Email marketing glossary for beginners and vets
The email marketer’s community – just like any other industry segment in the online or offline world – has it’s own lingo. If you want to be efficient, you need to know and to understand these terms and concepts. Here is a small collection with the most important terms you should know.
Abandonment; an uncompleted purchase or transaction with unpaid items left in the shopping cart.
A/B testing (or split testing); useful method to test, analyze and compare the conversion rates obtained with two different graphical, structural, etc versions of the same offer (e. g. testing two different marketing copies or two different email templates).
Acceptance rate; the percentage of email messages accepted by a given email server; obviously, isn’t equal with the number of delivered emails.
Affiliate ID; a unique identifier included in your affiliate link and used to track your personal performance.
Affiliate link; a special URL provided by the advertiser and associated with a given affiliate; contains a unique tracking code that can register and measure the performance of the given affiliate.
Affiliate network; an external third party who basically works as an intermediary between advertisers and publishers, providing the necessary technical platform and complete packages of management services for both sides.
Affiliate program; a performance-oriented partnership between a merchant (advertiser) and an independent individual promoter (affiliate). The advertiser agrees to share the profit with the affiliates in exchange for generating certain qualified actions, usually sales.
Anchor text; the visible and clickable text in a hyperlink.
Autoresponder; a mailing program that automatically generates a set response – a prewritten answer – to all messages sent to a given email address.
Average order value (or AOV); it means what it means, the average amount of sale; it’s a quite useful metric that gives you an idea about the existing interest rate.
B2B (or business to business); the practice of selling products or services between businesses.
B2C (or business to consumer); the practice of selling products and goods to the final consumer.
Black list; an access control mechanism based on a real-time database that uses set criteria to determine if a given IP is sending email(s) that could be considered spam; basically is a list of IP addresses.
Bottom of the funnel (or BOFU); a “lower” stage in the buying process – process represented as a funnel – where a lead is very close to become a potential customer; typically is the point where a person is ready to take an action.
Brand building; complex, long-term strategy used to enhance a brand’s equity.
Broadcast email; a single message sent to an entire mailing list at the same time.
Bulk mail (or gray mail); large scale email blasts used to send the very same message to a large group of recipients in a relatively short timeframe.
Call-to-action (or CTA); an urging message or instruction – text link, image, button, etc – used in marketing to generate an immediate action.
CAN-SPAM (or Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing); US national standards for the sending of commercial emails; a law that governs the rules of privacy and consumer rights regarding the receipt of commercial emails.
Click-through rate (or CTR); the percentage representation of the number of clicks that your delivered emails generated; with 100 inbox-delivered emails and 12 unique clicks your CTR is 12%.
Cloaking; hiding certain content on webpages or in affiliate links. The former method is considered to be a black hat technique that will damage your SEO efforts; the latter is a useful, widely accepted and used practice in affiliate marketing.
Conversion rate (or CR); a metric used to measure the efficiency level; if a link displayed 100 times has generated 3 sales, it means a CR of 3%.
Conversion rate optimization (or CRO); the sum of all the efforts and practices that are used to increase the number of those visitors who will take a specific decision or desired action once they have arrived on a website.
CSS (or cascading style sheets); coding language used to define formatting rules – position, dimensions, color, alignment, etc – that will tell a web browser how to display a given web page element.
Customer acquisition; the process of reaching, persuading and converting new potential customers.
Customer acquisition cost; the sum of all costs involved in making a visitor to become your customer.
Customer lifetime value (or CLV); a quite important metric which is trying to “predict” the total amount a given customer may spend with a merchant during his lifetime.
Customer retention; strategies and tactics used to reduce the number of customer defections.