Email marketing is an integral part of ecommerce. It is the most effective marketing strategy to universally reach the target audience. But marketers love jargon. And if you are a newbie, you can easily get lost in the sea of Email Marketing Terms. 

Don't fret because even seasoned marketers are continually learning new terms to keep up to date with the latest marketing terminology, trends, and practices. To help you decode any confusing jargon you encounter, we've put together a glossary of the most-used email Marketing Terms. 

Here are the Top 26 Email Marketing Terms and Definitions every marketer should know.

1. Acceptance Rate

Acceptance Rate is the percentage of email messages successfully delivered or accepted by the mail server. Accepted emails do not bounce back. They can be delivered either to the inbox or spam or junk folders.

2. Blacklist

An email blacklist is a real-time list that denotes IP addresses as spammer IPs, known to send spam.

3. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of emails that have not successfully reached recipients. When an email bounces, the sender gets a Non Delivery Report (NDR). An acceptable Bounce Rate is less than 5%.

4. Bulk Mail

Large-scale marketing or promotional emails (with the same content) sent out to a large group of people or subscribers at once. Newsletters, updates, coupons, and invitations generally comprise bulk mails. 


Acronym for 'Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003', CAN-SPAM is a law that defines rules for commercial email. The law makes it illegal for businesses to send targeted emails without permission. Companies must include the 'unsubscribe' option in all promotional emails and must not include names in an email without the "express permission" of the recipient. 

6. CTR 

CTR stands for "Click Through Rate" and indicates the percentage of recipients that click on a link in a marketing email. It is calculated by dividing the number of unique clicks by the number of emails that were opened. The higher the CTR score, the better for a business.

7. Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate is the percentage of subscribers who follow through on an email's call to action. This can be a click, a download, purchase, or some other desired action depending upon the sender's conversion goal. Conversion rate is one of the top indicators of a company's marketing strategy performance.

8. Dedicated IP

It refers to an IP address assigned by a service exclusively to your account. That means, from which only you can send mail.  A shared IP refers to an IP address assigned to many users.

9. Double Opt-In, Single Opt-In

A double opt-in occurs when a user subscribes to email marketing through a two-step process – firstly by a standard sign-up, followed by a confirmation click on an emailed link. Marketers reduce the chance of spam addresses in the deployment list by using the double opt-in confirmation method.

A single opt-in is a one-step opt-in process in which subscribers sign up for email communications but do not click on the confirmation link. Unlike double opt-in, single opt-in could lead to less engaged recipients; hence it is not a recommended email marketing strategy. 

10. Email Campaign

An email campaign is a series of marketing efforts driven towards a specific marketing goal. Emails are sent to reach out to subscribers with valuable content and relevant offers. A successful email marketing campaign helps to promote the brand and increase sales. 

11. Email Service Provider (ESP)

An email service provider is a software service that enables email marketers to send email marketing campaigns to their subscribers. 

12. Hard Bounce

A hard bounce is an email that has failed to deliver due to permanent reasons, like blocked or invalid recipient address. The reduction of hard bounces is a primary goal of email marketing.

13. House List (Retention List)

A valuable marketing asset, a house email list is a permission-based list of opt-in subscribers that organizations use to send direct promotional messages.

14. HTML

HTML email design makes it possible to get creative with the visual appeal of your emails. Unlike standard Text-based emails, HTML email lets you incorporate images, fonts, and layouts into your mail, just like a web page. This email design helps to get the brand message across more effectively. 

15.  IP Warming/Warm-up

IP warming is the practice of gradually increasing email volume sent with a dedicated IP address following a set schedule. Such practice helps to establish the relevance of your IP address as a legitimate email sender. 

16. Landing Page

A landing page is a web page created solely for marketing or advertising purpose and aims at converting interested prospects into buyers. Email marketing is one of the best ways to get visitors to the landing page of a business. 

17. List Segmentation

Email list segmentation is a technique used by email marketers to divide their contact lists into distinct groups or segments. This is done to send highly targeted emails and relevant content according to segments.

18. Marketing Automation

In email marketing terms, marketing automation refers to email marketing software sending promotional campaigns to prospects and customers based on a set of predetermined triggers. For example, a brand can use marketing automation to send special offers to customers on birthdays/anniversaries or once they've spent a certain amount of money on purchases. Marketing automation is gaining immense popularity because it gives email marketers the chance to reach a broader audience in a personalized and efficient manner. 

19. Open Rate

Email open rate is the percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened a particular email sent through a promotional campaign. It is one of the best ways to work out if an email strategy is working. Open rates can vary according to subject line and relevance of subject matter for recipients. Smart marketers use targeted emailing to improve open rates.

20. Opt-in

Opt-in is an inbound marketing approach whereby a potential customer is offered the option to opt-in or subscribe to a brand's promotional or other types of content. The subscriber grants permission to the marketer to email him/her. Opt-in is also known as permission marketing and can be single or double opt-in. It is a targeted, ethical and effective marketing strategy.

21. Opt-out

When a subscriber does not want to receive promotional email communications from a sender, he/she can opt-out (unsubscribe) or request removal from the mailing list. CAN-SPAM Act obliges every company to include an "unsubscribe" link in every email they send so that subscribers can opt-out at any time.  

22. Personalization

Personalization involves adding elements to emails that are customized for the recipient. This can include addressing the recipient by name, putting product/service recommendations based on their preferences, referencing past purchases, or sending content that is unique to the recipient.

23. Sender Score

Sender Score or Email Sender Reputation is a rating from 0-100 that is assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to an organization that sends email. Mail servers check Sender Score before delivering your emails to recipient inboxes. The higher the score, the more likely it'll get delivered to the inbox of the recipient. 

24. Signature File

Signature File or Email Signature is the short block of text or tagline at the end of an email that identifies the sender and provides contact information. A marketing email signature creates an overall impression about the sender and the brand. So more and more companies are exploring the marketing opportunities of email signatures and trying to leave branded impressions with every single email.  

25. Soft Bounce

A soft bounce refers to failed delivery of an email due to temporary reasons, like a full mailbox or an unavailable server on the recipient's side. Soft bounce recipients remain eligible for future emails from the sender. 

26. Spam

Spam or Junk Mails are emails that are unsolicited and unwanted and have been sent out in bulk to a random recipient list. Email sent to someone who has not opted in or given permission for email communications typically classify as spam. Spam mails are usually sent for commercial purposes. For a marketer, sending spam can harm their IP and impair Acceptance Rate. There can be legal consequences too.  

Now that you've got the most important email marketing terminology down, keep yourself updated with emerging marketing terms and abbreviations.

Looking forward to leverage email as a marketing tool to drive more traffic, sales, and conversions? Then check out the Advanced Email Marketing Course now.

As digitization continues at a rapid pace, employers worldwide are seeking out skilled employees who can adapt and evolve their domain knowledge from time to time. Upskilling is the best way to make yourself marketable and attractive to companies. There are plenty of skills not just in your chosen field but also in supporting fields, which you can pursue to get ahead of peers. 

A good way to start or advance your way up in email marketing expertise is choosing an online certification such as email marketing certification training from Simplilearn.     

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