Email marketing glossary

Stay current with the latest email marketing terms.


Anti-Spam Laws

Anti-spam laws are laws and regulations related to sending unsolicited commercial emails.


An autoresponder is one of many types of automated email, which is typically just a single email triggered by an individual’s action.

Average Open Rate

An average open rate is calculated by comparing the total number of emails in a campaign delivered to the total of emails that were opened by the recipients.

Bounced Email

Bounced email is an email that couldn’t be delivered successfully.

Bulk Email

Bulk email is the act of sending one email campaign to a large group at once.


CAN-SPAM is a law that sets the rules for commercial email marketing campaigns, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-through rate (CTR) is the measure clicks in an email.

Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR)

CTOR is the number of clicks out of opens, showing the email's effectiveness.


A conversion is the moment a consumer performs a specific valuable action identified by a business. That action could be a purchase from an online store, a newsletter signup, or other call to action.

Double Opt-In

A double opt-in is a second confirmation step a user must take when signing up for an email marketing list.

Dynamic Content

Dynamic content is content you define and set to display in an email based on a set of stipulations.

Email A/B Testing

Email A/B testing is a tactic used to test one element within two different versions of an email to see which performs better.

Email Automation

Email automation is the ability to send time or action-triggered emails to subscribers with personalized information.

Email Blacklist

Email blacklist is a real-time database that uses set criteria to decide if an IP is sending email that could be considered spam.

Email Blast (eblast)

An email blast is a single email message that is sent to a large group of recipients without segmenting the list.

Email Click Rate

The email click rate is the percentage of clicks out of delivered emails.

Email Deliverability

Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to subscribers’ inboxes.

Email Deployment

An email deployment is the sending out of an email campaign to an email list through an email deployment platform or program.

Email Integrations

Email integrations are the bringing together of systems, software, and tools for more seamless processes related to email marketing.

Email Leads

Email leads are contacts whose email address you’ve obtained through an opt-in form.

Email List Fatigue

Email list fatigue is when an email marketing list includes old or inactive subscribers who might no longer be responding to email messages any longer.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a form of digital marketing that uses email to deliver messages to the target audience.

Email Marketing Benchmarks

Email marketing benchmarks are the points of reference against which email marketing efforts can be judged.

Email Marketing Campaign

An email campaign is a coordinated set of individual email messages that are deployed across a specific period of time with one specific purpose.

Email Marketing Conversion Rate

Email marketing conversion rate is the percentage of subscribers who clicked on a link within the email and completed a goal action.

Email Marketing Software

Email marketing software is service-based software that helps marketers conduct all aspects of their email marketing efforts.

Email Marketing Template

Email marketing template is a pre-existing template that gives you a starting point for your email and allows you to customize the colors, fonts, images, mobile responsiveness, etc. of the layout.

Email Marketing Tools

Email marketing tools are a variety of helpful features and tools that help marketers improve their email marketing efforts.

Email Newsletters

Email newsletters are the most effective way to keep your audience updated on your latest company and product news.

Email Open Rate

Email open rate is the percentage of subscribers who opened a particular email campaign.

Email Preheader

Email preheader is the short summary text that follows the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox.

Email Service Provider (ESP)

ESP is an acronym for Email Service Provider, which is a service that enables marketers to create, send, and track email marketing campaigns.

Email Spam

Email spam is unsolicited email that the recipient has received in his or her inbox without granting the sender permission.

Email Whitelist

Email whitelist is a list of “safe” email addresses that always pass through spam filters or domain names from which an email blocking program will allow messages to be received. Whitelisted email addresses will almost always pass through spam filters.

Email Workflow

Email workflow is a series of automated emails that are triggered to send based on behavior or data. These allow marketers to send the right messages to the right person at the right time.

Hard Bounce

Hard bounce is an email that has been returned to the sender because of permanent reasons.

List Hygiene

List hygiene is the process of maintaining a viable email subscriber list for maximum email marketing impact.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is when software automatically sends email campaigns to your customers and prospects based on triggers you define.

Mass Email Marketing

Mass email marketing is the practice of sending a one-size-fits-all message to your list of subscribers without personalizing the information based on individual preferences or interests.

Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing is a tactic for testing multiple variables in an email to find the ideal combination.

Opt Out

An opt out, also known as “unsubscribe,” is an explicit request from a user to remove their email address from a specific email marketing list or all of all lists owned by that sender.

Opt-in Email Lists

Opt-in email lists are lists that obtain the permission of the subscriber to send follow-up marketing materials via email.

Opt-in Marketing

Opt-in marketing is a marketing practice in which recipients have consented to receive marketing materials.

Permission Email Marketing

Permission email marketing is an approach in which leads give marketers and sales teams permission to follow up via email with additional marketing materials.


Personalization is email content customized to subscribers based on their individual desires, interests, and data.

Plain Text Email Format

A plain text email contains no images, stylized fonts, or hyperlinks and can be read on any device

Promotional Email

Promotional emails are sent to get the word out about a product, service or event. It is a good idea to develop and deploy multiple emails as part of a larger campaign that will move a client through a specific funnel to a final conversion, which could include a sign up, whitepaper download, or purchase.


An email recipient is an individual who has opted-in to receive email from an individual or a company for marketing purposes.


Segmentation is the division of email subscribers into smaller segments based on criteria such as demographics, purchase history, etc.

Soft Bounce

Soft bounce is an email that failed to deliver due to temporary reasons.

Subject Line

A subject line is a short line that identifies the topic of the email. A subject line should be engaging and personalized to the subscriber whenever possible.

Transactional Email

Transactional email is an automatic email triggered by a transaction, such as a purchase.


Unsubscribe is the action a user takes to opt-out of receiving any more emails.

Viral Email Marketing

Viral email marketing is an approach that strives to get email messages rapidly shared from person to person, generally through a funny, highly dramatic, emotional, or shocking tactic that contributes to its viral nature.

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