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Top Need-to-Know Email Marketing Definitions, Part 1

Jul 17, 2013   |   3 min read

Knowledge Center  ❯   Blog

Open DictionaryMastering the lingo of any profession can be challenging for newbies. In email marketing, even established professionals can confuse the essential terms with techno-babble and buzzwords. Then, as the industry changes and new trends emerge, email marketers need to file even more definitions into their already cramped noggins. It’s enough to make the perkiest professionals feel more like worn, old dictionaries than direct communications masters.

To help ease the definition burden, we’ve compiled a glossary of commonly used email marketing terms you can refer to when the coffee (and your mental juices) are running low. Here, you’ll find 10 definitions derived from HubSpot and Constant Contact.

Blacklist: A list that denotes IP addresses as spammer IPs, impeding email deliverability. There are independent blacklist organizations, such as Spamhaus, that track spam mail and provide always-changing, publicly available lists that are widely used by ISPs to block email. In addition, ISPs maintain private blacklists of senders they will not accept mail from. The opposite of a blacklist is a whitelist, which are lists that include IP addresses that have been approved to deliver mail to a recipient.

Bounce (Hard and Soft) Rate: In email marketing, there are hard bounces and soft bounces. The hard bounce rate measures how many messages were undelivered either because the domain name doesn’t exist or the address itself fails to be recognized. The soft bounce rate, on the other hand, measures the failed delivery of mail due to a temporary issue like a full mailbox or unavailable server. Too high of a bounce rate can impact your email reputation and impact your deliverability.

CAN-SPAM: Federal legislation passed in 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act requires a valid “From” line, a straightforward subject line, an unsubscribe/opt-out link and/or instructions to unsubscribe and a physical address. The CAN-SPAM Act requires email marketers to honor opt-out requests within 10 business days, but best practices for improving sender reputation dictate that you should make every attempt to remove customers from your list within 24 hours.

Click-through Rate (CTR): The percentage of recipients that click on a given URL in your email. It is derived by dividing the number of unique clicks by the number of emails opened.

Conversion Rate: The measure of your email marketing campaign’s success, the conversion rate is the number or percentage of recipients who respond to your call-to-action (CTA).

CPM (Cost Per Thousand): CPM is an acronym for the cost per 1,000. Pricing for sending emails or renting email lists are usually given as CPM. For example, a rental list priced at $250 CPM would mean the list owner charges $0.25 per email address.

From Line (Sender Line): The from line has two parts: the from name and the from address. The from name is the individual sending the mail, while the from address is the email address the individual is sending the mail from. (Example: [email protected]) According to recent data from MarketingSherpa, the from line is an important element today’s email marketers should be testing before mailing the bulk of their lists.

Honey Pot: An email address that is not used for any other purpose than to receive spam. Anti-spam groups publish these spam traps publicly but never subscribe them to any lists. Therefore, any email they receive must be from organizations that illegally harvested the email address and, thus, are sending spam.

House List (or Retention List): An organization’s list of subscribers that opted-in to receive email from them. According to Constant Contact, a retention list is one of your most valuable assets because it is seven times less expensive to market to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. The opposite of a retention list is an acquisition (or rental) list. This is a list of prospects or a targeted group of recipients who have opted in to receive information about certain subjects.

HTML Email: An email formatted using Hypertext Markup Language instead of plain text. HTML makes it possible to include unique fonts, graphics and background colors in emails, which can grab the attention of your recipients.

Join us next time when we share 10 more need-to-know email marketing definitions. Learn more about the terms discussed here by checking out the helpful content on our resources page.

photo credit: Horia Varlan

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