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Home>Glossary

Glossary of Email Terms

above the fold - Refers to the top portion of an email than can be viewed without scrolling.

acquisition list - A list of prospects with a set of characteristics desirable to an organization. The organization wishes to communicate to the prospects to acquire them as customers.

api - (application programming interface) A set of programming language statments a programmer uses to add functionality to a software application. These statements call additional software usually written by another party.

bandwidth - The amount of data a network connection is capable of moving. Bandwidth is measured in bits per second.

blacklist - A list of email addresses that are not acceptable to receive email from.

bounce - Email not delivered to the intended recipient. This may be caused by an invalid email address or trouble with the recipient's email transport or delivery software.

campaign - A single mailing of a particular message to a given set of recipients.

click-through rate - The number of recipients of an email message that clicked on a given URL in the message divided by the total number of recipients.

conversion rate - The number of recipients of an email message that acted on an offer in the message divided by the total number of recipients.

cpm - (cost per thousand) The cost of reaching one thousand recipients of an email campaign.

double opt-in - Require a subscriber to a mailing list to confirm her opt-in request.

email filter - A software system that routes or discards an email message by examining the message contents.

false negative - An email message incorrectly classified as not being spam.

false positive - An email message incorrectly classified as being spam.

retention list - An email list of active, regular customers.

HTML email - An email message whose body is composed of text using Hypertext Markup tags, such as found in web pages. HTML email is more effective than plain text email.

landing page - The page on a website that is retrieved when a recipient clicks on a link in an email message.

list sampling - Selecting a subset of an email list.

mta - (mail transport agent) A software component that communicates with an email client program located on a personal computer. The mta is usually located on a computer dedicated to handling email. The mta receives, sends and stores messages and handles errors.

mailer daemon - Same as the mta (mail transport agent). You may sometimes see "MAILER-DAEMON@..." as the From address in a message. This is a message generated by the mail transport agent, usually because of a problem.

message testing - Sending a message to a sample of addresses on a list to test the response of the recipients.

multipart-alternative - A type of email message that has both plain and HTML content. An email client program may display the message in either format.

open-rate - The number emails opened by the recipients of a campaign divided by the total number of recipients. This can be stated as a percentage.

opt-in - To choose to receive email messages from a particular sender. This gives the sender the right to communicate on a regular basis to the owner of the email address submitted.

opt-out - To choose not to receive communications from a particular sender. This revokes the sender's right to communicate on a regular basis to the owner of the email address submitted.

permission-based email - Email sent to recipients who have given their permission to receive email from a sender by subscribing to the sender's list.

personalize - Using the recipient's first and last name in a email message.

privacy policy - A clear description of an organization's policy on the use of information collected from and about an email subscriber or visitor to a website. The policy states how personal information can be used and what security is in place to protect privacy.

program - Ongoing communication or dialogue with subscribers.

query - A request for a set of information from a computerized database based on a set of criteria.

read-rate - The number emails opened by the recipients of a campaign divided by the total number of recipients. This can be stated as a percentage. This is the same as the open rate.

redirect URL - A link in an email message that when clicked, enters some information about the recipient in a database and loads the web page the link represents.

relational database - A software application that manages the storage and retrieval of data.

remarketing - Using past campaign information to target a particular message to an audience.

spam - Automatically generated email of a commercial nature received by someone who has not authorized the sender to contact him and has no transactional relationship with the sender.

subscriber - A person who is a member of a permission based mailing list.

targeting - Directing a commercial message to a group of recipients who have a desired set of characteristics, such as interest in a given product.

url - A character string, such as 'http://www.mailcar.net/index.html', that defines the location of a document on the internet.

viral marketing - A marketing technique that encourages an individual to forward a marketing message she received to others.

whitelist - A list of email addresses that are acceptable to receive email from.

xml - (extensible markup language) Used to structure information in a document so that it can be recognized and processed by a computer program.

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