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10 Email Marketing Terms Every Marketer Should Know

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This article was last updated on June 7, 2021

Email marketing is a powerful and beneficial tool when properly implemented. And like any industry, there is a ton of jargon that comes with it. Whether you’re new to marketing or a seasoned veteran, these terms may confuse you at first. However, having the right tools in place can make things a breeze. One of the best ways to stay up-to-date with industry trends and rules that impact your job is to brush up on your email marketing terms.

Together, let’s get acquainted with a few important email marketing terms that every marketer should know.


1. A/B Testing

A test that compares two versions of the same variable to see which one performs better. A common use for this method is in email marketing, where marketers test and compare elements within two emails. You can test changes in the subject line or copy, calls-to-action, and landing pages. This test aims to gain insight into which version is the most successful amongst your audience.

Related: How to Use A/B Testing to Refresh Your Email Marketing in the New Year


2. Blacklist

A list of IP addresses that has been flagged as spam and can no longer send emails to subscribers. A challenge in email marketing is to get your targeted audience to open and read your emails, not mark your emails or address as spam.

A few reasons this happens include using spam trigger words, having misleading subject lines, not asking for permission, or targeting the wrong audience. Thankfully, there are many ways to avoid your marketing emails getting banished to the spam folder.


3. Bounce Rate

When you send an email to a subscriber, and it returns “undeliverable,” you’ve just experienced a bounced email. A bounce rate reflects the rate at which your emails are not delivered. There are two types of bounces: a hard bounce and a soft one.

Soft Bounce: Sometimes, an email fails to deliver for temporary reasons — i.e., a full inbox or a file is too big. Although frustrating, rest assured, your email service provider (ESP) will attempt to send the email again.

Hard Bounce: When an email gets permanently returned to its sender. Factors like an incorrect domain name, blocked IP address, or a misspelled email address are key culprits in a hard bounce email.

An acceptable bounce rate is less than 5 percent. The best way to reduce your bounce rate is to scrub your email list and get rid of invalid email addresses when you see them. Having a high volume of bounced emails negatively affects your deliverability rate. This is an integral part of email marketing, as it directly impacts your ability to grow your business. An email that bounces represents a loss of a potential customer, and of course, a loss of profit.

In addition, you can check out Yesware’s article on how to reduce the email bounce rate.


4. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Also abbreviated at CTR, your click-through rate is a metric designed to measure how many readers interact with your email. That means clicking on elements within the email, including images, calls-to-action, hyperlinks, and embedded content. It is measured by taking the number of unique clicks divided by the number of emails opened.

The primary use of a CTR in email marketing is to determine just how effective your efforts are. An excellent baseline for determining if email performs well is if your CTR range falls between 20-30 percent. However, if they clock underneath the baseline, it might be a sign that you need to revise your email marketing campaign.

Related: What Are Click-Through Rates and How to Improve Them

5. Conversion Rate

This represents the percentage of your readers who respond to the call to action in your email marketing campaign. They follow the necessary next steps to become a customer. The contents of your marketing emails often lead subscribers on a journey to your website, whether that’s through content or more information about a product. The ultimate goal is to get your readers to engage enough to convert into a customer.


6. Double Opt-In

Nowadays, it isn’t enough for a new subscriber to submit their email address. Marketers need to be sure that their subscriber genuinely wants to receive messages from them. A double opt-in is when a company requires a subscriber to confirm their subscription by clicking on a confirmation email or other format.

This method is a highly recommended way to build your email list. It not only confirms that your subscribers indeed want to be enrolled, but it also opens up the possibility for customization. Your readers can select which kind of emails they want to in their inbox instead of your team guessing.



Hypertext Markup Language or HTML is a coding language used to create webpages, but it doesn’t stop there. It is also the backbone of marketing emails. By marrying plain text emails, CSS, JavaScript, and HTML, marketers can get creative with designs and build branding.

The beauty of HTML is that you can also use it to create email marketing templates. Your company can reuse the same well-crafted design without having to create a new one from scratch every time.


8. Marketing Automation

This is one of the favorite email marketing terms for marketing teams. Marketing automation is a process that uses technology such as software to take over repetitive tasks from marketers. This allows them to reclaim their time and dedicate it to focusing on strategy. Marketing automation is especially beneficial in email marketing because it enables companies to reach more customers personally. A few tasks it can automate includes:

  • Scheduled email sending
  • Social media posts
  • Welcome emails when a subscriber opt-in to a specific list
  • Identifying successful advertisements
  • Anniversary dates

9. Personalization

The key to growing your business, no matter the industry, is personalization. It is a vital part of email marketing because marketers can use it to provide your customers with unique content. This content is based on collected data or demographics such as name, interest, birthday, and even stage in their customer journey. According to Oberlo, when companies implement personalization into their subject lines, it increases open email rates by 50 percent.


10. Whitelist

If a blacklist is a list of blocked IP addresses, then a whitelist is the polar opposite. A whitelist includes IP addresses that are approved to deliver emails to a subscriber. The most popular way to earn yourself a spot on a whitelist is to invite your new subscribers to whitelist your email address. This ensures that they continue receiving your emails, but it also shows them that you care about respecting their time and protecting their inbox.



There are many email marketing terms for marketers to know, and this glossary only touches on the basics. After mastering your email marketing terms, take the time to revisit your marketing strategy and see what tools you can use to enhance your presence.

One thing that comes to mind is incorporating HTML email templates into your strategy. And that is where MailBakery comes in. Our team of experts can design and code stunning email marketing templates that are brand-specific and sure to convert.

Are you interested in teaming up? Contact our team, and let’s get in the kitchen!