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email marketing glossary

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A/B Split
A mailing list is divided into two equal segments, and each is tested for different offers in order to determine which is more effective.

Above-the-fold
The part of an email message or a web page which is visible without scrolling down. Material in this area is considered more valuable.

API
An Application Program Interface (API) is used by one program to manage another. Using leadsNyou API you can manage your contacts from another program (may be your personal Task Manager).

Autoresponder
A computer program that automatically responds to an email sent to a particular email address, with a message containing prewritten content.

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Bayesian filter
A spam filter that is adaptable and “learns” to identify new patterns of spam by examining the words and punctuation of both valid and spam email.

Below-the-fold
The part of an email message or a web page which is visible after scrolling down.

Blacklist
List of emails or machines suspected of sending spams is called Blacklist. It is used by many companies to reject inbound emails.

Bounce
An email that does not reach the end recipient and is returned to sender. Misspelling of the name or an incorrect address will cause a bounce. Emails can also bounce if the size of the attached file exceeds a set limit by your ISP. "Hard" bounces are caused by invalid email addresses, whereas "soft" bounces are due to temporary conditions, example being mailbox is full.

Bounce Rate
The number of bounces divided by the number of emails sent.

Bulk email
Bulk email is a nearly identical message which is sent to numerous recipients. Bulk email requires special bulk email software that takes each individual email address from that bulk email list, and sends one message to each email address. A bulk email list is one of the most interesting uses of email broadcasting. It connects a group of people, who have common interests, by their email address. When one person sends e-mail to the bulk email list, that message is automatically sent to everyone on that list, hence bulk email.

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Campaign
A marketing project distinguished within your account, with its own settings, subscribers list, follow-ups and more.

CAN-SPAM
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for those who send commercial email, describes penalties for spammers and companies who advertise their products in spam messages if they violate the law, gives consumers the right to ask spammers to stop sending their messages.

Challenge-Response
A method that authenticates that a human responded to an email challenge message and upon completion of the challenge, the original email that triggered the challenge is delivered to the recipient.

Click-through tracking
When a particular hyperlink is tracked to determine how many recipients clicked on that link in an online advertising format. Marketers can use this format to measure the success of email marketing campaigns.

Confirmation message
A message containing a confirmation link, sent to contacts upon adding them to your list, to verify their intention to receive your messages. As a result, only those people with access to the account can respond to the confirmation message, greatly reducing the chances of abuse.

Confirmed opt-in
"Confirmed opt-in", also known as "double opt-in" is a more stringent method of obtaining permission to send email campaigns. It requires the contact to respond to a confirmation email by clicking on a confirmation link. Only contacts who take this additional step are added to the list.

Conversion rate
A measurement of success in email marketing. This generally is the percentage of visitors that complete a desired action (for example complete a purchase or form).

CSV format
Comma Separated Values (CSV), a specially formatted plain text file which stores information in a very simple format, with one record on each line, and each field within that record separated by a comma.

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Deliverability rate
The average rate of gross email deliverability shown by the percentage of mails delivered to a contact’s inbox.

Domain name
It identifies one or more IP addresses. It is used in URLs to identify particular web pages.

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Email Contextual link
A database of IP addresses that are being used by or belong to organizations or persons that have been identified as sending Spam. Various organizations and Internet Service Providers often subscribe to the blacklists as part of their filtering process to block all incoming mail from a particular IP address.

Email newsletter
Content distributed to subscribers by email, on a regular schedule. Content is seen as valued editorial in and of itself rather than primarily a commercial message with a sales offer.

ESP
A company providing email services, an email service provider (ESP) offers email marketing or bulk email services.

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FFA email addresses
A Free-For-All program is a freely accessible web page that enables anyone to add their own link, in exchange for their email address. Once submitted, the email address is usually distributed to hundreds of different webmasters. As a result, the person who does the submission would then receive hundreds of "Thank you for your submission" and follow-ups.

Follow up
A message which is sent as an instant, automated reply message or after a defined period of time from the signup day.

Forward (also Forward to a Friend)
AKA viral marketing. The process in which email recipients send your message to people they know, either because they think their friends will be interested in your message or because you offer incentives to forward messages. Forwarding can be done through the recipient's own email client or by giving the recipient a link to click, which brings up a registration page at your site, in which you ask the forwarded to give his/her name and email address, the name/email address of the person they want to send to and (optionally) a brief email message explaining the reason for the forward. You can supply the wording or allow the forward to write his/her own message.

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Hard bounce
Failed delivery of an email due to a permanent reason like a non-existent email address.

HTML message
Email message which contains any type of formatting other than text. This may be as simple as programming that sets the text in a specific font (bold, italics, Courier 10 point, etc.). It also includes any graphic images, logos and colors.

Hygiene
The process of cleaning a database to correct incorrect or outdated values.

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IMAP
Internet Message Access Protocol, a standard protocol for accessing email from a server.

Image Blocking
Images turned off as a standard in an email client unless the sender is included in the users' address book, which means that users have to take action in order to view the images in an email.

Import
A feature that enables you to add subscribers to your subscribers list from a file.

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List
The list of email addresses to which you send your message. Can be either your house list or a third-party list that sends your message on your behalf.

List segmentation
This helps you in creating sub-groups within your mailing list. You can segment a list based on ZIP code etc.

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Mailing list
A list of email addresses that receive mailings or discussion-group messages.

Multi-part MIME
Also known (confusingly) as an "email sniffer." Message format which includes both an HTML and a text-only version in the same message. Most (but not all) email clients receiving messages in this format will automatically display the version the user's system is set to show. Systems that can't show HTML should show the text version instead. This doesn't always work in particular for many Lotus Notes users. Also, no data, except HTML open rates and possibly link click tracking, is transmitted back to the sender regarding which version a recipient wound up viewing.

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Newsletter
An expression that simply refers to HTML email (see HTML message). When most people think of email they think of plain text. When you see the term 'newsletter' in marketing, it conjures up a whole range of new opportunities.

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Open rate
The number of HTML message recipients who opened your email, usually as a percentage of the total number of emails sent. The open rate is considered a key metric for judging an email campaign's success, but it has several problems. The rate indicates only the number of emails opened from the total amount sent, not just those that were actually delivered. Opens also can't be calculated on text emails. Also, some email clients also users to scan message content without actually opening the message, which is falsely calculated as an open. See preview pane.

Opt-in or Subscribe
A specific, pro-active, request by an individual email recipient to have their own email address placed on a specific mailing list. Many list renters and buyers now require list owners to provide proof of opt-in, including the actual email or IP address date and time the request was received.

Opt-out or Unsubscribe
A specific request to remove an email address from a specific list, or from all lists operated by a single owner. Also, the process of adding an email addresses to lists without the name's pre-approval, forcing names who don't want to be on your list to actively unsubscribe.

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Permission-based email
Email sent to recipients or subscribers who have opted-in/ subscribed or given inferred permission to be sent email communications from a particular company, website or individual. Whichever way you look at it, permission is an absolute prerequisite for legitimate email marketing.

Personalization
A targeting method in which an email message appears to have been created only for a single recipient. Personalization techniques include adding the recipient's name in the subject line or message body, or the message offer reflects a purchasing, link clicking, or transaction history.

Phishing
A form of identity theft in which a scammer uses an authentic-looking email to trick recipients into giving out sensitive personal information, such as credit-card or bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and other data.
Plain text
Text in an email message that includes no formatting code. See HTML.

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Reverse DNS
The process in which an IP address is matched correctly to a domain name, instead of a domain name being matched to an IP address. Reverse DNS is a popular method for catching spammers who use invalid IP addresses. If a spam filter or program can't match the IP address to the domain name, it can reject the email.

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Segmentation
Dividing or separating your email list based on categories, purchasing behavior, demographics and more for the purpose of targeting email marketing campaigns to the audience most likely to respond.

Selective Unsubscribe
An unsubscribe mechanism that allows a consumer to selectively determine which email newsletters they wish to continue receiving while stopping the sending of others.

Sender ID
The informal name for a new anti-spam program combining two existing protocols.

Sender Policy Framework (also SPF)
A protocol used to eliminate email forgeries. A line of code called an SPF record is placed in a sender's Domain Name Server information. The incoming mail server can verify a sender by reading the SPF record before allowing a message through.

Signature
A line or two of information found in the closing of an email, usually followed the sender's name. Signatures can include advertising information, such as a company name, product, brand message or marketing call to action (subscribe to a company newsletter with the email subscribe address or Web registration form, or visit a Web site with the URL listed).

Single Opt-in
Once the most widely accepted and routinely used method of obtaining email addresses and permission. A single opt-in list is created by inviting visitors and customers to subscribe to your mail list. When you use a sign-up form on your website, a message immediately goes out to the subscriber acknowledging the subscription (a good example of an auto-responder). This message should reiterate what the subscriber has signed up for and provide an immediate way for the subscriber to edit his/her interests or opt-out. Industry best practice now dictates a double opt-in.

SMTP
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, the most common protocol for sending email messages between email servers.

Soft bounce
Email sent to an active (live) email address but which is turned away before being delivered. Often, the problem is temporary -- the server is down or the recipient's mailbox is over quota. The email might be held at the recipient's server and delivered later, or the sender's email program may attempt to deliver it again. Soft-bounce reports are not always accurate because they don't report all soft bounces or the actual reason for the bounce.

Solo mailing
Email sent to an active (live) email address but which is turned away before being delivered. Often, the problem is temporary -- the server is down or the recipient's mailbox is over quota. The email might be held at the recipient's server and delivered later, or the sender's email program may attempt to deliver it again. Soft-bounce reports are not always accurate because they don't report all soft bounces or the actual reason for the bounce.A one-time broadcast to an email list, separate from regular newsletters or promotions, and often including a message from an outside advertiser or a special promotion from the list owner.

Spam
The popular name for unsolicited commercial email. However, some email recipients define spam as any email they no longer want to receive, even if it comes from a mailing list they joined voluntarily.

Spamcop
A blacklist and IP-address database, formerly privately owned but now part of the email vendor Ironport. Many ISPs check the IP addresses of incoming email against Spamcop's records to determine whether the address has been blacklisted due to spam complaints.

Spoofing
The practice of changing the sender's name in an email message so that it looks as if it came from another address.

Subject line
Copy that identifies what an email message is about, often designed to entice the recipient into opening the message. The subject line appears first in the recipient's inbox, often next to the sender's name or email address. It is repeated in the email message's header information inside the message.

Subscribe
The process of joining a mailing list, either through an email command, by filling out a Web form, or offline by filling out a form or requesting to be added verbally. (If you accept verbal subscriptions, you should safeguard yourself by recording it and storing recordings along with time and date, in a retrievable format.)

Subscriber
The person who has specifically requested to join a mailing list. A list has both subscribers, who receive the message from the sender, and pass-alongs.

Suppression list or Block list
A list of email addresses you have removed from your regular mailing lists, either because they have opted out of your lists or because they have notified other mailers that they do not want to receive mailings from your company. Required by CAN-SPAM. AKA Do-Not-Email list.

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Targeting
Selecting a target audience or group of individuals likely to be interested in certain products or services. To get the best out of a campaign, analyze your list and target accordingly. Targeted campaigns yield a higher response rate and result in fewer unsubscribes.

Text newsletter
Plain newsletter with words only, no colors, graphics, fonts or pictures; can be received by anyone who has email.

Thank-you page
Web page that appears after user has submitted an order or a form online. May be a receipt.

Throttling
The practice of regulating how many email message a broadcaster sends to one ISP or mail server at a time. Some ISPs bounce email if it receives too many messages from one sending address at a time.

Transactional email
also known as transactive email. A creative format where the recipient can enter a transaction in the body of the email itself without clicking to a web page first. Transactions may be answering a survey, or purchasing something.

Triggers
Triggers send automated follow-up emails based on the recipient's reaction to an email you've sent to them. Triggers can be set up to send a time-delayed email when the recipient clicks on the link or opens the email. They're great for sending thank-you emails or for sending coupons to people who've clicked on a product.

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UCE
Unsolicited Commercial Email, also called spam or junk mail.

Unique Reference Number
A unique number assigned to a list member, usually by the email-broadcast software, and used to track member behavior (clicks, subscribes, unsubscribe) or to identify the member to track email delivery.

Unsubscribe
To remove oneself from an email list, either via an emailed command to the list server or by filling in a Web form.

URL/Uniform Resource Locator
Put simply, a URL indicates a website, web page or any other document address or location on the internet. URLs indicate the location of every file on every computer accessible through the internet. URLs begin with http://

USP/Unique Selling Proposition
Your USP is the unique attribute of your business that makes your company, product or service the best solution to the problem, the best way to fulfill a need/desire or the best way to achieve a goal. Your USP answers the prospective recipient's question. "Why should I do business with you instead of someone else?"

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Verification
A program that determines an email came from the sender listed in the return path or Internet headers; designed to stop email from forged senders.

Video e-mail
An email message that includes a video file, either inserted into the message body, accessible through a hotlink to a Web site or accompanying it in an attachment (least desirable because many ISPs block executable attachments to avoid viruses).

Viral Marketing
A type of marketing that is carried out voluntarily by the company's targeted customers. The electronic equivalent to 'word-of-mouth advertising'. Email has made this type of marketing both relevant and prevalent. Tools such as 'send this page' or 'email to a friend' encourage people to refer or recommend your company's product, service or a specific offer to others.

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Web bug (also Web beacon)
A 1 pixel-by-1 pixel image tag added to an HTMLmessage and used to track open rates by email address. Opening the message, either in the preview pane or by clicking on it, activates the bug and sends a signal to the Web site, where special software tracks and records the signal as an open.

Webmail (also Web mail)
Any of several Web-based email clients where clients have to go to a Web site to access or download email instead of using a desktop application. Some examples are Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail.

Welcome message
Message sent automatically to new list members as soon as their email addresses are added successfully.

Whitelist
Advance-authorized list of email addresses, held by an ISP, subscriber or other email service provider, which allows email messages to be delivered regardless of spam filters. See also enhanced white list.

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