Basic Lingo of Email Marketing for Beginners


It is important that you must understand some basic key concepts to create successful plan of action, so that you can understand the language. So I customized a list of some basic terminologies, though reading all the articles on this blog can give you a head start.

List of Commonly Used Terms:

1. Open rate – As you can understand the word simply, it means how many recipients opened your email (in percentage). This is a useful metric that will show the response rate of your campaign, but it should be noted that its data can be deceiving some times, because if the recipient doesn’t allow open images in the mail then usually it is not recorded. Because it is tracked using some graphic in the email.

2. Click Through Rate (CTR) – Generally it can be calculate by dividing the number of mails sent by number unique individuals clicked on one or more links in the email. A high click through rate means the email has succeeded in convincing the readers to open the links in it.

3. Deliverability – It is one of the most important terminologies in email marketing, it means how many of your mails made it to the inbox of the recipients (as opposite to the spam folder or black hole of “unknown address”). There are many useful tips to increase the deliverability rate of email and it is also depends upon the reputation of servers you are using. So choose your ESP wisely.

4. Personalization – It is when you use the personal information in this case usually first name in the email, it is good to use personalization, because it can improve your relationship with the client.

5. Keeping the list clean/List Scrubbing/List Pruning – Keeping the list clean means keeping the bad email addresses out of your list. Bad email addresses are those which are inactive from long time or does not exist or unsubscribed your services. Keeping the list clean will improve your campaign’s result.

6. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 – This U.S. Federal Legislation Law was signed by U.S. President Bush in December 2003 and updated in 2008. It has established a set of rules that must be followed to avoid being classified as a spammer and potentially face federal penalties.

7. Opt-in/Double Opt-in – Opt-in means the subscriber have given you permission to email them. “Double opt-in” which is also known as “closed loop” facilitates you with an additional layer of security by verifying it through an email before they added to the list. Double Opt-in reduces the chance of spamming that’s why now it is considered as industry standard for email marketing.

8. Unsubscribe/Opt-out – Unsubscribe means when the subscriber does not want receive emails from you. There are also two types of unsubscribes “universal unsubscribe” and “partial list” or “specific list unsubscribe.” Universal unsubscribe means subscriber has unsubscribed from all future mails and List specific unsubscribe means he has just unsubscribed from a portion of your list. For example he doesn’t want to daily newsletter but wants special offers.

9. HTML/Plain Text Email – HTML and Plain text are the two type of emails that can be sent in an email campaign, where HTML email is consist of graphics, images, color tables and other rich media elements, the text email only includes the text. You should provide your subscriber with option to receive whether HTML or text email.

10. Bounce Back – It means those recipients on your list those got returned to you as “undelivered”. There are number of reasons of bounce like mistyped email address, full inbox of recipient, email address doesn’t exist anymore etc. These are of two types, “hard bounce” and soft bounce”. Hard bounce caused due to permanent rejection of the email address, like a false email address that can’t be corrected, whereas soft bounce is temporary rejection, like due to full mail box or something.

So these are some commonly used terms in email marketing, but obviously it is more complicated than just these terms, by knowing these terms it will give you a head start.

No matter what strategy you are thinking to use, the first step is to ensure a successful email campaign is to choose reliable email marketing services.

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