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Your Email Marketing Dictionary

In this post today I want to share with you an index of email marketing terms. If you’re getting started with email marketing or have been dabbling in it and have decided you’re ready to take it to another level, I wrote this for you.

But first, a question

Are you doing email marketing in your business? And if you are already doing it, are you doing it consistently? If not, what exactly are you waiting for? It is the single most profitable method of marketing at your disposal.

A quick case study

I recently have been promoting a live workshop to my email list. Five minutes after pushing send I received a phone call from someone who I had been courting for a long time to take over their website management.

She told me my email reminded her to call me. So she did.

She was not making any headway into getting her company to hire me. They just are not ready to make any decisions on new marketing. That’s fine… totally understandable.

But she then told me she is starting her own company and wants me to do the website for her. She told me to send over paperwork and get going.

Staying in constant contact works

By sending emails, I stayed top of mind with her. Even if all the emails previously didn’t get her on board, they kept in touch with her. Every time one appeared in her inbox, even if she didn’t open it, it was an opportunity for her to see my name. Like we were seeing each other at a networking event.

I had been building a relationship with her until one day she was ready to buy. She didn’t think twice: she just hired me on the spot. All from pushing send on an email.

So why aren’t you doing it in your business? What’s stopping you?

Sometimes it’s just confusing to people. The terminology leaves people scared. So here’s all the jargon defined for you.

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I always tell people “The money is in the list”. The list is simply your database of email addresses. The more people you can bring onto your list, the more money you will make.

If you do it right, you should be able to gauge how much money you can make from every name on your list.


In your email system you will have one master list. You can also segment your list into smaller lists.

You may have a cold prospect list, warm prospects, people interested in only one product line you offer, buyer lists, etc. You can segment any way you like depending upon your email system.


This is what us old school email marketers refer to as an email system. These systems have the ability to automatically respond to a user interaction.

A user enters their name and email to get your free report. The system can automatically send them an email or sequence of emails.

Not all email systems work the same and it is important to vet them.


Within an autoresponder you can setup everything from simple campaigns to quite sophisticated sequenced campaigns. For example, I have a free report that I give away on my website. It is an eCourse that teaches email marketing fundamentals.

The eCourse material is setup as a campaign. The moment the user requests the eCourse by entering their name and email address, they immediately receive the first email in the course.

One day later, email 2 goes out to them. A new email goes out every day for 9 days. This is 100% automated. People enter the campaign and move through it automatically until they have received all the emails in the campaign.

You can have one email in a campaign or many. It is up to you. But the end result is you write the emails once and everything then happens automatically going forward.

Bulk Email/Broadcast Email

This simply refers to sending many emails at once. Your email system allows you to create one email and broadcast in bulk.

Most systems allow you to either schedule your emails or send right away.

You can set up automatic campaigns as mentioned above. However, from time to time, you may want to send an email to one or more segments of your list manually. This is referred to as sending a bulk or broadcast email.

Squeeze Page/Landing Page

This is where the user requests to be on your email list. This is a one page website that has one purpose: get the visitor to enter their email and any other information you require.

These pages can be a one page website completely different than your main website. They can be pages on your main website. But they generally have only one message and call to action.

Opt in form

This is the form where a visitor can enter their email and other information. It can be on your website, on squeeze or landing pages.

It consists of fields for name, email and any other information you want to collect and a submit button.

You will use your email system to generate these forms and then embed them onto your web page using HTML or Javascript code. Some websites or email programs have built in tools that make this process very easy.


This is an unwanted marketing email. A sender of email can be personally liable for damages in some circumstances. Canada has recently passed legislation allowing people to sue for excessive damages for spamming.

An email system protects you to some extent.

Opt Out/Unsubscribe

Your email system is required by law to allow people on your list to opt out or unsubscribe from receiving your emails. This is why it is so important to use a professional email system. If you send emails to multiple people at once for the purpose of marketing your business, you must use a system with this feature or you are spamming.

Spam Complaint

When a person opts out of your list, they are usually asked if they want to complain. If they decide to lodge a spam complaint, this potentially counts against you and can hurt overall deliverability.

Your email system will report to you how many people complain about you. If you receive enough complaints, your email service can drop your account.


When you send an email, not everyone on your list will receive it. Some emails in your list may be bad, there could be email server problems on the recipient’s end, you could have a high spam score or the email provider or your own domain could have too many complaints to the ISP (Internet Service Provider) that causes them to be placed on a black list. There are many factors that go into your deliverability.

Bounce Rate

If you send an email that is not delivered for some reason, that counts as a bounce. It means that email could not be delivered. This could be because it’s a bad email address. It could be because their mail server is having a problem. There could be any number of reasons and email does not get delivered.

Your email system will report a bounce rate to you. Watch and lower your bounce rate to improve deliverability.

Single Opt in

A single opt in is when a person enters their contact information, or you enter it for them, and you send them emails without asking them to confirm their email address.

You may also, with some email systems, add people to your list yourself. Some email systems allow this, some do not.

A single opt in means you can potentially have more people to send emails to because not everyone will confirm anyway. However, the downside is that it opens you up to being spammy.

Double Opt in

This method forces the visitor to confirm that they were the person who entered their email address into your email system. They receive a confirmation email from your email system with a link. When they press the link, they are confirmed.

Double opt in protects you more than single because you have proof that they gave you permission to send them emails. So a spam complaint from someone that double opted in does not carry the same weight as a single opt in.

Confirmation email

This is an email that goes to the user with a link they need to click to confirm. It usually has a message stating you will not send emails until they confirm they requested information.

Open Rate

This is the percentage of your list that opens your email.

Click Through Rate (or CTR)

This is the percentage of people on your list who click on a link or links in your email.

Spam Score

Your email software should have a spam score tool built in so that you can see how your email stacks up. The higher the spam score, the greater the chance your email will be sent to the junk mail folder.

But wait, there’s more

This is just a short (although this post is pretty darn long) list of email marketing terms. I am sharing the ones I feel are important for you.

But there are more. Leave a comment here and add any missing terms you feel are important.