Email Marketing Terms You Need to Know


The email marketing industry uses some specialized terms that you should know. Here are the most popular terms you will see or come across.


An aAutoresponder is usually used as a nickname for an email marketing service or email automation software. These services and software help you to manage your email lists, automate the addition of new subscribers and send out emails to your subscribers.

Autoresponders are available as a hosted and self-hosted option. The two popular hosted services are Aweber and Getresponse. A popular self-hosted software script you install on your server is Sendy. Check out your options and see what is right for you.

Single Opt-in

When someone who wants to subscribe to your email list only has to take one step, this is known as single opt-in. Usually the person just enters their email and name and clicks the submit button. They are then automatically added to your email list as a subscriber.

Double Opt-in

Double opt-in means a person wanting to subscribe to an email list must take two actions to complete the process. He first must enter his email in a subscription form and click the submit button. A confirmation email is then sent to the prospective subscriber that contains a link they must click to complete the process. Once they click the link contained in the confirmation email they are added as a subscriber to the email list.

Autoresponder Sequence

An autoresponder sequence is a series of emails that are automatically sent to subscribers of an email list. These emails can be spaced apart and sent at specific intervals relative to the day the subscriber joined this email list.

For example, email 1 may be sent immediately, email 2 may be sent the next day, email 3 may be sent 4 days after email 2, email 4 may be sent 1 week after email 3, etc.

Delivery Rate

The percentage of emails sent out to subscribers that actually land in their inboxes is known as the delivery rate. The higher the percentage the better. Low delivery rates can be caused by emails being flagged as spam or are being blocked by one or more of the ISPs (Internet Service Provider).

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of emails that could not be delivered to the inboxes of the subscribers on a mailing list. There are two types of bounces. Hard and soft.

A soft bounce happens when a valid email is having issues receiving email. This can be caused by a full subscriber’s inbox. It can also happen when there is a problem with the email server or other network problem.

A hard bounce is caused by an invalid email account or one that has been closed. These emails should always be removed from your email mailing list.

Open Rate

The percentage of overall subscribers that open an email in a mailing to a list is known as the open rate. This rate is normally determined by calculating the number of embedded images that are loaded and if a tracked link is clicked in an email.

This number really can’t be trusted since many email clients do not load images by default. Your true open rate is most likely higher than the one reported.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of subscribers that actually open an email and click a tracked link contained in the email is known as the click through rate. Click through rate is usually abbreviated to CTR.

You want to keep this number as high as possible. Low click through rates are usually caused by lack of interest by your subscribers.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is determined by the percentage of subscribers that have clicked a tracked link in an email and performed some type of action. The performed action could be filling out a form, buying a product or other desired action.

Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of subscribers that are unsubscribing from an email list. These people are requesting to no longer receive emails from you. This is also known as an opt-out.

A high unsubscribe rate could signal that you are abusing the subscribers on the list or are sending them information they do not want to receive.

List Growth Rate

The list growth rate is how fast the email list is growing or possibly shrinking. This number is calculated by adding the number of new subscribers. Then subtracting opt-outs and hard bounces. Then dividing this number by the original list size. You can calculate list growth rate over any period you want. It’s usually calculated daily and monthly.

A negative list growth rate signals a major problem.

Now that you know the most popular email marketing terms, you will know what they mean when you come across them. Hope this list has helped you to understand them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What Our Clients Say
482 reviews