Glossary of Digital Marketing Terms
A/B Split – An A/B split is the process of dividing a list into multiple test groups, targeted at different users to determine the best marketing message or creative content.
Above-The-Fold – When we refer to “above the fold”, we are referring to the part of a web page that is visible without scrolling. It is generally more desirable placement on a Website or email message since it is the first thing the user will see.
Affirmative Consent– A demand of the Senate Commerce Committee Report for the CAN-SPAM Act which requires the recipient make some active choice or selection. Remaining passive, such as not un-checking a pre-checked box or other default Web form, is not sufficient.
Auto-Responders – E-mail software used to send an automatic response to an e-mail message.
Blacklist – Blacklists are lists of known spammers, which contain their IP addresses, and/or their ISP (Internet Service Provider). Such information helps spam filters block all messages coming from known spammers and/or their ISPs. It is common for an ISP to a use a blacklist to determine which emails should be blocked. Different ISPs use different blacklists. Unfortunately, these blacklists also contain many legitimate email service providers. Just a few spam complaints can land an email service provider or IP address on a blacklist despite the fact that the ratio of complaints to the volume of email sent is extremely low.
Blocked – A blocked email is a message that did not get delivered due to being considered spam by the subscriber’s ISP. This may be due to being on a blacklist or because the message contains content that falls within the ISP’s blocked content list.
Bounce Rate – The number of undeliverable emails/ number of emails sent ratio (can be multiplied by 100 to express the result as a percentage).
Bulk Email – Emailing also known as spam or junk-mail presupposing sending nearly identical messages to numerous recipients. Bulk email is also used to determine low-cost email marketing service.
Call to Action – A statement which within your campaign that asks for your customer to act.
Campaign – A campaign is a specific message being sent to a specific group of recipients that share a theme which makes up an integrated email marketing campaign.
CAN-SPAM Act – A law adopted on January 1st, 2004, that establishes requirements for those who send an email with the primary purpose of advertising or promoting a commercial product or service. The CAN-SPAM ACT is a series of federal laws that must be followed by all email marketers. Those found in violation of the laws can be subjected to major penalties.
Click Through Rate (CTR) – The percentage of those clicking on a link out of the total number of those who see the link. You can calculate the CTR by looking at the number of unique clicks divided by the number that were opened.
Conversion Rate – The number or percentage of recipients who respond to your call-to-action message whether it is to purchase a product or provide information. This is typically the ultimate measure of your email campaign’s success.
Cost per thousand (CPM) – In the “list marketing world”, CPM commonly refers to the cost per 1000 names on a given rental list. For example, a rental list priced at $250. CPM would mean that the list $.25 per email address or $250. Per thousand records.
Demographic – A statistical characteristic of a human population used to refine and target an email list. For example, you can use age, income, home value, and presence of children, magazine subscribers, geography, and more to select and target your list. Demographics are typically very important for creating targeted email campaigns.
Double Opt-In – A more stringent method of obtaining permission to send email campaigns requiring the subscriber to respond to a confirmation email, either by clicking on a confirmation link, or by replying to the email to confirm their subscription. Only those subscribers who take this additional step are added to the list.
Email Filters – “Email Filtering” is a technique used to block a specific email based on the content in the “from:” line, “subject:” line, or body copy of an email.
Email Service Provider (ESP) – Companies that send bulk emails on their client’s behalf.
False Positive – A false positive occurs when a legitimate permission-based email is incorrectly filtered or blocked as spam. Please note that many email marketers may have different definitions of what is “spam”.
Format – The way the recipient will see the message, such as plain text, HTML, as text and HTML, (MIME), or as Microsoft’s rich text format.
Frequency – The intervals for sending the email newsletter or campaign. For example, weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc.
Hard Bounce – A Hard Bounce means the email was returned because it does not exist, it is invalid, the recipient is unknown, etc. The difference between a hard and soft bounce is that a “soft bounce” is a failed delivery due to a temporary email issue such as a full mailbox or a problem with their email server.
House List – A House List, sometimes known as a “Retention List”, is a permission-based database of email recipients that you built yourself. It could be your subscribers, customers, prospects, etc., and can be used to cross-sell, up-sell, or simply communicate.
HTML Email – HTML is the format most commonly used to communicate in marketing email messages. It allows you to use unique fonts, graphics, and colors. Using HTML makes can make an email message more interesting to read and can typically increase response rates from 30% to 40% over a straight text format.
ISP (Internet Service Provider) or IAP (Internet Access Provider) – is the company that provides services allowing you to access the internet.
List Broker – Is a company who “brokers” the rental of lists on behalf of the list owner.
Look and Feel – The “look and feel” is the general appearance, design, layout, and function of an email message.
Microsite – A Microsite is a mini website or web page used to promote a specific brand or product of your site. A microsite is often used in conjunction with contests or landing pages for a promotion or sale.
Open Rate – This is a ratio determined by the number of people who opened your email against the total number of people to whom you sent the message. You will typically see a higher Open Rate as a direct correlation with how targeted your email list is selected.
Opt-In (or Subscribe) – Reputable email marketers will only use Opt-In email databases. The Opt-In compilation process is the action of agreeing to receive emails from a particular company, group of companies or associated companies, confirmed by subscribing to an email list. By credible email marketers using such opt-in lists guarantees your campaigns are CAN-SPAM compliant.
Opt-Out (or Unsubscribe) – To opt-out or unsubscribe from an email list is to choose not to receive communications from the sender by requesting the removal of your email address from their list. Once an individual request to opt-out from a company’s list, the email address is permanently removed from the list.
Permission Based Email – Also known as “subscribers”, or “opt-in” addresses, permission-based email is sent to recipients who have opted-in or subscribed to receive email communications. Permission is an absolute prerequisite for legitimate and profitable email marketing.
Permission Pass – When performing a customer email append, (adding email addresses to your customer file), we create and send a customized “permission pass” or “permission request”. Sending the Permission Request has a few purposes. First, we are able to manage hard and soft bounces so that the email addresses you deliver your message to are valid, deliverable email addresses. The Permission Pass also allows your customer to opt-out of future email messages or update their contact information.
Personalization – Personalization gives you the ability to create a customized message for each person in your database. Can be addressed by first/last name, city, state, or even previous purchases for cross-sell / up-sell opportunities.
Segmentation – Segmentation, Targeting, or Market Segmentation is the process of dividing your list into targeted groups by household and individual demographic criteria.
Single Opt-In – The Single Opt-In email process is the most widely accepted and routinely used method of obtaining email addresses and permission. A single opt-in list is created by when visitors provide their information through a form or website. The message should reiterate what the subscriber has signed up for, and provide an immediate way for the subscriber to opt-out if they request.
Soft Bounce – An email that gets a failed delivery due to a temporary email issue such as a full mailbox or a problem with their email server. A Hard Bounce means the email was returned because it does not exist, it is invalid, the recipient is unknown, etc.
Spam – An email message that is unwanted by the recipient and typically someone who has not opted-in or given permission to the sender.
Spam Filter – Software that filters emails, with the purpose of avoiding unwanted emails
Subject Line – The field at the top of an e-mail template in which the title or subject of the e-mail can be typed. It is particularly important to have a strong subject line in your email marketing campaign.
Subscribe (Opt-In) – Reputable email marketers will only use Opt-In email databases. The Opt-In compilation process is the action of agreeing to receive emails from a particular company, group of companies or associated companies, confirmed by subscribing to an email list. By credible email marketers using such opt-in lists guarantees your campaigns are CAN-SPAM compliant.
Tracking – Tracking the statistics of your email campaign allows you to measure the effectiveness and profitability of your email campaign. Some of the primary tracking statistics are Click Thru Rate (CTR) and Open Rate.
Unsubscribe (Opt-Out) – To opt-out or unsubscribe from an email list is to choose not to receive communications from the sender by requesting the removal of your email address from their list. Once an individual requests to opt-out from a company’s list, the email address is permanently removed from the list.
Whitelist – An email whitelist is the opposite of a blacklist. Instead of listing IP addresses to block, a whitelist includes IP addresses that have been approved to deliver email despite blocking measures. It is common practice for ISPs to maintain both a blacklist and a whitelist.