Email Marketing Glossary

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Email marketing terms & definitions

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Blacklist: A list of IP addresses that are considered spammers or spamming sites.

Bounce Rate – The rate at which your emails are not delivered and are defined by two types of bounces, hard and soft.  An acceptable bounce rate is less than 5%.

Bulk Mail – A large scale email marketing sends in which the same content goes to a large group of people.


CAN-SPAM: Short for ‘Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003,’ it’s a law that outlines rules for commercial email, provides email recipients with the right to make you stop emailing them, and lays out consequences for violations of the Act.

Click Through Rate (CTR): The number of unique clicks divided by the number that were opened of recipients that click on a URL within your email.

Conversion Rate – The percentage of recipients who respond to your call-to-action in an email marketing campaign or promotion. This is one measure of your email campaign’s success.


Dedicated IP:  An IP address only, in which you send email from – It is more costly, an you may have to manually manage marketing terms glossary

Deliverability: Total number of emails deployed divided into the total amount successfully delivered.


Email Campaign – An email designed to accomplish an overall marketing goal.

Email Client: A computer program used to access and manage a user’s email. Example:,, Outlook

Email Service Provider (ESP): A provider of email marketing software and or services. (Ex. Act-On, Jango, SMTP)


Hard Bounce: A failed delivery due to permanent reasons like invalid email or blocked email address.


Open Rate: Total number of emails opened divided by the number of emails delivered.


Retention List: A list of people who have given permission (opt-in) to receive emails from marketing definitions


Sender Score: A reputation rating (0-100) for every outgoing mail server IP address. Servers will check score before deciding what to do with your emails.

Shared IP: An IP address that multiple people send from – least costly.

SPAM: An unsolicited email or email we did not give permission to receive.

SPAM Trap: An email address that was once valid that mail servers turn into a trap by not returning a hard bounce. It would not be removed from list, so each time an email is sent the sender is reported as a spammer.

Soft Bounce: A failed delivery due to temporary issue like full mailbox or server unavailable.


Whitelist: A list of IP addresses approved to deliver email.