A Glossary Of Email Marketing Terms

by Joseph Barwick - Date: 2010-07-31 - Word Count: 505 Share This!

Email marketing as a discipline comes with both its own specific technical terms as well as those it shares with other branches of online marketing. Without a guide, it can be a little confusing, particularly if you're not familiar with either the technical side of email or digital marketing in general. With that in mind here is a brief guide to some of the terms that are specific to email marketing and some of the most important general terms from digital marketing:

Click Through

A general online marketing term that refers to whenever a user 'takes action' by clicking a link - any type of link.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

A vital means of measuring the success of any online marketing campaign, this refers to the number of times a link has been clicked compared with the number of times it has been seen. For an online display ad, this would be the number of times it was clicked-through compared to the number of times a user loaded the ad into their browser. Similarly in email marketing, the CTR is determined by dividing the number of clicks with the number of emails sent out.


Used throughout the internet in much the same context as in the 'real world', this is a list of entities - of IP addresses in this case - that are classed as undesirable by another organisation. In the context of email marketing, it refers to a list of IP addresses that are used by individuals or organisations that have been caught sending SPAM. These blacklists are often used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to filter out mail coming from these IP addresses, cutting down on the number of SPAM messages and reducing the potential security risks of malicious emails.


The plague of email and the reason that Permission Marketing has become the norm for email marketers, SPAM is simply unsolicited bulk or commercial email. Today a huge portion of these messages are automatically filtered out by email clients, ISP's or users though it is estimated that the majority of email messages sent across the internet are still SPAM. This is because SPAM messages are generally sent by entirely automated programmes that continuously send messages out until their IP address is blacklisted. In many cases SPAM is useless at driving a successful call to action and subsequently is used maliciously as a phishing scam or delivery mechanism for malicious software.

Permission Marketing

Otherwise known as "opt-in" marketing, this has been the paradigm of successful email marketing for some time - even before anti-SPAM laws such as CAN SPAM came into effect. The name is fairly self-explanatory; email marketing sent only to people who have given their permission to have the messages sent to them and where they can take that permission away. Often achieved through an online registration form, this method of marketing has benefits far beyond regulatory compliance; if someone is initially interested in your messages, then their call-to-action is much more likely to succeed. Conversely, without permission many people will view your message and perhaps your brand with suspicion and possible hostility.

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