Are You Struggling With The Lingo Attached To Email Marketing?

Get To Know The Email Marketing Lingo

Are you struggling to familiarise  yourself with email marketing terminology? We have put together this informative help guide, to make it easier for you to understand terminology when creating and sending your email marketing campaigns.

Lightbulb with different text including Marketing terms

Campaign Metrics

Sent-The total number of emails sent for delivery

Opened -The count of unique Users that opened an email

Clicked -The count of unique Users that clicked a link within an email

Delivered -Emails accepted for delivery by receiving mail servers

Processing-The number of emails still attempting to deliver. Email will continue to attempt to be delivered for up to four days after a Campaign was sent

Undeliverable- Combined total of Hard and Soft bounces

Soft Bounce -Temporary delivery failure. Emails are sent to the recipient's mail server but is returned before it gets to the recipient (e.g. mailbox full or spam reasons). For certain soft bounce types email sending is re-tried a number of times. If the email continues to bounce the User will be Auto-cleansed

Hard Bounce -Permanent delivery failure; the email address is invalid (e.g. typos, non-existent domains or changed address). Hard Bounces are usually auto-cleansed on the first attempt 

Feedback Loop Complaint- A notification from an ISP Feedback Loop (FBL) to inform that a User marked the email as "Junk" or "Spam"

Returned Mail-Messages returned to the "From Email Address", such as undeliverable notifications. Known as asynchronous bounces (mail initially accepted but sent back later)

Workflows Triggered- Count of Workflows triggered as a result of Users clicking on links within emails

Conversions-Number of completed calls-to-action as a result of clicking on an email link

Opt-outs -Users that clicked the opt-out link in the email

Re-subscriptions-Users that opted-out, then changed their mind and opted back in

Auto-cleansed- Users automatically opted-out as a result of continual delivery failures. View Auto-cleansing Rules for more detailed explanations.

Click-to-Open- Rate Ratio of unique clicks as a percentage of unique opens

 Viewed Online- Users that clicked the "View Online" / "View in Browser" link within an email

Tracked Replies- When "Reply Tracking" is enabled: the number of messages from Users as a result of them clicking the "Reply" button within their email device or application.

Hard & Soft Bounce Types

Bad Domain- The domain name of recipients email address does not exist or is not currently reachable

Bad Mailbox- The mailbox of the recipients email address does not exist: this is an invalid email address

Inactive Mailbox- Recipients mailbox exists but the message was rejected due to mailbox being expired, inactive or blocked

Protocol Errors- Errors in SMTP communication occurred and as a result delivery failed

Relaying Issues- The receiving mail server has relaying issues resulting in the email not being delivered

Routing Errors- Possibly a DNS issue with the recipients email domain that has resulted in the email not being delivered

Bad Configuration- The mail server receiving the email is not configured correctly resulting in the message being bounced

Bad Connection- Temporary connection issues between your sending mail server and the receiving mail server resulted in the email not being accepted

Content Related-The receiving mail server rejected the message because of issues with the content of the email

Message Expired- The message has been retrying delivering for too long and has now been rejected by the receiving mail server

No Answer From Host- A connection was made to the receiving mail server but after that it did not respond

Other Message- rejected due to other non-expected errors

Policy Related- Message refused or blocked due to policy reasons set by the receiving mail server

Quota Issues-The mailbox of the recipient is full or has reached a service limit with the provider

Spam Related- Message identified as Spam by the receiving mail server and has been rejected

Virus Related- Message identified as containing a Virus by the receiving mail server and has been rejected

Invalid Sender- The Reply Email Address being used is not valid and verification failed

Dice that spell out Campaign


Workflow- A sequence of actions that are triggered when a User clicks on a link, submits a form, completes a call-to-action on a website. Can also be triggered via the API

Drip Campaign- Another name for a "Workflow" and relates to individual Users entering the sequence of emails at different times

Nurture Sequence- Another name for a "Workflow" 

User Journey- Another name for a "Workflow"

Email Marketing Terms 

Email App- An application used to access and manage email messages. Can be desktop, mobile or web-based, examples for each type respectively: Microsoft Outlook 2013, Android Email and Gmail.

Spam Filter / Mail Filter- A utility that organises incoming email to identify and remove junk mail, also known as spam.

Email Campaigns

Email Template- The content of your emails: including the HTML, text and images. Also commonly known as the "creative". 

Email Campaign- An Email Campaign is created when an Email Template is sent to one or more Lists. Use to gauge the success of your Email Campaign and identify deliverability issues 

Email Profile- Commonly used settings that relate to sending, receiving and tracking of Email Campaigns. "From Email Address", "Reply Email Address" and "Opt-out Content". From Email Address Who the email message appears to be sent by when it lands in the inbox of a User.

From Email Address- Who the email message appears to be sent by when it lands in the inbox of a User

Reply Email Address- Where messages will be sent when a recipient hits the "reply" button in their email app

Tracking Domain- When emails are sent all links within the email are replace with coded links. These coded links identify the User and the content they are engaging with. When Users click the request comes to the solution first, records the activity and then forwards the User onto the actual link they want. The 'real' links do not appear in the email the User receives, only coded links on the Tracking Domain are visible.

Split Testing- A delivery technique that tests the effectiveness of varying parts of an Email Campaign, such as: subject line, from email address and Email Template

Suppression Lists- Users contained on Suppression Lists are excluded from an Email Campaign, even if they appear on other Lists.

Email Templates

Subject Line- Displayed when the recipient views the list of messages in their inbox. Should convey the email's intent

HTML- HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the main markup language for creating web pages and email content

HTML Editor- A software application installed on your computer used to construct HTML documents. Examples include: Dreamweaver, Notepad++ and Coda

HTML Tidy- A utility which corrects HTML markup to ensure it is syntactically correct. Invalid HTML can lead to email rendering issues

Plain text- Basic unformatted text containing no HTML, images or styles

Image Hosting- Email Templates link to images hosted remotely, rather than them being attached to the email, as attachments cause deliverability issues

Personalisation- Merging of User specific data to create a personalised message

Conditional / Dynamic- content Placement of content that is driven by selection rules, transactional data or User data

Template Language- HTML coding that introduces advanced personalisation and dynamic content capabilities. 

Social Sharing- When Users share the content of email messages on social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Charset- Text encoding used for an Email Template. The solution currently supports UTF-8 and iso-8859-1

Email Attachment- A physical file such as a PDF that gets sent along with the email message. The solution does not support sending attachments within Campaigns

Keyboard with Email Marketing Strategy


API The API- (Application programming interface) is used by developers to connect the email solution to other apps, websites or CRMs to build integrations. An example could be when a User is updated in a CRM they are also updated in them email solution

SSL- (Secure Sockets Layer) is a network protocol that provides communication security over the Internet


List- A "List" in the email solution is a collection of User records, used to define who Campaigns are sent to

Global Suppression- When a User is on the Global Suppression List they are automatically excluded from all emails sent within the currently selected Client Account. Email addresses can be imported directly into the Global Suppression List to suppress Users

List Opt-out- If a User is opted-out at a List level, they will still receive email if they are present on another List used to send the Campaign

Active Users- In relation to Lists, this term means any User that doesn't have a List level opt-out. In addition, it also means they are not part of the Global Suppression List

Seeds- Seeds are Users on the system level Seed List that is automatically added to each Campaign. Seeds can be anyone you think should receive every Campaign

Field Map- Field Maps map the columns of your data file to the email solution's data fields. When you import a data file, the email solution needs to know how it should map each column in your file to its own fields. Field Maps tell it how to do this

Auto-cleansing- Auto-cleansing is the automated process of suppressing email addresses Users that are deemed to have invalid or unreachable email addresses

Generic Email Prefixes- Generic email prefixes are email prefixes (the part before the "@" symbol, for example "admin") defined by you for use in excluding Users when importing to a List or in Targeting. Common generic email prefixes include: admin, info, and contact. Generic email prefixes are useful when you want to filter out "generic" email addresses such as these

Custom Fields- Data fields on a User's Record. Can be labelled as you choose and used to store further information for a User. 

User Record- Each User in the email solution has a User Record that stores their personalisation details, activity in relation to Campaigns and more. View and edit using User Details.

Deduplication- The process of eliminating duplicate data. In the email solution de-duplication means each User (identified by email address) can only be added to each Client Account once

Data Retention- The period of time data downloads can be accessed in relation to time after an Email Campaign was sent and time after a Workflow was triggered. All data and content outside of Email Campaign reports and Workflow reports are stored for an unlimited period of time e.g. Lists, Templates etc


A CSV- (Comma Separated Values or Comma Delimited) file stores spreadsheet information, most spreadsheet applications include an option to export as CSV. 

Zip File- Zip is a file type used for data compression and archiving. A Zip file contains one or more files that have been compressed to reduce file size. Useful for uploading large amounts of data.

Targeting & Segmentation

Targeting Profile- A set of rules that select a matching group of Users from Lists stored in the solution's database. 

User Tags- Free-format text identifier to infer interest or preference. Tags can be applied by file import or when Users click links in email. Tags can be used in Targeting Profiles to refine selections.

Sign post with Targeting


Transactions- Calculated as the total of Emails sent, Workflows triggered, Workflow Email file attachments, API impressions and Webhook requests

Emails Sent- The total number of emails sent through Email Campaigns and Workflows

Workflows Triggered- The total number of requests to trigger automated Workflows

Workflows Email- file attachments PDF, calendar file (.ics) or image attached to an email sent within a Workflow

API Impressions- The total number of requests made to the API

Webhook Requests- The total number of external HTTP requests made to other applications

Inbound Forwarding- Asynchronous bounces forwarded onto an external email address

Solution Level API impressions- The number of request made to the Solution Level API

Hanging Thankyou

We hope this helps you with all the terminologies of email marketing! If you would like any more information, or would like to know how our Lincolnshire based digital agency can help you please click here!
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more useful information.