The Essential Email Marketing Glossary
By Ryan Allis
ASP - Application Service Provider. ASP's provide internet based software.
Access - Database software. Part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Organizations often store customer data in Access databases.
Autoresponder - a set of immediate or time-delayed messages that are emailed to someone after they request it
Blacklists - Lists of domains and IP addresses that have been reported or accused of sending spam. You can check blacklists at www.openrbl.org and www.dnsstuff.com.
Bonded Sender – A type of delivery insurance, stamp of approval company for email marketing companies. If you purchase the IronPort Bonded Sender Certificate, they will guarantee that your mail gets delivered to the large ISPs that they have relationships with.
Bounce back handling - The process of dealing with email messages that bo unce. Caused by a 'bad' email address or an address that is temporarily over its size quota or on a server that is temporarily down.
Bounces – Emails that have been sent back to sender as the recipient email address was invalid or presently not working.
Click-through tracking – Tracking the number of clicks that occur on each link in an email message.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - 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 departments.
CSV – Comma separated value. A specific format in which each new field is separated by a comma. Ex: John,Smith,firstname.lastname@example.org,male,37.
Custom fields – Fields that one may use to personalize each message (see mail merge personalization). These custom fields allow our customers to import and store additional data such as address, city, state, zip code, country, birthday, spouse's name, dog's name, product purchased, date of purchase, notes, or any other data.
Database – A storing of records. Databases are made up of tables. Tables are made up of columns and rows. Data is stored in a field (aka cell). Popular types of web databases include SQL and MySQL.
De-duping – The act of removing duplicates from a list.
Delivery speed – How fast a mailing software can deliver mail.
Domain - what one types in to go to your web site.
Double opt-in (confirmed opt-in) - Single opt-in is when a visitor subscribes to a newsletter via a form on the web site. They have opted-in once. Double opt-in is when a visitor subscribes to a newsletter via a web site and then is sent a confirmation email. The visitor will only be added as a subscriber if they verify their email address and desire to receive the newsletter. Generally, the visitor must either a) click a link in the email or b) reply to the email. This is called double opt-in. Using double opt-in will give a listowner a cleaner list (no bo unces) and less spam complaints, although they will lose many of their subscribers who, for one reason or another, forget to or do not confirm their subscription.
Email client – what a person uses to view their email. Popular email clients include Microsoft Outlook, AOL mail reader, and Eudora. There are also popular web-based email clients including Hotmail and Yahoo. Often, HTML messages will display differently in different email clients.
Email list management software – Software that allows users to collect, import, and manage subscribers.
Email marketing software – Allows users to send out newsletters to their lists and track results. Standard features include mail-merge personalization, message scheduling, and bo unceback handling.
Excel – A spreadsheet program which is part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Used by many organizations to store the data for their lists before import. Can be used to convert data into CSV format.
Ezine – An 'electronic magazine.' Essentially the same as an email newsletter. Usually sent on a regular schedule. Contains content. Not an anno uncement or promotion list.
Feedback loops – Set up with Internet Service Providers. Once a feedback loop is set up, the ISPs will contact you and ask you to deal with the complaint. If a feedback loop is not set up, the ISPs may blacklist you without giving a chance to defend yourself. AOL, Juno, and Netzero provide feedback loops.
Harvesting Emails – Using a spider to extract emails from pages on the internet, either through a search starting from a single page or a search based on a specific term put into a search engine
HTML – Hypertext markup language, the basic programming language of the Internet.
HTML Built-in Editor – Allows users to create their own HTML newsletters right on the sending page, without knowing HTML.
HTML templates – An arrangement of graphics within which a email newsletter content can be inserted.
Importing – Bringing subscribers into the system in mass quantities. Once a data file is in the proper CSV format, it can be imported into the system.
IP address – The Internet Protocol Address. Ex. 184.108.40.206. Before the dynamic name server (DNS) system was setup in 1994, one would have to type in numbers (the IP addresses) to go to a web site. The DNS system allows one instead to simply type in the domain name. The DNS translates the domain name into the IP address and then directs the visitor to the server (or part of the server) that the requested domain name is hosted on.
ISP – Internet Service Provider. The provider of dial-up or broadband internet service that a consumer or business uses. Common ISPs are AOL, Juno, Netzero, Earthlink, and Time Warner.
Mail merge personalization – The ability to, on the fly for each email, insert data from the database into specific fields in an email. For example, one may place Dear [fname] in an email. When each email is sent out, a call to the database is made to retrieve the actual first name of that subscriber. It then 'pastes' this data into the email. Dear John or Dear Judy will result. This is a powerful tool as it allows our customers to send out personalized emails to their subscribers. One could send out a message such as:
Dear [fname] [lname];
I wanted to personally thank you for purchasing [product] or [date]. I hope your [disease] is doing better. Please let me know how you have been and if I can answer any questions.
Maximum lists – Many of our competitors will only allow the creation of one list. Some get around this by offering different 'interest groups' or 'targeting' within this list.
Message headers – The 'hidden' lines of text/code that is above each email message. Every email sent has a header.
Message preview – The ability to see what a message looks like before it is sent.
Message scheduling – The ability to set a time in the future for a message to start to be delivered to recipients.
Metrics – Term used to refer to message statistics such as open and click through tracking, number of bo unces, number of unsubscribes, etc.
Multi-part MIME - All messages have a header on them called Content-Type. A message can be sent as text, text/html, or multipart/alternative. If it is sent as multipart/alternative, the message is sent using formatting referred to as Multi-part MIME. The advantage of sending via multi-part MIME is that the email will automatically display as HTML if the subscriber's email client can read HTML, but revert to text if the subscriber's email client cannot read HTML, or has it turned off. Within a multi-part MIME email, both the HTML message and text message are sent. Between the HTML message and the text message there is a boundary. This boundary is defined in the Content-type header.
Multiple message autoresponder - A series of messages that is sent out at certain time intervals which are set by our customer. One could use a multiple message autoresponder to send out a ten day ecourse for example. One email ("tip") would be sent each day for 10 days. This can be a very good way to increase a visitor to sale conversion rate, build a relationship with a prospect, and improve the likelihood of a prospect or customer remembering your brand.
Open Tracking – The ability to keep track of the number of opens ("reads") a message gets.
OpenRBL.org - Web site through which one can view what blacklists a site is on.
Opt-in – A term that refers to any subscriber that has specifically requested an email newsletter. If they have signed up through your web site, they are opt-in. If you used a spider to harvest emails from the Internet and then added these persons as subscribers to your site, they are not opt-in. This latter tactic is often used by those who send out spam.
Permission-based – (see opt-in). Essentially, any list that contains only opt-in subscribers and does not contain any purchased lists or lists of persons who have asked to receive one type of newsletter and will be sent what they have not requested, such as additional promotions or newsletters on a different topic.
ROI – Return on investment. The amount of money one makes from an investment divided by initial investment.
Sign up form – A form that is to be put on a web site and allows visitors to subscriber to a company's newsletters and anno uncement lists.
Single opt-in – A subscriber that joins via a web form who does now have to 'verify their email address' or reply to a confirmation email to join. Most newsletter owners prefer single opt-in, as it maximizes the number of subscribers on a list, although bad email addresses are possible.
Spam – unwanted email that was sent without the permission of the recipient. Also known as unsolicited commercial email. One of Broadwick's main challenges is ensuring our customers do not send spam. To accomplish this, we have a strict Anti-Spam policy. We also deal with any spam complaints promptly. We will terminate the account of any customer who has sent spam. Many times, however, a complaint will be made in which the message in question was not actually spam and the recipient had actually requested it. When we receive complaints, we will read the message, look to see if the subscriber actually opted-in via a web form or was imported in, and then taking all in account, make a decision on what action to pursue.
SpamCop.net – A blacklist (but time based). A service that tracks spam and forwards spam complaints to ISPs and hosting companies. If one does not have the proper relationships or feedback loop with the ISPs, a few complaints to an ISP or hosting company can get your internet access and hosting turned off. If you are blacklisted by Spamcop and stop sending email, you'll be out in 48 hours or so.
UCE – Unsolicited Commercial Email. Another name for spam.
URL – Uniform resource locator. Another name for a web site address.
Unsubscribe link – The link at the bottom of each email which allows visitors to unsubscribe or modify/update their information.
Web-based – Can log into online
Welcome email - Email that is sent to subscribers after they subscribe to a newsletter. Doesn't go out unless the client (our customer) sets this option.
Whitelisting – Opposite of blacklisting. Many ISPs have lists of sites with which they have built good relationships with and trust. If your sending fits their standards, it may be possible to add yourself to a whitelist. If you are on a whitelist, your mail has a much better chance of being delivered.
About the Author
Ryan Allis is a well known author who writes articles and CEO of Broadwick Corporation,
providers of Email marketing software IntelliContact Pro.For additional information on Email marketing
for more tips, ideas and solutions about email marketing please visit
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