Following is a glossary of e-mail terms you that should know.
This glossary is from Kim MacPherson's upcoming book "Permission-Based
E-mail Marketing That Works!" (publication date is Spring,
2001). Watch Kim's
Web site for free chapters and e-mail updates.
A glossary of e-mail
Terms You Should Know by: Kim MacPherson
Like any other widely-reaching industry that involves a
number of practitioners and players, there is a language to the
Internet and all things tied to it, including e-mail.
There are industry-specific words and phrases to describe
technical terms, measurement tools, design aspects, and more.
avoid getting too bogged down in all
online-related terminology, for purposes of this chapter (and this
book), we will focus only on the most highly-used and relevant words
within the e-mail marketing industry.
Some, you'll find, have been used in other areas of
marketing, such as direct mail and telemarketing, but are repeated
here for those who may not know them or
their place within the e-mail marketing world. As time goes on and
you go through the process of launching and managing regular e-mail
promotions, the following terms will no doubt become second
group of people that an e-mail promotion or campaign targets.
For example, an e-mail marketer promoting a jewelry site
might select and target a list of people who have expressed an
interest in buying diamonds online.
That list would contain the "audience."
describes the links within an e-mail message that become
"hyperlinks," meaning that they are executable when
clicked on and will take people directly to a web site or page. Many text only e-mail programs will convert plain text to
clickable text when they see "http://" in the message
Compiled list. With
regards to e-mail, this is a list of e-mail addresses that has been
gathered by a means other than response.
Those e-mail addresses can be a part of a large database, and
can typically be segmented by demographic information.
For example, a compiled list could consist of a list of
people who have social security numbers beginning with the numbers
2423. A compiled e-mail
list may not be one to promote to because the e-mail addresses
within it are collected by methods such as customer warranty cards,
purchase transactions, surveys, etc. -- hence, the people have not
"opted in" to receive promotions by e-mail.
They have simply submitted their e-mail addresses to register
for something else altogether.
refers to the number or percentage of recipients that complete a
promotion's ultimate goal. It
could include the number of leads garnered from a lead generation
campaign or it could include the number of actual sales derived from
a promotional sales campaign. It
is the final number and generally the most important measurement of
a campaign's success. A conversion percentage or rate can refer to the percentage
of people that clicked on the promotion or the percentage of all of
the people that received the initial promotion.
regards to e-mail, a cookie is a small file stored or embedded
within an e-mail promotion's HTML.
It can track a recipient's "open" rate (i.e. how
many people actually opened the e-mail), as well as whether or not
he or she ended up forwarding the message.
Cookies are very useful when it comes to reporting and
measuring a campaign's overall success.
CPM. An abbreviation for "cost per thousand."
In e-mail marketing terms, it is one method for pricing
e-mail lists. For
example, a "$200 CPM" price for a list means that it costs
$200 for every thousand e-mail addresses purchased.
This also means twenty cents per single address, or $.20 per
(Click-through rate). This is still one of the key success measures of an e-mail campaign.
It's the number of times that a standard e-mail's "call
to action" link has been clicked.
The goal is to garner a high CTR in order to drive as many
people as possible to the promoting site.
For example, out of 10,000 e-mail promotions sent, 500 people
clicked through. The
CTR would then be 5%. Obviously,
the higher the CTR, the higher the chances of increasing your number
of converted prospects.
marketing . This
refers to the discipline of enhancing a house e-mail list and
promoting it using a variety of database-related tools.
For example, an e-mail marketer can use database marketing
techniques to communicate with selected segments within his or her
house list of customer e-mail addresses, such as those with certain
incomes and prior purchase histories.
The goal is to find that combination of offers, messages, and
other components to optimize those selected areas of the database
and achieve maximum response rates.
Deployment. As it refers to e-mail, this term refers to the actual
"sending" of an e-mail message.
marketing. This is also simply known as direct marketing, a discipline designed to
drive immediate sales, leads, or some other end goal by the
advertiser. A direct
response ad can use television, radio, print, telemarketing, postal
mail and, of course, e-mail, to achieve that result.
Domain Name. This
term refers to a registered Web site name or address.
process of copying information or files from a server or other
Marketing. This refers to the practice of sending out targeted messages to small
customer segments within a house file based on a set of database
criteria, or rules. For example, you may send out a message where
people east of the Mississippi receive a promotion for products
offered with free shipping and, due to higher costs,
people west of the Mississippi receive a promotions where
they must pay for shipping. Dynamic content can segment a house file
into hundreds of thousands of segments, all dynamically generated
during the delivery of the e-mail campaign.
This is an abbreviation for Graphical Interchange Format, which is
an electronic image file format.
Many of the graphics that you see on the Web and in e-mail
promotions are GIF files.
Hard vs. Soft
two terms reference the undeliverable e-mail addresses within a
campaign. A hard bounce
represents an specifically-addressed e-mail that, for whatever
reason, either never left the transmitting server or never made it
to the destined server. A
soft bounce represents an e-mail that made it to the destined server
but couldn't find the designated e-mail address that resides there.
abbreviation stands for HyperText Markup Language. An HTML e-mail is
one that is graphically rich with color and images and has become a
standard tool for many e-mail marketers.
Like viewing a Web page within an e-mail program, graphics
and other images are most often "served" from the
advertiser's site. HTML
often pulls a higher response than plain text messages; however, it
generally requires a longer download time, particularly for those
recipients who have 56K or less modem access.
HTTP. HyperText Transfer Protocol.
A link to a Web page or site.
This is an abbreviation for Joint Photographic Experts Group, which
is a compressed graphic image format.
Many of the photographs and other graphical images that you
see online are JPEG files.
A unique code assigned to a promotion or a specific link within a
promotion in order for a response to be tracked.
(a.k.a. "Bounce" or "Jump," or
"Splash" page). The
landing page refers to the page on a Web site that goes along with
an e-mail promotion. For
example, when an e-mail promotion is sent and recipients begin to
click through on the links embedded therein, their browsers should
open to the landing page of the advertiser's site.
A prospect that has not yet converted to become a paid customer or
Within an e-mail campaign, the offer refers to the incentive or
enhancement device used to promote the advertiser's products or
services. For example,
a business-to-business content site may offer a free newsletter in
order to drive its target audience to the site.
an e-mail list is opt-in, it means that subscribers to that list
have stated that they want to receive promotional messages from
designated sites and/or within selected categories.
In other words, they've given their permission on the front
end, before ever having received a solicitation.
This permission enables e-mail marketers to promote to people
who are actively, rather than passively, interested and also allows
them to target based on selected categories of interest.
Opt-Out . This
refers to when recipients have not
given their permission to be promoted, as is the case with opt-in,
yet they are still sent a promotion that contains a statement giving
them the option to not
receive such e-mails in the future.
In other words, opt-out promotions require a response from
recipients if they do not wish to receive future messages.
Personalization. This is when an e-mail promotion uses the recipient's name or
address or other unique data in order to increase click-through and
conversion rates. The
use of personalization within an e-mail can dramatically enhance
Pull. This term refers to marketing media that "pulls" a
target audience in, such as a Web site or television.
This term refers to marketing media, such as e-mail,
that "pushes" messages to the target audience.
The direct marketing discipline whose goal is to build a
relationship with customers over a period of time, based on a
regular series of personalized and relevant communications.
often used as a measurement of a campaign's success.
With an e-mail campaign, a rollout is comprised of a
combination of lists, messages, and offers that are sent at the same
time and under the same conditions.
is related to database marketing and dynamic content marketing.
It is the act of taking your house mailing list and
separating it prior to e-mailing in order for recipients to get
different messages and offers based on what they will most likely
respond to. A file can
be segmented based on demographics, buying patterns, areas of
interest, and more.
Spam. Slang term used for unsolicited e-mail.
Targeting. This refers to the practice of identifying an audience or
group that contain most likely prospects for a particular set of
products and/or services, and then developing the offer and messages
for that audience.
Resource Locator). A Web site's address or location on the Internet — i.e. what you type
into your browser to pull up a desired site destination. For
instance, to call up the E-mail Marketing 101 book site, you'd enter
in your browser window.
is the discipline whose
goal is for recipients to forward the message on to other
like-minded individuals. The
idea is that each successive "pass-along" of the e-mail
creates an exponential growth in the number of recipients who
receive it. With a
viral marketing campaign, a promotion will generally reward a
customer for forwarding with an incentive of a prize or discount.