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11 Email Marketing Terms You Need to Know

March 23 2011

emailingEmail service providers are constantly throwing around terms that sometimes our customers may or may not know. So we decided to pick 11 email-marketing terms and help you understand what they mean. Don't be offended if you know some of these, we're trying to cover a lot of bases here. Here goes!

1. ROI (Return on Investment) - Your ROI is the measure of the profit you make and/or costs saved at your business. For your email marketing campaigns you calculate cost of sending email plus time.

ROI = [(Payback - Investment)/Investment)]*100

2. Open Rate - Your open rate is simply the number recipients who opened your HTML emails. It is typically measured as a percentage of the total number of emails sent, although calculation methods may differ. The open rate is considered a useful metric for judging response to an email campaign but it should be noted that open rates for text emails can't be calculated AND some email clients don't display images as a default which would under report your total number of opens. Open rates average about 20%.

3. Above the Fold - The bottom of your browser window or the bottom of your email before you have to start scrolling is commonly referred to as the "fold". These viewable areas should be where your most important information should be located since it's the first thing your viewer will see. It is a good idea to keep your emails short and above the fold with a good reason for the recipient to convert.

4. Preview Pane - Email programs like Microsoft Outlook, Entourage, and Mac Mail allow users to view email through a preview pane before your recipient clicks to open. The preview pane is important to bear in mind when composing the opening lines of an email so you can get your recipient's attention fast.

5. Copy - Your copy is simply the text of the email you write.

6. Hosted Email - A hosted version of an email allows users to view the email message as a web page, ensuring that all formatting remains intact. Most email marketing programs do this for you for free you just need to include the "hosted version" link. Hosted versions of your email are also great for you to send your Twitter and Facebook followers to when you launch your campaign.

7. Spoofing - Email spoofing involves forging a sender's address on email messages. It can be used by malicious individuals to mislead email recipients into reading and responding to deceptive mail. These fake messages can jeopardize the online privacy of consumers and damage the reputation of the companies purported to have sent the messages. Spoofed email often contains phishing scams.


8. Phishing - In a phishing scam, a spammer, posing as a trusted party such as a bank or reputable online vendor, sends email messages directing recipients to Web sites that appear to be official but are in reality fraudulent. Visitors to these Web sites are asked to disclose personal information, such as credit card numbers, or to purchase counterfeit or pirated products.

9. Targeting - Targeting gives you the ability to deliver emails to those most likely to respond to your emails, based on a variety of things like their geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral information.

10. Whitelists - Whitelists are usually created by an ISP (internet service provider) and are made up of commercial emailers (including ESPs) who have been approved to send email through their gates. The ISP requires a list of IP (internet protocol) addresses that email will be sent from, and in some cases a test period where the commercial emailer will be approved or rejected.

11. Web Friendly fonts - Almost all web browsers are capable of displaying four primary fonts properly: Times, Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana, as well as their variants (Arial Narrow, Times New Roman, etc.) If you try to get fancy with your email fonts and stray from one of these, you run the risk of browser compatibility problems and raise the chance that the prospect may not be able to read your message.

Got any other terms you were wondering about? Let us know!