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-- A --
Also known as a split testing. When the
list is divided into two parts, each of which is tested with a variation
of the message. See also Nth Name.
The part of a Web page or email messagse that is
visible without scrolling. Material in this area is
considered more valuable because the reader sees it
first. Refers to a printing term for the top half of
a newspaper above the fold.
An advertising scheme in which a Web site (the affiliate marketer) directs web
visitors to his affiliate sponsor and is payed with a commission on the
visitor’s purchases (if any).
Email message that notifies subscribers of an
event or special price.
An software interface that allows your
application to access another application or web
service. A client may have an API connection to load
database information to an email vendor
automatically and receive data back from the email.
Company that provides a web based service. Clients
access the service by interfacing with a web server.
No software is installed on their computers. The
tasks are performed remotely by the ASP’s servers -
the service is hosted remotely..
An automated protocol that verifies an email
Automated email message-response, such as a
welcome message sent to all new subscribers when
they join a list. May be triggered by joins,
unsubscribes, all email sent to a particular
mailbox. May be more than a single message — can be
a series of date or event-triggered emails.
A collection of limits set by an Internet Service Provider on how a customer can
use the service. Most AUP's expressly forbid the sending of spam
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-- B --
Business-to-business (also B2B).
Business-to-consumer (also B2C).
A list developed by anyone receiving email, or
processing email on its way to the recipient, that
includes domains or IP addresses of any emailers
suspected of sending spam. Many companies use
blacklists to reject inbound email, either at the
server level or before it reaches the recipient’s
in-box. Also Blocklist and Blackhole list. An example of a upto
date black list is the Spamhaus Block List
An action by an ISP to not forward your an email
senders messages to recipients. This is a distinct
activity from a Bounce.
A type of delivery insurance, stamp of approval company
for email marketing companies. If you purchase a Bonded
Sender Certificate, they will guarantee that your mail
gets delivered to the large ISPs that they have
One such program is Bonded Sender Program
(www.bondedsender.com), powered by Return Path and
certified by TRUSTe Mail sent from senders that are
enrolled in the Bonded Sender program skip much of the
Hotmail anti-spam filters
An email that is not delivered normally is said
to have bounced. Emails can bounce for dozens of
reasons; incorrent email address, the recipient’s
mailbox is full, the mail server is down, or the
system detects spam or offensive content. See hard
bounce and soft bounce.
Message sent back to an email sender reporting
the message could not be delivered and why. Not all
bounced emails result in messages being sent back to
the sender. Nor are all bounce messages clear about
the reason email was bounced.
The process of dealing with the email that has
bounced. Bounce handling is important for list
maintenance, list integrity and delivery. Given the
lack of consistency in bounce messaging formats,
list handling software is programmed with several
rules and needs manual help when it cannot determine
the nature of the bounce.
Percentage of hard/soft bounces relative to the
total emails sent. Always a relative ratio since
some systems do not report back to the sender
The process of sending the same email message to
Where the spammer has generated email addresses by randomly forming possible valid addresses.
For instance, the list might begin with email@example.com and continue with firstname.lastname@example.org and so on.
A designed and planned series of e-mail marketing
messages to a list of recipients delivered according
to a time schedule, with a conversion goal in mind.
A campaign allows each new message to build on
previous success or permission. The progressive and
relationship nature of the sequence is the basis of
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-- C --
Part of the text message that calls on the
prospect to take action.
A U.S. statute effective January 1, 2004 that allows spammers to be fined up
to $6 million. It defines how legitimate marketers must create their e-mail ads
in order not to be considered spam. The message header must have a truthful
subject line and a valid return address. The message must clearly state that it
is an advertisement and have a simple way to opt out (cancel future ads from
this source). If the user opts out, the advertiser must no longer send to that
address after 10 days. Enclick offers a CAN-SPAM compliant email service for companies.
Acronym for Common Gateway Interface. Is an
application interface protocol for web based
applications. Used to transfer information to and
from web servers, such as on subscription and
An anti-spam program that requires a human being
on the sender's end to respond to an emailed
challenge message before their messages can be
delivered to recipients. Senders who answer the
challenge correctly are added to an authorization
list. Bulk emailers find ways round this by
designating an employee to watch the sending
address' mailbox and replying to each challenge
A click-through occurs when a recipient clicks on a
URL link included in an email. Click-through
tracking refers to the data collected about each
click-through link, such as how many people clicked
it, how many clicks resulted in a conversion or
Percentage of recipients that click on a given
URL in an e-mail campaign. The click-through rate is
the number of click-throughs relative to opened as
opposed to sent emails.
An acknowledgment of a user's request. The
acknowledgment can state the request has been
processed or has been placed on queue.
A Confirmed opt-in is a two-step process for a
user to joint your list. They must initially sign
up, and then they receive an e-mail to confirm the
subscription to the mailing list.
Percentge of recipients who respond to your
call-to-action in a given e-mail marketing campaign.
It is the final measure of a email campaign's
success. The conversion might be sales, sales leads,
appointments or event specific user information.
Arrangement in which companies collecting
registration information from users (email sign-up
forms, shopping checkout process, etc.) include a
separate box for users to check if they would also
like to be added to a specific third-party list.
Also Cost per Action. A form of advertising based
on a transaction rather than impressions or clicks.
Used widely in affiliate marketing. The CPA is the
agreed rate for the campaign. Sometimes referred to
as variable rate campaigns. CPA can be proportional
to the value of the client's purchase.
A form of advertising where the payment is per
user click-through. The payment is independent of
the visitor's action or whether the click-through
converts or not.
Used for banner advertising where payment is per
An email message's copy and any graphics.
Customer Relationship Management systems. The
ability to keep track of every interaction with
every prospect and customer and keeps tracks of
trends and tabulates results of such notes on an
aggregate scale. Essentially, an intelligent
interface that allows keeping notes of every action,
sale, phone call, email, fax, etc. Allows businesses
to better know their customers and target messages
to portions of their customers and prospects.
CRM is an integrated system designed to identify,
acquire, and retain customers. CRM helps
organizations maximize the value of every customer
interaction by managing and coordinating customer
interactions across multiple channels and
Cheating the advertisers by clicking on links with no intention of
converting but rather to generate revenue for the web sites serving
Percentage of clicks on email URL links divided
by number of email's opened. Often has a discrepancy
between clicks measured at the server and meausured
by at the email. Click-throughs on email text on the
PC are more fragile than clicks on browser displayed
pages. Unique click-throughs refers to discarding
multiple clicks from the same user - avoiding
possible click fraud.
Sending the same email message to two or more
A specific format of data in which fields are
separated by commas.
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-- D --
A server used by only one webmaster or email
manager. A dedicated server costs more to use as the
expense is not shared by several users. Dedicated
servers perform better and are more robust than
shared servers. Dedicated servers also eliminate the
possibility of being blacklisted or banned from
search engines because of the actions of one of the
The process of removing identical entries from
two or more data sets such as mailing lists.
Number of emails sent minus the number of bounces
and filtered messages. Always an approximate
estimate of the real delivered mails since many ISPs
do not accurately report the bounced emails.
The process of measuring delivery rates by
format, ISP or other variables and delivery failures
(bounces, invalid address, server and other errors).
Also an approximate estimate of the real number.
Where the attacker attempts to take down a service, email or
web, by flooding the service with so much data that it may crash or be unable to serve
genuine requests. Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDOS) where the Denial
of Service attack comes from a network of computers rather than a single point of attack.
Where the spammer has generated his list of emails by using common words and names. For instance,
a dictionary attack would begin by with email@example.com, and continue with firstname.lastname@example.org.
A shortened version of an email newsletter which
replaces full-length articles with clickable links
to the full article at a Web site, often with a
brief summary of the contents.
An anti-spam software application being developed
by Yahoo and using a combination of public and
private "keys" to authenticate the sender's domain
and reduce the chance that a spammer or hacker will
fake the domain sending address
A double opt in is a two-step list subscription
process. The subscriber signs up, and must then
respond to a follow up e-mail to opt in twice to
your mailing list.
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-- E --
The combination of a unique user name and a
sender domain. The email address requires both the
user name and the domain name.
This is the process of adding an individual's email
address to that individual's record inside an existing
database. This is accomplished by matching the database
against another in-house or third-party, permission-based
database to produce a corresponding email address.
The software recipients use to read email, such
as Outlook Express or Eudora.
The portion of the email address to the right of
the @ sign. Good indicator of the email's validity
A software tool that categorizes, sorts or blocks
incoming email, based either on the sender, the
email header or message content. Filters may be
applied at the email client, the recipient's mail
server, at the email client, the ISP or a
Application that allows users to collect, import and
manage subscribers. CRM systems now have this function.
Allows users to send out newsletters to their lists and
track results. Standard features include mail-merge
personalization, message scheduling, and bounceback
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. Also known as
Buying ad space in an e-mail newsletter. Advertisers
pay to have their ad (text, HTML or both depending
on the publication) inserted into the body of the
newsletter. E-mail newsletter ads and sponsorships
allow advertisers to reach a targeted audience
driving traffic to a website.
The portion of the email address to the left of
the @ sign.
An email broadcast service provider, a company
that sends bulk (volume) email on behalf of clients.
A company that sends and manages e-mail campaigns on behalf of clients. They
broadcast e-mail lists from their own servers and domains. The advantage of
contracting an ESP for your campaigns is that their mail servers have a higher
delivery ratio than a standard company mail server. The ESP have a close
relationship with ISPs and mail services like hotmail so emails from their
domains and IP addresses have a lower bounce ratio.
Pre-programmed emails sent automatically based on
an event such as a date or anniversary.
A spam related program designed to locate and compile email addresses from web pages,
online dicussion forums, ad Internet databases. A process which is also known as harvesting emails.
An "electronic magazine". Also known as a
newsletter. Usually sent on a regular schedule. Is
content rich, not an announcement or commercial
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-- F --
An email service in which individual members post
messages for all group members to read
("many-to-many"). In contrast, a newsletter is a
A legitimate message, that has legitimate content
and which adheres to the technical standards, but is
mistakenly rejected or filtered as spam, either by
an ISP or a recipient's anti-spam application. The
more stringent an anti-spam application, the higher
the false-positive rate.
Many mail service providers, like Hotmail, address
this with the Bonded Sender program.
Whatever appears in the email recipient's inbox
as the visible name of the origin. Chosen by the
sender. May be a personal name, a brand name, an
email address, a blank space, or hash number. The
actual sender address contained in the email's
header may be different, i.e. the email reply
address may be different. The "from" is easy to
An email vendor that also provides consulting on
strategic and creative aspects of the campaign, in
addition to sending messages.
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-- G --
An email message sent automatically to list
members who unsubscribe, acknowledging the removal
from the list. Best always include a link to
resubscribe in case the unsubscribe was requested
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-- H --
A hard bounce is the failed delivery of an e-mail
due to a permanent reason, such as a non-existent
Extracting emails from pages on the internet using a
robot software. Either through a search starting from a
single page or a search based on a specific term put
into a search engine. Used in email spamming.
An html formatted e-mail instead of plain text.
HTML allows a graphical appearance with fonts,
graphics and background colors. HTML makes an e-mail
more interesting and can improve the response rates
of a campaign.
Routing and program data at the start of an email
message, including the sender's name and email
address, originating email server IP address,
recipient IP address and any transfers in the
The portion of the Domain that is to the right of
the last period, e.g. "com, net, gov". This is
useful for checking email validity.
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-- I --
The list of email addresses an company develops
on its own. Email campaigns based on in-house lists
are invariably more successful than those based on
purchased or vendor lists. It is always the
recommendation that a business should develop its
own in-house list.
A unique routing address assigned to each device
connected to the Internet. An IP address can be
dynamic, meaning it changes each time an email
message or campaign goes out, or it can be static,
meaning it does not change. Static IP addresses are
best, because dynamic IP addresses often trigger
spam filters or bans from search engines.
Internet Message Access Protocol, a standard
protocol for accessing email from a server.
Inventory is the term commonly used for the subscriber base or
size of a an email or newsletter list.
Internet Service Provider. Examples are BT, AOL,
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-- L --
Web page displayed to the user when he clicks on
a link within an email. Also may be called a
microsite, splash page, bounce page, or click page.
The list of email addresses to which you send
your message. Can be either your house list or a
vendor list that sends your message on your behalf.
A list broker is a reseller of assorted lists or list
Maintaining a list free of hard bounces and
unsubscribed names such that the open rate for the
mailings are high.
The organization or individual who has gathered a
list of email addresses. Ownership does not
necessarily imply opt-in or permission from the
Where a list owner sends messages to his list on
behalf of advertisers. Necessarily requires the list
owner to send the emails, for the recipients and
routing companies to allow the mailing through.
The actual purchase of a mailing list along with
the rights to mail it directly. Permission from the
email recipients may not however be transferred with
the sale unless the list owner has pre-agreed so
with the recipients. Permission from the recipients
can be quickly lost if the list is abused or its
permission terms not respected. Close to a spamming
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-- M --
An orchestrated attempt to shut down an email
server by sending more messages than it can handle
in a short period of time. See DOS.
A mailing list is a list to be sent specific
When automated responses or forward on mail
servers result in an endless sequence of emails.
Feature of the better email marketing tools that allows each email to each
subscriber to be personalised based on information for that subscriber. When
each email is sent out, a call to the database retrieves information like the
actual first name of that subscriber and pastes it into the email. Important
feature of the software for permission marketing and CRM.
A code to make an email address in either a text
or HTML email immediately clickable. Clicking on the
link opens the user's email client and inserts the
email address in the "To".
A computer that forwards email from senders to
recipients (or to relay sites) and stores incoming
Web based email service such as Hotmail, Gmail
Message format which includes both an HTML and a
text-only version in the same message. Most email
clients have full html facility. Clients may opt not
to display html in order to avoid viruses.
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-- N --
The subset of every Nth individual on a list used as a
test list. For instance, if one is doing Twelth-Testing,
every twelth person on the list is sent an email.
Percent of e-mails opened relative to the total
number of e-mails sent.
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-- O --
Opt-In is when a user actively agrees to receive
messages. To opt-in or subscribe to an e-mail list
is to choose to receive e-mail messages by supplying
your e-mail address to a particular company, website
or individual thereby giving them permission to
e-mail you. The subscriber is usually requested to
give personal information such as interests or
requested for futher interaction.
Opt-Out is when the user chooses to no receive
messages. Spamming standards require all mailing
list messages to carry a link for the recipient to
un-subscribe or opt-out from further messages.
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-- P --
An email recipient who got your message via
forwarding from a subscriber. Viral marketing place
a forward this message link in the message. Most
pass-alongs occur when the message is of particular
interest to that target group, the mark of a
successfull viral campaign.
When all messages sent to recipients have opt-in
agreement from the recipients. The permission
marketing method is legitimate and also most
profitable email marketing strategy.
Building email messages such that the recipient
feels it was written specifically for him.
Personalization is about including as much personal
and specific information in the design and drafting
of the message.
Text in an email message that includes no
formatting code. See HTML.
A rotocol used by email clients to retrieve e-mail
from a mail server. Most email clients use the POP
protocol, although some can use the newer IMAP
(Internet Message Access Protocol).
Person responsible for a the mail servers. The
person with which ISP's get help with delivery or
Mail client options a user can set to for
receiving messages. How they want to receive
addresses, to which email address message should go
and which messages they want to receive from you.
The more preferences you offer a user, the more
credible your mailing request.
The window in an email client that allows the
user to scan message content without actually
clicking on the message. Substantially changes the
Privacy in the e-mail marketing world implies
that a recipient's information, specially his e-mail
address, is not shared and they will not receive
e-mail they did not request.
A clear description of a company's policy on the
use of information collected from and about website
visitors and what they do, and do not do, with the
among those who opt-in to receive e-mail from you or
those who register on your site. A strong privacy
policy and credibility in adhering to it is a
pre-requesite for any success in email marketing.
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-- Q --
Where an email message goes after you send it but
before the list owner approves it for broadcast.
Buffer where the mailing is stored prior to
broadcast by server. Some list software allows you
to queue a message and then set a time to send it
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-- R --
A security risk where an email server allows an outside user to relay email
to other email servers. Spammers abuse open relays to obscure the source of their messages.
The DNS system is sent
an IP address, and the
domain name is returned.
Reverse DNS is used to
log incoming traffic by
domain name for
statistical purposes. It
is also used to prevent
spam by determining if
the e-mail message is
coming from the domain
name indicated in the
message header. Reverse
DNS is only an option
and not mandatory in a
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.
Creative that includes video, animation, or
sound. Rich-media emails often collect high open and
click rates but require more bandwidth and are less
compatible with different email clients than text or
regular HTML email-format messages.
Email addresses placed on a list to evaluate the
sending service; see what messages are being sent to
the list, to track delivery rate, to evaluate the
delivered message. Seeds may also be placed on Web
sites and elsewhere on the Internet to track
spammers' harvesting activities.
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-- S --
The ability to select a subset of the list
according to attributes of the recipients like
demographics or previous open history.
A segment of a list determined by any number of
attributes, such as source of name, job title,
purchasing history and so on. CPM list renters pay
an additional fee per thousand names for each select
on top of the base list price.
An unsubscribe that allows a consumer to
selectively determine which email newsletters they
wish stop receiving.
The new anti-spam standard being proposed by the
major email providers. It combines two existing
protocols - Sender Policy Framework and CallerID.
SenderID authenticates email senders and blocks
email forgeries and faked addresses.
Number of email names transmitted in a single
broadcast. Does not reflect how many were delivered
or opened by recipients.
An infrastructure computer which stores,
distributes, and relays email from one server to
another in a network.
An email server used by more than one company or
sender. Shared servers are cheaper since the cost to
the broadcast vendor is spread among several users.
In addition to reduce robustness, senders sharing a
server risk being blacklisted if one of the other
users infringes CAN-SPAM standards with the server's
shared IP address. See
A tagline or short block of text at the end of an
e-mail message. Usually identifies the sender and
provides additional information such as company name
and contact information. Your signature file is a
marketing opportunity. Use it to convey a benefit
and include a call-to-action with a link.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, the most common
protocol for sending email messages between email
A soft bounce is the failed delivery of an e-mail
due to a nonpermanent reason, such as mailbox full
or unavailable server. Mail servers are configured
to retry sending emails a number of times on
receiving soft-bounce responses.
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.
Email messages sent to someone who has not opt-in
or given permission to the sender.
Also known as "unsolicited commercial e-mail"
(UCE), "unsolicited bulk e-mail" (UBE), "gray mail"
and just plain "junk mail," the term is both a noun
(the e-mail message) and a verb (to send it). Spam
is used to advertise products or to broadcast some
political or social commentary.
A freely available and upto date blacklist
created by Spamhaus.org, it is available at
Spamhaus Block List. The SBL is a realtime
database of IP addresses of verified spam sources
(including spammers, spam gangs and spam support
services), maintained by the Spamhaus Project team
and supplied as a free service to help email
administrators better manage incoming email streams.
An agreement between email list owners,
publishers or advertisers to sponsor each other's
mailings or newsletters for free. See ad swap.
The practice of changing the sender's name in an
email message so that it looks as if it came from
Also known as a A/B split.
When the list is divided into two parts, each of which
is tested with a variation of the message.
The title of the e-mail communication. The first
line read by email recipients. The most important
part of the email campaign copy; is the biggest
influence on mailing open rates.
Split testing is
recommended to determine the best copy
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. Same as opt-in.
The person who has requested to join a mailing
list. A list has both subscribers, who receive the
message from the sender, and pass-alongs.
A Do Not Email list that you run against any
lists you plan on sending mail to prior to the send.
Required by CAN-SPAM.
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-- T --
Targeted messages is the right message to the
right recipient at the right time. A target audience
or group selected because of their interest.
Targeting is very important for an e-mail marketer
because targeted and relevant e-mail campaigns,
yield a higher response and result in fewer
A message, or part of a message, designed to arouse
curiosity and interest, but without revealing too
much detail in itself. You can use appropriate
teaser copy in the subject line to encourage
prospects or customers to read the email.
Web page that appears after user has submitted an
order or a form online. May be a receipt.
Collecting and evaluating the statistics from
which one can measure the effectiveness of an e-mail
or an e-mail campaign.
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.
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-- U --
A unique click is a single click by a single
user. When unique clicks are measured, it is an
aggregate number of how many times that URL was
clicked by individual users. Related to the unique
users metric for web servers.
Also known as Spam. Commercial e-mail sent
without the recipient's express permission.
To remove oneself from an email list, either via
an emailed command to the list server or by filling
in a Web form.
The address that defines the route to a website,
page or any other resource on the Internet. URLs are
typed into a Web browser to access Web pages and
files, and URLs are embedded within the pages
themselves as hypertext links. The URL contains the
protocol prefix, port number, domain name,
subdirectory names and file name.
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-- V --
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).
A type of marketing that is carried out
voluntarily by a company's customers. It is often
referred to as word-of-mouth advertising. E-mail has
made this type of marketing very prevalent. The aim
of such campaigns is to motivate recipients to
forward the message on to their contacts.
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-- W --
Message sent automatically to new list members as
soon as their email addresses are added
Opposite of blacklisting. Lists of sites with which
ISP have built good relationships, and allow emails
from. Advance-authorized list of email addresses,
held by an ISP, subscriber or other email service
provider, from whom email messages are delivered
regardless of spam filters.
A piece of malicious code, often delivered via an
executable attachment in email or over a computer