are available for downloading, typically available in MP3 format.
POP3 (Post Office Protocol)Allows the recipient to receive email messages that are stored on an online server.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) CampaignsMarketing campaigns based on the Pay-Per-Click model, where an advertiser pays a set fee for each time the message is clicked.
Preference CenterWebpage that connects a modifiable web form which will update a subscriber’s preferences, ideally used for changes in email address, contact info, or updating and modifying subscription preferences.
Pre-headerUppermost portion of an email message which contains vital information, such as “view the online version”, “view the mobile version”, “subscribe”, “unsubscribe”, and/or top line content of the message.
Press KitA comprehensive package of information outlining a company’s products and services and most frequently sent to members of the press.
Preview PaneBefore a recipient clicks open an email, some mail programs like Microsoft Outlook, Entourage, and Mac Mail allow users to view it through a preview pane. This is important to bear in mind when composing an email’s opening lines in order to grab the recipient’s attention.
Print CollateralThe offline counterpart to digital media.
Privacy policyA thorough description of how a website or business uses information collected from and about subscribers or visitors to the website. Expressly stating a privacy policy encourages trust of subscribers, visitors, and prospects who will then more readily share information that can add value to your relationship.
QR CodesA matrix code or 2-D barcode used to encode certain info about certain products. QR stands for Quick Response, as its creator intended for its data to be decoded at high speeds. (See also Barcodes)
Read NotificationNotification the sender receives when the recipient has read the message.
Real Simple Syndication (RSS)Family of web-feed formats used to publish frequently updated works such as blog entries or news headlines. RSS typically requires a reader to interpret and display the content in a recognizable format.
Recency Frequency Monitoring (RFM)Metrics used to describe a subscriber’s interaction with a webpage. Typical metrics include how recent, how often, and any monetary value associated with each visit. Proper RFM calculations do require cookies and web tracking conversion code.
RedirectThe act of automatically sending someone to an alternate webpage.
Re-engagement CampaignType of email marketing campaign designed to re-engage subscribers who have grown inactive.
Refer a Friend (RAF)Referral-based mechanism that allows subscribers to type in the name of friends and automatically send to them a copy of the message the subscribers just read.
RefereesNumber of people who have received a message that has been sent to them by the referers.
ReferersIndividuals who forward a message in the email client software to their friends.
Relationship MarketingTo develop and manage trusting and long-term relationships with larger customers, customer profiles, buying patterns, and a history of contacts are maintained in a sales database. A service representative is assigned to one or more major customers to fulfill their needs and actively maintain the relationship.
RelevanceAct of providing information that relates to the recipient’s wants or needs. How pertinent, connected, or applicable something is to a given matter (a matter of relevance to the receiver of email content).
Removal ListList of people who no longer wish to receive your emails. Often known as a suppression list.
RenderingProcess by which an email program or browser analyzes HTML tags and formats content for display.
Rental list (or acquisition list)A rented list of prospects or group of recipients who have opted-in to receive information on chosen topics. Recipients are targeted by interest category, demographics, profession, etc. A rental list must be certifiably permission-based, usually costs between $.10 and $.40 per address, and is never sold. (See also: Permission based email/email marketing)
Reputation ManagementThe steps taken to decrease the degree of damage caused by improper mailing or people reporting your message as spam. Can also refer to proactive measures including message authentication, such as sender ID, SPF, and domain keys.
Request for Information (RFI)Formalized process where organizations send to one or to several companies a standardized list of question in hopes of finding a solution to their problem, a pre-cursor to RFP (Request for Proposal). One way to gather info from vendors about products and services.
Request for Proposal (RFP)Invitation for suppliers – often through a bidding process – to submit a proposal for a specific product or service.
ResearchGathering pertinent info on a topic. A carefully planned an performed investigation searching for previously unknown facts. An attempt to find out in a systematic and/or scientific manner.
ResponseEither the desired or undesired action that a recipient takes after receiving your message. Could be lack of action.
Response RateMetric applied to measure successful responses from a given message.
Retention Campaign (Retention Marketing)Act of creating an email marketing campaign designed to keep your subscribers engaged and retain their interest.
ROI (Return on Investment)A measure of profit made and/or costs saved at your business. For email marketing campaigns, calculate the cost of sending email plus time. To take it a step further, also subtract the cost of product or services.
SalutationThe first line in an email message where the recipient is addressed. It can be generic (‘Dear/Valued subscriber’, ‘Dear/Valued member’) or personalized (‘Dear Jean’, ‘Hi, Peter.’, ‘Hello, Tom!’).
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)Marketing vehicle in which businesses pay to have their advertisements displayed when people type in specific keywords. (Also see CPC Marketing.)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)The process of systematically writing and tagging content so that its relevance is recognized by the search engines.
Search EnginesDesigned to search for information on the World Wide Web and FTP servers. Search results are usually presented in a list and are often called “hits”. Information may consist of web pages, images, information, and other types of files. Some search engines also mine data available in databases or open directories. They operate algorithmically or by a combination of algorithm and human input.
Seed ListA list of email addresses added to another mailing list at the point of send, typically adding a group of internal email addresses to a distribution.
Segmentation (Segmented Research Data)A subset of a mailing list based on specific criteria. Can be used in place of mailing lists when launching emails to target subscribers. The segmentation criteria could be the date a subscriber was added to the list, date last modified, email domain, custom field data (such as location), and behavioral conditions such as whether subscribers opened emails or clicked links.
Send RateNumber of messages that are sent from an email system on an hourly basis. (Also see Throttling.)
Send TimeThe time in which your message is sent. Can be immediate or scheduled in the future. A great metric to test.
Sender IDAn email industry initiative headed by Microsoft to offer a technical solution against phishing or spoofing, a deceptive practice used by spammers. (See also: Spoofing and Phishing)
Sender Policy Framework (SPF)Email validation system that confirms that the email is actually coming from the server that appears to be sending it. Prevents the act of spoofing.
Sender ScoreSimilar to a credit score, it indicates the trustworthiness of an email source.
Send to a Friend(See Forward to a Friend)
Service Level Agreement (SLA)The contract between a service provider and a customer detailing the nature, scope, quality, and frequency of the service to be provided. Sometimes called the Service Level Contract.
Share with Your Network (SWYN)Similar to Forward to a Friend, it is a new type of tracking that provides a metric of how successful your message was interacted with when you posted the message to Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks.
Shopping CartThe virtual basket or cart that holds items on a webpage that you have indicated you would like to purchase.
Signature File (or Sigfile for short)A short block of text automatically posted at the end of an email message. It identifies the sender and provides contact and other information on them. The signature can be used to communicate a message or add a call-to-action with a link (such as “subscribe to newsletter”).
Single Opt-InThis is the most widely used method of getting new subscribers, accumulating email addresses, and obtaining permission. The subscriber actively participates in the sign-up and is sent an acknowledgement email. Visitors and customers are invited to subscribe through a sign-up option on the Website. The subscriber immediately receives a message acknowledging the subscription, stating what the subscriber signed up for, and indicating how he or she can edit interests or opt-out. Sometimes people deliberately or inadvertently subscribe spam trap addresses to their lists – a susceptibility of this process – and are then blacklisted by the ISP or the organization operating the spam trap.
Small BusinessPrivately owned and operated with a small number of employees and relatively low volume of sales. Normally privately owned corporations, partnerships or sole proprietorships. Legal definition varies by country and by industry.
Small Office Home Office (SoHo)The category of business involving from 1-10 workers, smaller than the designation of small business.
Small and Medium Enterprise (SME)Used primarily in the EU and international business realm to describe business of 10-50 employees – small – and those of 50-250 employees – medium.
Smart PhonesA type of cell phone that does more than call, provides access to SMS, Web, and interactive viewing experience.
SMS (Short Messaging Service)Text message sent on a cell phone.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)The Internet standard for the transmission of email messages across Internet protocol networks.
Social MediaOnline technology tools that enable people to communicate easily via the Internet to share information and resources. Can include text, audio, video, images, podcasts and other multimedia communications. (Examples: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, 4Sqaure, etc.)
Social NetworkingThe act of networking online through social media channels, such as making friends with people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, etc.
Soft BounceFailed delivery of an email that is rejected for a temporary reason, like a full mailbox on the recipients end, or receiving server maintenance, etc.
Soft Bounced Email(See: Soft Bounce)
Spam (or UCE, Unsolicited Commercial Email)Spam, the common reference to UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email) is commercial email that a recipient has not subscribed to or actively requested. Spam is unwanted, unexpected email from a sender unknown to the recipient. Spam complaints come from sending email to people who have not requested your messages.
SponsorshipAdvertising that establishes a deeper association and integration between an advertiser and a publisher, often involving coordinated beyond-the-banner ad or logo placements.
SpoofingSpoofing is a scam using a forged sender’s address on email messages in order to impel the recipient to read and respond to deceptive mail. ‘Spoofed’ mail can damage the reputation of the individuals or companies whose names are used to send the messages and threatens the consumer online privacy. (See also: Phishing)
Strategy Long-term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or set of goals or objectives.
SWOTAcronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. SWOT analysis is an important tool for auditing the overall stategic position of a business and its environment. Once key strategic issues have been identified they feed into business and marketing objectives.
SubheadingsLines of text in the copy that serve as subtitles for the content that follows. In a layout, they break up columns of type making the page more dynamic, appealing, and easier to read. Also called subheads.
Subheads(See: Subheadings)
Subject LineThe field in an email message where the sender indicates the topic of the message. Used to motivate the recipient to open the message and read its content.
Subscriber PreferencesA page where subscribers can update their information, including email address, list subscriptions, and other custom contact information.
Suppression ListA list of email addresses that are removed from another mailing list at the point of send.
Survey DataThe response information you receive from a survey.
SurveysMechanical means of collecting data considered to be a sample representation of the whole through online forms or offline via paper submission or telephone interview.
TaglinesAn amusing or memorable phrase designed to catch attention in an advertisement.
TagsAKA keywords, simple, concise words used to categorize topics in a blog or other online reference.
TargetingDelivering emails to the recipients most likely to be receptive to your message. Can be determined by geographic, demographic, psychological and behavioral criteria.
TeaserA short, enticing text or compelling image in a message designed to get the reader to explore further into the message or website before the actual offer or promotion is revealed.
TechnologyPurposeful application of information in the design, production, and utilization of goods and services and in the organization of human activities.
TestimonialsWritten recommendation from a celebrity or satisfied customer affirming the performance, quality, and/or value of a product or service. One of the most powerful tools of marketing.
Testing Procedure for critical evaluation, a means of determining the presence, quality, or truth of something. In the world of email marketing you should continually be testing subject lines, content, frequency, data segments, etc.
Testing MatrixSimple table used to map out and evaluate your testing procedures and results.
Three Letter Acronym (TLA)Three letter abbreviation. In the computer industry alone there are over 17,500 TLAs.
ThrottlingAbility to regulate the flow of your email marketing delivery over time. Typical throttling settings would entail delivering X number of messages per hour. The purpose of this is either to prevent the overload of messages at an ESP or to help limit responses over time on your website.
TimingScheduling the delivery of email to reach subscribers at the best time. Timing may depend on seasonal or holiday changes – spring break, summer vacation, back to school, Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, etc. – or delivered on a standard schedule – Monday mornings, Friday evenings, every two weeks, etc. When a mailing goes out is important, considering both the day of the week and the time of day . For instance, Friday afternoon can be ideal for a retailer, and Monday mornings can be best for B2B. Testing and tracking results will determine best timing.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)A financial estimate whose purpose is to help determine the direct and indirect costs of ownership.
TrackingIdentifying, collecting and evaluating data to measure the effectiveness of an email campaign.
TransactionalOften referenced when referring to financial, an event or condition that occurs on a website when a subscriber accomplishes your desired action.
TransparencyThe practices that give your community or customers a greater understanding of the truth of how you run your organization, its policies, and procedures.
Trigger Email CampaignAutomatic email campaign that sends messages to subscribers based on an outside influence or action that takes place. Example: If a subscriber opens or clicks on one particular message, we will then transmit another appropriate message.
TutorialIndividual instruction, sometimes from a tutor, in a particular area or discipline. For instance, in computer science it could be in the use of software or an operating system. More interactive and specific than a book or lecture, a tutorial teaches by example and supplies the information to complete a certain task.
TweepleThe people who use Twitter.
Tweet140 characters or less of wisdom or garbage that is transmitted via Twitter. Ideally your tweets should be 120 characters to allow the process of people re-Tweeting the orginal message.
TwitterA very popular instant messaging system that allows users to send brief text entries – up to 140 characters – to a list of followers. Designed and launched in 2006 as a social network to keep friends and colleagues informed throughout the day, it is now widely used for commercial and political purposes, to keep customers, constituents, and fans up-to-date as well as to solicit feedback.
TypeA size or style of typewritten or printed characters. Examples are Times New Roman typeface, sans-serif typeface, bold or italic type, 12-point or 14- point type, etc.
TypewriterPreceded the word processor as a typing device with a similar keyboard but with no means of storing information digitally. Users pecked on the letter keys which triggered a strike onto a ribbon that made a mark on the paper (an ink imprint of the pecked letter). There was no option to save or copy text, and corrections were made by covering the mistakes with a white liquid substance, such as Liquid Paper or Wite-out, allowing the correction to dry and then making another key strike over the original. Multiple copies were made by typing on multiple sheets of paper with carbon paper lodged between them, and the quality of copies was poor at best.
Unified Messaging (UM)Unified Messaging (or UM) is the integration of different electronic messaging and communications media (e-mail, SMS, Fax, voicemail, video messaging, etc.) technologies into a single interface.
Unique ClicksThe total number of recipients who click at least once within an email message.
Unique ForwardersNumber of individuals who forward an email, with each person that forwards a particular email counting as one individual, no matter how many times they forward that particular one.
Unique OpensThe total number of individuals who have opened the message with images enabled.
Unique Selling Point or Unique Selling Proposition (USP)The Unique Selling Proposition (also Unique Selling Point or USP) is a marketing concept that was first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern among successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940s. It states that such campaigns made unique propositions to the customer and that this convinced them to switch brands. The term was invented by Rosser Reeves of Ted Bates & Company. Today the termis used in other fields or just casually to refer to any aspect of an object that differentiates it from different objects.
Unsubscribe(See: Opt-Out)
UPC CodesThe Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode symbology (i.e., a specific type of barcode), that is widely used in North America, and in countries including the UK, Australia, and New Zealand for tracking trade items in stores.
Up Selling / Cross SellingOffering to existing customers the chance to purchase products or services related to items they have either purchased previously or demonstrated interest.
URL (Universal Resource Locator)Website, web page, or address to any other document located on the Internet. URLs pinpoint the location of every file on every computer that is accessible through the Internet.
UsabilityA measure of how easy a subscriber or prospective customer can opt-in and opt-out of a list and how easy it is to find and use the online or software resources they are offered.
User Generated Content (UGC)Media content available in modern communication technologies. All digital media technologies are included, such as Q&A databases, video, blogging, podcasting, forums, review sites, social networking, phone photography, and wikis. UGC may use a combination of free and open source software and flexible licensing to encourage collaboration, skill building, and discovery.
ValueOverall appeal, applicability, and usefulness prospective customers find in an offered product or service.
Value PropositionsThe unique value that you offer to your customers and why they want to do business with you. Usually can be summarized in a statement that you use strategically in your marketing. Can also refer to the sum total of benefits the customer will receive by buying your product or service.
Video Blogs (Vlog)A blog that contains video content. The small but growing segment of the blogosphere devoted to video blogs is sometimes called the vlogosphere.
Video EmailAn email message which contains a video that will play within the email client’s software. Important note: This is not as simple as sending a video in an email. It does require some additional technology or programming.
View in BrowserA hosted version of the email message that subscribers are able to view in their browser instead of in their email program.
View Mobile Version A hosted, basic version of the email message that subscribers are able to view in a browser on mobile devices instead of in their email program.
Viral DesignWhen the design of an email makes subscribers feel impelled to pass it on to others, thus leveraging the email marketing effort. The designers of the email include elements, functions, and content which has that contagious appeal.
Viral ForwardsThe number of referrals sent by subscribers forwarding ‘contagiously designed’ emails to others.
Viral ResponsesThe number of new recipients who opened a message forwarded by a subscriber and clicked on a link.
Viral MarketingA method of marketing in which customers participate voluntarily by referring or recommending a product, service, or an offer to others. Assisted by inserting lines such as “send this to a friend”. This method is very popular for email marketing and is often referred to as word-of-mouth (or WOM) advertising.
VirtualizationThe creation of a virtual (versus an actual) version of something, such as an operating system, a server, a network resouce, or a storage device. Virtualization partitions data and operations into manageable parts, thereby avoiding the complexity of the whole system.
Voice of the Customer (VOC)A term used to describe the in-depth process of capturing a customer’s expectations, preferences, and aversions. Market research that produces a detailed set of customers wants and needs, organized into a hierarchical structure and then prioritized in terms of relative importance and satisfaction with current alternatives. Typcially consists of both quantitative and qualitative research steps. Usually conducted at the start of new product, process, or service design initiatives to better understand the customer’s wants and needs. Used as the key input for new product design.
Web 1.0Refers to the first stage of the World Wide Web linking webpages with hyperlinks. Began in 1993 with the release to the public of the World Wide Web.
Web 2.0Associated with web applications that facilitate participatory and interactive information sharing and collaboration on the World Wide Web. This contrasts with websites where viewers passively view content that was created for them. Since 2004, the term refers mainly to the cumulative ways software developers and end-users make use of the web, not to any technical specification update of the web.
Web 3.0The predicted third generation of the World Wide Web, conjectured to include tagging of content based on the meaning of words.
Web AnalyticsMeasurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of Internet data (page visits, bounce rate, conversion rate, etc.) in order to understand and optimize web usage.
Web BrowsersA software application that allows for browsing of the World Wide Web.
Web ContentThe sum total of text, sound, images, and animation that a user encounters on a website visit. Also, all the stuff on your website, including documents, data applications, e-services, images, audio and video files, personal web pages, archived email messages and more.
Web CopyWritten content for websites. Customized text contents that entice visitors and readers to read and ultimately engage in business. Effective web copy is designed to interact with readers and stimulate their further interest in the website or products being promoted.
Web FormsA webpage that allows users to enter data and is sent A webform on a web page allows a user to enter data that is sent to a server for processing. Webforms resemble paper or database forms because internet users fill out the forms using checkboxes, radio buttons, or text fields. For example, webforms can be used to enter shipping or credit card data to order a product or can be used to retrieve data (e.g., searching on a search engine).
Web Friendly FontsAlmost all web browsers are capable of properly displaying four primary fonts: Times, Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana, as well as their variants (Arial Narrow, Times New Roman, etc.). Straying from the use of one of these fonts increases the risk of browser compatibility problems and the prospect that pages may render inaccurately when viewed through certain web browsers.
WebinarsWeb-based seminars. By using the telephone and the Internet, a broad audience of attendees can participate in a seminar without having to leave their desks.
Web-Safe FontsFonts that are likely to be on a wide variety of computer systems and are used to increase the likelihood that content will be displayed in the chosen font. If a visitor’s computer does not have the specified font, then the browser will try to select a similar one.
Website DesignThe look, the feel, the creative, and the context that is applied to a website to make it look pretty and functional.
WebsitesA collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital content. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet address also called URL.
WhitelistList of commercial emailers approved to send through a certain ISP. Each email sender provides the ISP with a list of the IP addresses from which email will be sent and sometimes completes a test period after which each is approved or rejected. An IP address included on the whitelist is authorized to deliver email even when blocking measures are in place. When an email service provider is ‘whitelisted’, this means their IP addresses are registered with and authorized by specific ISPs, a guarantee that the messages sent through this provider will be delivered.
White PapersAuthoritative report or guide often oriented toward a particular issue or problem. Used to educate readers and help people make decisions and often requested for use in politics, policy, business, and technical fields. In commercial use, documents used by businesses as a marketing or sales tool.
WidgetA visual building block which displays information typically housed or controlled elsewhere.
Wite-out(See Liquid Paper)
Yahoo MailFree web-based email service since 1997 from Yahoo!, including Yahoo Messenger and voicechat options. Currently the largest email provider followed closely by MSN Hotmail.
YouTubeVideo sharing website on which users can view, upload, and share videos. Mostly uploaded by individuals, content is also uploaded by corporations and other organizations.


How we built our glossary:

Every now and then we’re inspired by a great idea. We’ve seen a lot of glossaries that exist in the marketplace, but hadn’t found one that captured all the marketing terms that we think you need to know. So we scoured through all the resources we could find and came up with our own version that shares what others have done and expands on them to give a more complete glossary.

The sources that inspired us include:

Looking for other great reference resources to help you with your words? Here are a few that we recommend:

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