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Email Marketing Terms Every Business Owner Should Know

A Handy Email Marketing Glossary

Email marketing glossary terms are critical to understanding the most profitable of all promotional tools. After reviewing this reference, it should be obvious that email marketing is a game of strategy.  Therefore, the more you understand its language, the easier it is to evaluate how your automated messages are working—or not.
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Acceptance Rate

Also known as the deliverability rate, this is the percentage of emails accepted by your readers’ email servers. It’s important to note that the acceptance rate doesn’t reflect that emails made it into an inbox. Rather, this number shows the amount of emails that didn’t bounce back.

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A real-time database that identifies IP addresses and domains known for sending SPAM, a blacklist can send emails straight to the trash. To that end, a full-service email marketing agency can be instrumental in keeping your IP address off these dreaded databases.

Bounce Rate, Hard Bounce, Soft Bounce

The bounce rate shows the number of emails that are not accepted by your subscribers’ email servers.

A hard bounce shows an email cannot be delivered for a permanent reason. For example, the recipient’s email address doesn’t exist. Alternatively, the recipient’s email server has completely blocked the message from being delivered.

On the other hand, a soft bounce indicates a temporary delivery problem. Temporary delivery problems can include an overflowing inbox, an offline email server, or a nonexistent domain name.

Here are 4 factors that influence your email bounce rate.

Bulk Emails

These messages are simultaneously sent to large groups of readers. As a result, bulk emails aren’t personalized, although they may be targeted to a specific section of your audience.

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An email marketing campaign is a sequence of messages simultaneously sent to multiple recipients. Designed to connect readers with optimal content at the best time, campaigns build brand awareness, strengthen engagement, and create conversions.

Find out about how our email campaign management can save you time, resources, and money!

CTR (Click-Through Rate)

This rate reflects the percentage of recipients that click on a link in your message. To clarify, it’s calculated by dividing the number of unique clicks on a link by the number of emails that were opened. Of course, the higher your CTR, the better.


Short for Cost Per Milli, CPM stands for the cost of sending 1,000 email messages. This pricing metric is used by email service providers (ESPs) to pay for costs including the mail server, bandwidth, bounce management, deliverability services, and hosting images.

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Double Opt-In

A process requiring a subscriber to undergo a two-step process to subscribe to an email list. Building an email list usually involves a double opt-in sign-up form, followed by a confirmation email with a link.

Drip Campaign

A series of automated messages regularly sent to leads over a set period of time. Goals of a drip campaign can include retaining customers, increasing brand awareness, and nurturing new leads. In addition, this series of emails can also be used to answer FAQs, address objections, and win trust.

Dynamic Content

Any email content that changes based on the subscribers’ data, preferences, and behaviors is considered dynamic content. Accordingly, dynamic content is used to personalize a message with text, visuals, or calls to action. Targeting particular subscribers with dynamic content is a great way to develop a relationship with them.

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Email Automation

An email marketing strategy that sends messages according to certain times or triggers. For instance, emails can be scheduled to drop to coincide with a sale, product launch, or anniversary. In addition, email automations can be created for customers who are inclined to buy similar products to ones they have previously purchased. Email automation saves time, boosts sales, converts readers into customers, and engages subscribers.

Email Deliverability

The ability to successfully deliver messages to subscribers’ inboxes is known as email deliverability. The email deliverability rate depends on how the sender manages their subscriber list and email program.

Email Engagement

A measure of how subscribers interact with your automated messages, email engagement is the springboard for future campaigns. Knowing when, where, who, and how your emails are being accessed helps craft messages that are relevant, share-worthy, and valued.

Email Filter

An email filter is a program that automatically separates messages into different folders based on specified criteria. If email marketing messages aren’t worded correctly or generated from reliable IP addresses, they can be automatically diverted to SPAM folders.

Email Hosting

A service which stores all your email messages and associated files on a server, email hosting improves brand consistency. Using a professional email host allows you to use your own domain name as your email address. Not only does this look more professional, but it prevents confusion for members of your email list.

Email Marketing

The use of email to promote products or services to develop relationships with potential customers and clients, email marketing has a return on investment of $4200. One of the most effective tools to grow a brand and sell products, email marketing is a critical component to any business, online or otherwise.

ESP (Email Service Provider)

Short for email service providers, an ESP is a company that offers an email marketing platform and various automation tools. It allows users to create and send messages, promotions, and newsletters to email lists. Although ESPs are very helpful with automated campaigns, they are best used in tandem with a full-service email marketing agency.

Email Sales Funnels

A series of automated messages designed to take readers through different stages of a sales journey, the purpose of email sales funnels is to convert prospects into customers. Ideally, an email sales funnel will get a prospect’s attention, excite their interest, fuel their desire, and inspire them to act by making a purchase.

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Standing for HyperText Markup Language, HTML is a kind of email that can be customized and formatted. A more flexible alternative to Plain Text emails, HTML allows for bold, italicized, and underlined text, as well as special layouts.

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Impressions represent the number of times your content is displayed, regardless of whether it is clicked or not. Commonly known as “views,” this number represents the amount of people who have seen your content online.

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List Segmentation

The process of breaking down an email list into small, targeted segments, the purpose of list segmentation is creating personally relevant messages. A highly effective form of engagement, list segmentation converts readers into customers and cultivates committed brand advocates.

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Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing involves sending several variations of the same email to see which combinations of words and images get the biggest responses. Also known as split testing and A/B testing, multivariate testing is one of the powerful automation tools in any email marketing arsenal.

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Opt-Out is a link allowing email recipients to unsubscribe from future messages. The CAN-SPAM law requires email marketers to provide a clear, operable way to opt out of future messages.

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When email marketers use subscriber data to create messages that feel tailored to the recipient, it’s called personalization. In fact, personalization has been shown to increase sales revenue by 20%.

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An acronym for Something Posing as Mail, SPAM is unsolicited emails. While most SPAM is simply unwanted, some of it contains malicious spyware. Successful automations adhere to best email marketing practices, thereby keeping these messages from getting diverted to SPAM folders.

CAN-SPAM is an acronym for a law called Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003. Specifically, this regulation contains the guidelines that businesses must follow when sending promotional emails. Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, recipients must have a visible and operable way to unsubscribe from your messages. Furthermore, your emails must contain accurate “from” lines, as well as other stipulations.

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Target Marketing

Email campaigns based on subscribers’ segmented characteristics is known as target marketing. For instance, a targeted email marketing campaign could send messages to recipients based on their location, age, or purchasing behavior.

Transactional Email

One-to-one messages containing information that completes a purchase or exchange are known as transactional emails. Unlike marketing email, which is sent to large groups, transactional email is sent to individuals.

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A whitelist is an index of approved email addresses. Adding an email to an approved sender list is known as whitelisting. Consequently, putting an email on a whitelist ensures the sender’s messages are never moved to the SPAM folder. A full-service email marketing agency can ensure emails are sent from high-quality IP addresses, preventing messages from being automatically diverted to the trash.

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Book Appointment

We offer a free 20-minute consult to talk about your business and see if we might be a good fit. If a partnership sounds promising, we'll schedule a discovery call.

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Review Proposal

After we have all the facts, we’ll present a proposal outlining our tailored, full-service solution—what it will include, what it will do for your business, and what it will cost.

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Win More Business

This is where we execute a world-class email campaign to help you win more business while you celebrate, breathe a sigh of relief, and move on to your next project.

Book an Appointment

Schedule your free 20-minute consultation to see if your business can profit from expert email marketing.

Almost all businesses make these Top 5 Classic Email Marketing Mistakes

Instantly improve your email campaign by avoiding these errors.

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