The Mail Blaze A-Z guide of email marketing terms

We don’t believe in complicated processes or terms, that’s why we’ve come up with our own A-Z guide of email marketing terms so you can fully understand the exciting world of email marketing.

Please note we’ve left out letters that don’t include any email marketing related terms.


Abuse/Complaint: This is another way to record the number of people who marked your email as spam

Alt text: Alt text is text that you can add to your images that will show in your campaign if a subscriber has image blockers set up or your images don’t show for some reason. It’s a way to also help with accessibility for viewers

Animated GIFs: GIFs have taken the internet by storm and won’t be going away anytime soon. A GIF or Graphics Interface Format is a file format that allows for animated images or static images.


Bounced: Bounced is the number of emails that didn’t get delivered and came back.

Brand Compliant Email: If you’re busy building your brand, a brand-compliant email will be one that follows all the rules as laid out in your brand style guide or brand manual.

Blacklist: A blacklist is a list that helps decide which emails are considered spam, it acts as a filter that can establish whether an email reaches a subscriber’s intended inbox.

Bulk Email: An email that is sent to a large group of people.

Blast: An email blast is a single email message that is sent to a group of recipients.


Campaign(s): In email marketing terms a campaign represents an individual email send.

Call to Action: Calls to actions are buttons or directions you place within your mail to tell your subscribers what you want them to do next, for example “Buy Now.”

Click-Through Rate: Your click-through rate is a measurement of the number of subscribers who clicked on at least one of your links in your email campaign. Simply, it’s calculated by taking the number of people who clicked on your email campaign and dividing that by the number of emails you sent.

Collateral: Collateral is a generic term used to describe a collection of your content that you will use in your email like images, copy, links, etc.

Colour Codes: Colour codes are universal codes that identify colours on your website. For example Black would have a colour code of #000000. Something to note is that these colour codes can include letters, but they are great to use to make sure your branding colours align perfectly.

Contact List: Contact list or subscriber list, is the list of your contacts that you will email. Basic contact lists contain a list of First Names, Last names and email addresses.

Copywriting: Copywriting is an act (or an occupation) where text is written for the express purpose of marketing.

Conversion Rate: Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who complete an action or goal you have set for your campaign. For example, buying a certain product.

CSS: CSS or Cascading Style Sheet is a language used to describe how a document is presented and written up in a markup language like HTML. In layman’s terms, it’s a great way to make sure your set style or look is consistent across different devices and screens.

Content Block: In the Mail Blaze platform a content block is an element you can easily drag and drop into an email campaign you are creating, saving you time.


Dedicated IP: A dedicated IP refers to an IP address from which only you send can send emails from.

Delivered: List of users where the emails got delivered

Deliverability: Refers to the likelihood that your email will be successfully delivered to your intended recipients as opposed to being mistakenly blocked by ISPs and spam filters.

DKIM: DKIM stands for Domain Keys Identified Emails and is a form of email authentication that allows an organization to claim responsibility for a message in a way that can be validated by the recipient.

Double opt-in: Using a double opt-in subscription process means that you ask your subscribers who sign up to confirm their subscription again via email.


ESP: An ESP or Email Service Provider is like Mail Blaze. Therefore an ESP is a provider of email infrastructure to allow users to send emails to a list of subscribers.

Email client: An email client is what you call the application you use to view your email and send your correspondence. Examples include Gmail, Outlook and Apple Mail.

Email Sponsorships: A great way to reach a new audience is to get involved in an email sponsorship. Much like you would pay for placements in other channels, email sponsorships allow your business to essentially advertise or feature in their email campaigns. Usually, this would be through a banner in the email.


Footer: A footer in your email is much like your footer on your website’s homepage. It usually contains your business address, a link to your website, an unsubscribe link, copyright information and (depending on your email design) your social icons.

Form: Forms can take many shapes, but when it comes to email marketing one of the most important forms is your subscription form. This is a form on your website that allows your website visitors to subscribe to your email list.


Google reCAPTCHA: Google reCAPTCHA is a security feature you can add to your subscription form to protect your website from spammers.


IP Address: An Internet protocol address is a numerical label that any devices that connect to the internet gets assigned. This number has two main purposes, namely to identify a host or network and to identify a location

IP Warmup: IP warmup is the practice of increasing the volume of emails sent with a dedicated IP address. This is done on a schedule and helps to establish a reputation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). When you’re a Mail Blaze client, we do this as part of our service to keep your email sending reputation good.


JPEG: JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and is a file format for images.


KPI: KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators are measurements you define to measure the success of your activities.


Landing Page: A landing page is a lead capturing page that you specifically design to help focus your audience and help them convert or complete a certain action. It’s usually a really simple page with no links to other pages on your website.

List Churn: List churn is the terms for all the ways in which people can leave or disengage from your list. This includes when they change their email address, stop opening your mails or any other thing that causes them to be inactive.

List Hygiene: When you look at your list hygiene you are looking at how clean your list is. List hygiene describes how up to date your list is and includes removing your unsubscribes as well as inactives on your list.

List Segmentation: List segmentation is the practice of grouping your list or targeting certain similar groups of people to make sure your email message is most relevant to them. Segmenting your list helps you run more targeted campaigns which should lead to higher response rates, less unsubscribes as well as less spam reports.


Mobile Optimisation: More people are using their mobile phones to read their emails than ever before. Optimising your campaigns to ensure they look amazing and show properly on mobile devices is what mobile optimisation is all about.


Newsletter: Email newsletters are emails that are sent out to your audience to keep them informed about your product or company’s latest news, tips or any updates.


Onboarding: Onboarding emails are sent to users once they subscribe to your email list. Often referred to as welcome emails, onboarding emails could be a series of emails that help guide and educate your new subscribers about how to use your product effectively.

Opt-in: Opting in refers to the process where your audience signs up to your email list.

Opt-Out: Also referred to as unsubscribe, this is when your subscriber chooses to be removed from your email list.


Personalisation: Personalisation comes in many shapes and sizes and largely depends on the amount of information that you are able to get from your subscribers. The most common example of personalisation is seen when tagging in a subscriber’s name.

PNG: Also known as Portable Network Graphic, this is a file format that can be used for images. One great advantage of PNGs is their ability to allow you to place an image with a transparent background, such as your logo.

Preheader Text: Preheader text is additional text you can add to support your subject lines. These little snippets of text will only appear in some email clients.

Promotions Tab: The promotions tab is a Gmail feature that moves most of the promotional emails people receive to a tab name Promotions in their inbox.

Profile Page: A profile page is a page you set up to allow your subscribers to easily update their details.


Re-engagement Campaign: A re-engagement campaign aims to re-engage inactive users on your list. A common practice for re-engagement campaigns is to send out an email campaign with a special offer to this segment of your list.

Resend: A resend is an email marketing technique where you do exactly what the term says - resend the same campaign to a group. The idea is to solicit more engagement and get more people to open and click on your email.

ROI: ROI stands for Return on Investment and is a measure of what you gained from your email marketing investment.


Spam: Spam is also often referred to as junk mail and are emails that are sent without the consent of a recipient.

Soft Bounce: Soft bounces are different from hard bounces, as they are classified as emails that reach your recipient’s mail server but bounces back before it reaches their inbox.

Social Proof: Social proof in emails can help you establish more credibility in your emails. This could be as simple as including a positive Facebook review or comments into your emails gathered from your social media channels.

Subscription: Subscription is when a user voluntarily signs up to receive email communication from you.

Subject Line: This is the equivalent of a headline in other marketing channels.

Suppression File: This file is a list of email addresses that you should not be emailing.


Tags: Tags allow you to personalise your content when sending out your campaigns. It can help you send more targeted emails easily. Common tags are first name and last name tags but can include a wide variety of things depending on your list.

Testimonial: If you have great reviews from your customers or testimonials that speak about the benefits of your product or service, you should add a testimonial to your email campaigns. Testimonials are essentially reviews about products or services.

Thank you Page: A thank you page is usually a page you set up to thank your audience for completing an action. In email marketing the most common use of a thank you page is after a website visitor has subscribed.


UTM tags: Urchin Tracking Modules a.k.a. UTM tags (or codes) are a great way to track your performance in your campaigns. This simple tracking method adds code to your URLs which then generate Google Analytics data for your campaigns.

UCE: UCE stands for Unsolicited Commercial Email and is another name for spam.

Unsubscribe: Unsubscribe is when a subscriber decides to leave your email list and does not wish to receive communication from you via email anymore.


Welcome Email: A welcome email is usually an automated email that is sent to a subscriber once they have signed up to your email list. It usually welcomes them to your community and gives them insight into what kind of mails they will be receiving from you in the future.

Whitelist: Whitelisting email addresses means that you are adding them to an approved senders list. This helps you tell your email client that you know a specific sender and trust them, which helps to keep your email out of subscribers' junk folders.

Have we missed any important email marketing terms? Tell us in the comments section below.


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