Marketing Glossary

The marketing industry is full of complex concepts, terminology, and acronyms. This comprehensive marketing glossary is here to help grow your vocabulary.


A/B Tests

Creating 2 versions of a digital asset to see which one users respond to better. Examples of assets include a landing p... [Read more]

Abandoned Cart

When a user adds a product to the online shopping cart of an e-commerce site but doesn’t proceed to checkout and comple... [Read more]

Above the fold

The part of an email message or Web page that is visible without scrolling. Material in this area is considered more val... [Read more]


Microsoft software tool used for developing a database. Any database vendor you work with -- email broadcaster, list bro... [Read more]

Acquisition cost

In email marketing, the cost to generate one lead, newsletter subscriber or customer in an individual email campaign; ty... [Read more]

Ad Copy

The words in your advertising messages to customers. Ad copy can be the headline of a display ad, the subject line of a... [Read more]

Ad Network

A service that offers online ad space for sale to advertisers. This space can represent inventory from hundreds and thou... [Read more]

Ad swap

An exchange between two publishers in which each agrees to run the other's comparably valued ad at no charge. Value is d... [Read more]


A Google marketing program that pays website publishers for allowing relevant ads from Google to run on their sites auto... [Read more]

Advertising Budget

The money a company puts toward promoting its products and services to its target audiences. An advertising budget typic... [Read more]


Advertising and editorial content combined. If you think of a traditional printed magazine or newspaper, the line betwee... [Read more]


A marketing partner that promotes your products or services under a payment-on-results agreement.

Affiliate Marketing

Marketing based on a relationship between an online advertiser and website publishers where the advertiser pays for lead... [Read more]

Affiliate Network

A specially selected group of website publishers who partner with an advertiser to deliver leads or sales and receive a ... [Read more]

Affirmative consent

An active request by a reader or subscriber to receive advertising or promotional information, newsletters, etc. General... [Read more]


Email message that notifies subscribers of an event or special price.


A unique and usually shorter URL (link) that can be distinguished from other links even if they ultimately go to the sam... [Read more]

Alt Text

Text that shows in place of images or pops up when you hover your mouse over an image. Alt text, or alternative text, is... [Read more]

Anchor Text

The wording of a link on a website, in an email, or within another digital asset. One example of anchor text is “read mo... [Read more]


America Online.

Application Program Interface (API)

How a program (application) accesses another to transmit data. A client may have an API connection to load database info... [Read more]

Application Service Provider (ASP)

Company that provides a Web-based service. Clients don’t have to install software on their own computers; all tasks are ... [Read more]


Application Service Provider – A company that offers organizations access over the Internet to applications and related ... [Read more]


A text, video, graphic, PDF or sound file that accompanies an email message but is not included in the message itself. A... [Read more]

Audience Segmentation

A marketing strategy based on identifying subgroups within the target audience in order to deliver more tailored messagi... [Read more]


A term that refers to standards, such as Sender ID, SPF and DomainKeys/DKIM, that serve to identify that an email is rea... [Read more]


Automated email message-sending capability, such as a welcome message sent to all new subscribers the minute they join a... [Read more]
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Business-to-business (also B2B).


Business-to-consumer (also B2C).


Business-to-Business – The exchange of information, products or services between two businesses – as opposed to between ... [Read more]


Business-to-Consumer – The exchange of information, products or services between a business and a consumer – as opposed ... [Read more]


(1) The part of the computer that changes source code into object code (machine read code). (2) The part of the program ... [Read more]


Links on websites other than your own that go back to a page on your website. Backlinks are also called inbound links be... [Read more]

Banner Ad

A standard horizontal ad placement at the top of a web page. The term “banner” is borrowed from print newspapers. It can... [Read more]

Bayesian filter

An anti-spam program that evaluates header and content of incoming email messages to determine the probability that it i... [Read more]


Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) is an emerging security technology that helps authenticate your email... [Read more]

Bing Ads

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads that run on Bing and Yahoo search engines spanning desktop and mobile devices. Bing Ads is a for... [Read more]


Abbreviation for "Because It's Time NETwork." BITNET is primarily a network of sites for educational purpose and is sepa... [Read more]

Black Hat SEO

Not a great idea. Black hat SEO is an approach to search engine optimization (SEO) that focuses on gaming the system and... [Read more]


A list developed by anyone receiving email, or processing email on its way to the recipient, or interested third-parties... [Read more]


A refusal by an ISP or mail server not to forward your email message to the recipient. Many ISPs block email from IP add... [Read more]


The short form of "web log." A blog is a collection of journal-like articles written about a particular topic and publis... [Read more]

Bonded Sender

A private email-registration service, owned by email vendor Ironport, which allows bulk emailers who agree to follow str... [Read more]


A message that doesn’t get delivered promptly is said to have bounced. Emails can bounce for more than 30 reasons: the ... [Read more]

Bounce handling

The process of dealing with the email that has bounced. Bounce handling is important for list maintenance, list integrit... [Read more]

Bounce message

Message sent back to an email sender reporting the message could not be delivered and why. (Note: Not all bounced email... [Read more]

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visits to your website where only 1 page was viewed. When we say users "bounce," we mean they viewed a... [Read more]


Email messages that fail to reach their intended destination. "Hard" bounces are caused by invalid email addresses, wher... [Read more]


The experience a customer has with a product or service that makes it different from others in the same category. More t... [Read more]

Brand Identity

The experience a customer has with your product or service visually. A brand identity is made up of elements like the br... [Read more]

Brand Image

How your customers perceive your products, services, and company. This is ultimately something you can’t control. But th... [Read more]

Brand Manager

A marketing professional responsible for making sure the customer’s experience with a brand is brand-worthy. That means ... [Read more]


If you’re thinking "Hansel and Gretel," you’re right. This fairy tale duo left a trail of breadcrumbs as they ventured i... [Read more]


The process of sending the same email message to multiple recipients.

Bulk folder (also junk folder)

Where many email clients send messages that appear to be from spammers or contain spam or are from any sender who’s not ... [Read more]
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Call to Action (CTA)

What you want your target audience to do after receiving your marketing message. The call to action (CTA) clearly articu... [Read more]


Popular name for the U.S. law regulating commercial email (Full name: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornograp... [Read more]

Canonical URL

The "master version" of a page on your website that you want search engine crawlers to find. As you launch marketing cam... [Read more]


An email server function that forwards all questionable email to a single mailbox. The catch-all should be monitored reg... [Read more]


Aka Test cell or version. A segment of your list that receives different treatment specifically to see how it responds v... [Read more]


Common Gateway Interface – A specification for transferring information between a Web server and a CGI program. CGI prog... [Read more]


An authentication method that requires a human to respond to an email challenge message before the original email that t... [Read more]

Challenge-response system

An anti-spam program that requires a human being on the sender's end to respond to an emailed challenge message before t... [Read more]

Classified Advertising

Ads appearing on the same page and grouped into categories in a list-like format. Common categories are real estate, hom... [Read more]

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of users who click on the link in your digital marketing message after seeing it. For example, if 10,000 ... [Read more]

Click-through tracking

The process of tracking how many recipients clicked on a particular link in an email message. This is commonly done to m... [Read more]

clickthrough & clickthrough tracking

When a hotlink is included in an email, a clickthrough occurs when a recipient clicks on the link. clickthrough tracking... [Read more]


Arrangement in which companies collecting registration information from users (email sign-up forms, shopping checkout pr... [Read more]

Commercial email

Email whose purpose, as a whole or in part, is to sell or advertise a product or service or if its purpose is to persuad... [Read more]

Conditional blocks

A text fragment that is pasted into an email message only if certain conditions are met (for instance the recipient live... [Read more]


An acknowledgment of a subscription or information request. "Confirmation" can be either a company statement that the em... [Read more]

Confirmed opt-in

Inexact term that may refer to double-opt-in subscription processes or may refer to email addresses which do not hard bo... [Read more]

Contact Form

A page on a website that contains a brief questionnaire that allows users to provide information about themselves and in... [Read more]


All the material in an email message except for the codes showing the delivery route and return-path information. Includ... [Read more]

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategy businesses use to attract, engage, and retain customers by creating and sharing relevant... [Read more]


When an email recipient performs a desired action based on a mailing you have sent. A conversion could be a monetary tra... [Read more]

Conversion Rate

The percentage of user actions taken after total clicks on a display ad or other digital asset. Your marketing strategy ... [Read more]

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

The process of increasing the percentage of users who take the actions you want them to, such as clicking on a website l... [Read more]

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

How much you spend to win a single paying customer. Cost per acquisition (CPA) is a marketing success metric that can be... [Read more]

Cost Per Click (CPC)

A fee that a website publisher charges to serve your display ads on its site. Instead of paying for your ads to simply s... [Read more]


Cost per Action (also can be Acquisition). A method of paying for advertising, or calculating results from non-CPA marke... [Read more]


Cost per Click. A method of paying for advertising. Different from CPA because all you pay for is the click, regardless ... [Read more]


Cost per thousand impressions of an online ad. When an ad is served to a user, it’s counted as an impression. If an ad n... [Read more]


An email message's copy and any graphics.


The products of copywriters, graphic designers, and other creative advertising people—or simply the people themselves. I... [Read more]


The practice of customer relationship management (CRM). The goals of CRM are to retain current customers, increase their... [Read more]

Cross-campaign profiling

A method used to understand how email respondents behave over multiple campaigns.


To send the same email message to at least two different mailing lists or discussion groups.


Cascading style sheet (CSS), a language that dictates how a web page looks. It covers layout, colors, fonts, font sizes,... [Read more]


Clickthrough Rate. Slightly inexact because some clicks "get lost" between the click and your server. Also be sure to as... [Read more]

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is the amount of money a company spends to get a new customer. It helps measure the retu... [Read more]

Customer Data Platform

A customer data platform (CDP) is a central location for customer data from a variety of sources. It aggregates and orga... [Read more]

Customer Journey

Think of a customer journey as a detailed map that shows the full experience a customer has with your business. It lets ... [Read more]
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Database Management System

A database system that provides possibilities for users to connect LISTSERV® to a database back-end and, hence, send out... [Read more]

Dedicated Server

An email server used by only one sender. A dedicated server often costs more to use because the expense can't be spread ... [Read more]

Deduplication (deduping)

The process of removing identical entries from two or more data sets such as mailing lists. AKA merge/purge. Delivered e... [Read more]


A term that refers to the best practices and authentication techniques of mass email communication that improve the like... [Read more]

Delivery tracking

The process of measuring delivery rates by format, ISP or other factors and delivery failures (bounces, invalid address,... [Read more]

Denial-of-service attack (DOS)

An organized effort to disrupt email or Web service by sending more messages or traffic than a server can handle, shutti... [Read more]


The act of sending the email campaign after testing.


A shortened version of an email newsletter which replaces full-length articles with clickable links to the full article ... [Read more]

Digital Marketing

Any marketing that uses electronic devices to convey promotional messaging and measure its impact. In practice, digital ... [Read more]

Direct Mail Marketing

A type of direct marketing that’s delivered physically to a prospect’s mailbox through the United States Postal Service ... [Read more]

Direct Marketing

Marketing that is delivered directly to the customer via the company selling a product. It’s often called direct respons... [Read more]

Discussion group

An email service in which individual members post messages for all group members to read ("many to many.") In contrast, ... [Read more]

Display Ads

A type of online advertisement that combines text, images, and a URL that links to a website where a customer can learn ... [Read more]

Distribution Channel

The path a product or service takes as it travels from where it is created to the person who will use it. In marketing, ... [Read more]


Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) is a widely recognized email protocol that helps pe... [Read more]


A domain name system (DNS) takes a human-friendly internet address, such as, and translates it into a comput... [Read more]


A domain or domain name is what comes between the @ in your email address and the .com, .org, .net, etc. (For example, y... [Read more]

Domain name

A name that identifies one or more IP addresses. Domain names always have at least two parts that are separated by dots ... [Read more]

Domain Name System

How computer networks locate Internet domain names and translate them into IP addresses. The domain name is the actual n... [Read more]

Domain Throttling

A technique that allows you to limit the number of email messages sent to a domain within a certain time frame. It is us... [Read more]


An anti-spam software application being developed by Yahoo and using a combination of public and private "keys" to authe... [Read more]

Double opt-in

A process that requires new list joiners to take an action (such as clicking on an emailed link to a personal confirmati... [Read more]


To transfer a copy of a file from an Internet server to one's own computer.

Drip Campaign

A series of automated emails sent to people who take a specific action. For any given action, you can choose how many em... [Read more]


An e-commerce model where the seller doesn’t own any inventory or handle any of the shipping responsibilities. When a cu... [Read more]

Dynamic content

Email-newsletter content that changes from one recipient to the next according to a set of predetermined rules or variab... [Read more]
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E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services using the internet. It starts when a potential customer learn... [Read more]

E-commerce Website

A website that allows people to buy and sell physical goods, services, and digital products over the internet rather tha... [Read more]


Email Change of Address. A service that tracks email address changes and updates.

Effective rate

Metric that measures how many of those who opened an email message clicked on a link, usually measured as unique respond... [Read more]


Email allows you to send and receive text, HTML, images and other data files over the Internet. Email is one of the most... [Read more]

Email address

The combination of a unique user name and a sender domain ( The email address requires both the us... [Read more]

Email appending

Service that matches email addresses to a database of personal names and postal addresses. Appending may require an "OK ... [Read more]

Email Automation

The use of predefined rules to trigger email messages based on specific actions customers take—or don’t take. Some examp... [Read more]

Email bounces

Email messages that fail to reach their intended destination. "Hard" bounces are caused by invalid email addresses, wher... [Read more]

Email client

The software that recipients use to read email. Some email clients have better support for HTML email than others.

Email Domain

Aka Domain. The portion of the email address to the right of the @ sign. Useful as an email address hygiene tool (e.g. i... [Read more]

Email Filter

A software tool that categorizes, sorts or blocks incoming email, based either on the sender, the email header or messag... [Read more]

Email Friendly Name Aka Display Name, From name.

The portion of the email address that is displayed in most, though not all, email readers in place of, or in addition to... [Read more]

Email harvesting

An automated process in which a robot program searches Web pages or other Internet destinations for email addresses. The... [Read more]

Email header

The section of an email message that contains the sender's and recipient's email addresses as well as the routing inform... [Read more]

Email List

A list of email addresses that your business can send marketing emails to. Email lists are usually segmented—or broken i... [Read more]

Email Marketing

The use of email to promote a business’s products and services. Email marketing can make the customers on your email lis... [Read more]

Email Newsletter

Content distributed to subscribers by email, on a regular schedule. Content is seen as valued editorial in and of itself... [Read more]

Email Prefix

The portion of the email address to the left of the @ sign.

Email Vendor

Another name for an email broadcast service provider, a company that sends bulk (volume) email on behalf of their client... [Read more]

End User

The person who uses a product or service. If you make T-shirts, a person wearing your shirt is the end user. If you make... [Read more]

Enhanced whitelist

A super-whitelist maintained by AOL for bulk emailers who meet strict delivery standards, including fewer than 1 spam co... [Read more]

Error 404

File not found, an error your web browser flags. A 404 error message can be the fault of the user (if they mistyped the ... [Read more]

Event triggered email

Pre-programmed messages sent automatically based on an event such as a date or anniversary.

Extensible Markup Language (XML)

A human- and machine-readable coding language that adds structure, meaning, or context to a text document. Extensible ma... [Read more]

Eye Tracking

Measuring and recording the movement of eyes as they look at a web page. In digital marketing, eye tracking is often use... [Read more]

Ezine (also e-zine)

Another name for email newsletter, adapted from electronic ‘zine or electronic magazine.
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Facebook Ads

Ads that run exclusively through Facebook’s advertising platform. They can appear in Facebook’s feed, Messenger, and eve... [Read more]

Facebook Ads Manager

Basically, mission control for your Facebook ads. This is the interface where you select your target audience, set your ... [Read more]

Facebook Business Page

Your business’s home on Facebook. At a minimum, it includes a name, description, profile, cover photo, and a call to act... [Read more]

Facebook Profile

Your personal home on Facebook. This is similar to a Facebook business page but designed for a human—or the occasional p... [Read more]

False positive

A legitimate message mistakenly rejected or filtered as spam, either by an ISP or a recipient's anti-spam program. The m... [Read more]


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a United States government agency that regulates communication devices an... [Read more]

Featured Snippet

A section of Google’s search engine results page that tries to answer a question without a person having to click throug... [Read more]


See email filter.


A program or set of programs designed to keep unauthorized users or messages from accessing a private network. The firew... [Read more]


An area at the end of an email message or newsletter that contains information that doesn’t change from one edition to t... [Read more]

Forward (also Forward to a Friend)

The process in which email recipients send your message to people they know, either because they think their friends wil... [Read more]

Forward DNS Lookup

A Forward DNS Lookup, or just DNS Lookup, is the process of looking up and translating a domain name into its correspond... [Read more]


Fully Qualified Domain Name – A name consisting of both a host and a domain name. For example, is a fully ... [Read more]


A free computer program usually made available on the Internet or through user groups.


Whatever appears in the email recipient's inbox as your visible "from" name. Chosen by the sender. May be a personal nam... [Read more]


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is tasked with promoting competition in the United States marketplace and protecting ... [Read more]


File Transfer Protocol – Used for uploading or downloading files to and from remote computer systems on a network using ... [Read more]

Full-service provider

An email vendor that also provides strategic consulting and creative support, in addition to sending messages.
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This is a hardware or software set-up that functions as a translator between two dissimilar protocols. A gateway can als... [Read more]


A new, free email service offered by Google, giving users 1GB of storage space, email search and conversation threading.... [Read more]

Goodbye message

An email message sent automatically to a list member who unsubscribes, acknowledging the request. Always include an opti... [Read more]

Google Ads

Google Ads is the software platform Google uses to power its ad network. Advertisers choose which keywords are most rele... [Read more]

Google Algorithm

Algorithms are a list of mathematical calculations and if/then statements that decide what action a computer program sho... [Read more]

Google Analytics

A platform that measures and reports on website traffic. It provides information about how people use your website, whic... [Read more]

Google My Business

A free service that lets you provide more detail about your business when it appears in search. Beyond a URL and descrip... [Read more]

Google Remarketing

Also called retargeting, Google remarketing is the technology that enables your Google Ads to follow potential customers... [Read more]

Google Search Console

A Google tool that helps you optimize your website content to improve its performance and your search engine optimizatio... [Read more]

Gross Rating Points

A math equation that multiplies the number of times an ad is run by the percentage of the target audience that sees it, ... [Read more]
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An HTML tag used to identify the highest level of information on a page. In practice, page titles and headlines are usua... [Read more]

Hard Bounce

An email that is rejected by an email server for a permanent reason. An email may hard bounce if a recipient email addre... [Read more]


A hash or pound sign (#) used after a word or phrase to label content and make it easier to find. Hashtags are common on... [Read more]


Routing and program data at the start of an email message, including the sender's name and email address, originating em... [Read more]

Heat Map

A visual representation of data that uses color to communicate areas of highest use or likelihood. A click map is a spec... [Read more]


When a server acts as a host it means that other computers on the network do not have to download the software that this... [Read more]

Host name

The name of a computer on the Internet (such as

House list

The list of email addresses an organization develops on its own. (Your own list.)

Hreflang Tags

An HTML tag that helps search engines find and display content in a specific language when a website uses multiple langu... [Read more]


Hypertext markup language (HTML) is the coding language used to create web pages. With the help of CSS and JavaScript, H... [Read more]

HTML message

Email message which contains any type of formatting other than text. This may be as simple as programming that sets the ... [Read more]


Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) is the application (or program) that a web browser uses to ask a web server for infor... [Read more]


The process of cleaning a database to correct incorrect or outdated values. See also List Hygiene.


A piece of text or an image on a website that takes you to another web page when you click on it. Hyperlinked text is of... [Read more]
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An iframe is a section of a web page that contains content that comes from another page. It’s a page within a page. Ifra... [Read more]


Internet Message Access Protocol – A protocol used to retrieve email messages. Most email clients use either the IMAP or... [Read more]


A single view of one page by a single user, used in calculating advertising rates.

In-house list

A list of email addresses that a company has gathered through previous customer contacts, Web sign-ups or other permissi... [Read more]

Inbound Marketing

A marketing strategy that encourages people to actively seek out and engage with your brand. Social media, content marke... [Read more]

Index Page

The homepage of a website. Sometimes people refer to pages that collect all of a website’s links, images, or headlines i... [Read more]

Instagram Ads

Instagram posts that promote a business’s products or services. The posts can appear in an Instagram feed, stories, or b... [Read more]

Integrated Marketing

The practice of aligning all marketing tactics to the same core messaging for a consistent customer experience with your... [Read more]


The largest worldwide computer network.


Contrary to the public Internet, an intranet is a private network inside a company or organization.

IP Address

Internet protocol (IP) address, a unique number much like your street address that uses commas and periods to identify a... [Read more]


Internet Service Provider – A company that provides access to the Internet, including the World Wide Web and email, typi... [Read more]
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A coding language that works with HTML to make dynamic web page content possible. Contact forms, sign-in pages, and shop... [Read more]

Joe job

A spam-industry term for a forged email, in which a spammer or hacker fakes a genuine email address in order to hide his... [Read more]
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Key Success Factors

The 5 elements that determine whether or not a company will be effective in capturing its target audience. The key succe... [Read more]


A word or phrase in the content of your web pages that matches the words and phrases users are entering into search engi... [Read more]

Keyword Density

The number of times a keyword is used on a web page out of the total number of words on the page. Let’s say your keyword... [Read more]


Key performance indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable measures that help businesses evaluate their progress toward achievin... [Read more]
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Local Area Network, which is a computer network, although geographically limited, usually to the same building, office, ... [Read more]

Landing Page

A standalone web page that potential customers can “land” on when they click through from an email, ad, or other digital... [Read more]


A person who has shown interest in your company's product or service. “Lead” is a term used more often in the sale of bu... [Read more]

LinkedIn Advertising

A platform for promoting your company’s products or services on LinkedIn. Several formats are available, including text-... [Read more]

LinkedIn Profile

Your individual landing page on LinkedIn. Like a resume, professional bio, or CV, the purpose of your LinkedIn Profile i... [Read more]


What happens when links go bad over time, either because a Web site has shut down or a site has stopped supporting a uni... [Read more]


The list of email addresses to which you send your message. Can be either your house list or a third-party list that sen... [Read more]

List Broker

A business that specializes in sourcing contact lists that direct marketers can rent for an email or marketing campaign.... [Read more]

List fatigue

A condition producing diminishing returns from a mailing list whose members are sent too many offers, or too many of the... [Read more]

List host

See email vendors.

List hygiene

The act of maintaining a list so that hard bounces and unsubscribed names are removed from mailings. Some list owners al... [Read more]

List management

How a mailing list is set up, administered and maintained. The list manager has daily responsibility over list operation... [Read more]

List owner

The owner of an email list defines the list's charter and policy (i.e. what the list is about and what are the general r... [Read more]

List rental

The process in which a publisher or advertiser pays a list owner to send its messages to that list. Usually involves the... [Read more]

List sale

The actual purchase of a mailing list along with the rights to mail it directly. Permission can only be "sold" if the su... [Read more]
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Mail bomb

An orchestrated attempt to shut down a mail server by sending more messages than it can handle in a short period of time... [Read more]

Mail loop

A communication error between two email servers, usually happening when a misconfigured email triggers an automated resp... [Read more]


A process that enables the delivery of personalized messages to large numbers of recipients. This is usually achieved us... [Read more]

Mailing list

A list of email addresses that receive mailings or discussion-group messages.


A HTML code to make an email address in either a text or HTML email immediately clickable (mailto:


A high-level computer often shared by multiple users connected by individual terminals.

Market Share

The percentage of the market for your product or service that you want to capture. The formula for market share is: a co... [Read more]

Marketing Analytics

A math-based discipline that seeks to find patterns in data to increase actionable knowledge. Analytics employs statisti... [Read more]

Marketing Automation

A process that enables technology to take over repetitive marketing tasks from people, freeing people to focus on strate... [Read more]

Marketing Collateral

Digital or print materials that accompany a primary advertising campaign. Before the internet, “collateral” was practica... [Read more]

Marketing Mix

The 4 “P”s: price, product, promotion, and place (point of sale). Your marketing mix covers these must-have elements whe... [Read more]

Marketing Objectives

What you want a marketing initiative such as an advertising campaign to accomplish for the bottom line of your business.... [Read more]

Marketing Research

Gathering and analyzing information about a market to inform how best to offer a product or service to customers. Market... [Read more]


The act of removing duplicate email addresses from a coalesced list that is composed of two or more existing lists.

Meta Description

A brief summary of what a web page is about in the HTML code of the page. Character counts may vary by search engine, bu... [Read more]

Meta Keywords

Words and phrases in the HTML meta keywords tag of a web page. Meta keywords help search engines identify what the page ... [Read more]

Meta Tags

HTML code that helps search engines understand, evaluate, and rank web pages. Meta tags include meta description (a summ... [Read more]


Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extensions – An extension of the original Internet email standard that allows users to excha... [Read more]

Moderated list

Moderators must approve any message posted to an email list before it is delivered to all subscribers. It is also possib... [Read more]


Mail service provider, such as Hotmail.


Mail Transfer Agent. A computer that forwards email from senders to recipients (or to relay sites) and stores incoming e... [Read more]


Mail User Agent (see email client).

Multi-part MIME

Also known (confusingly) as an "email sniffer." Message format which includes both an HTML and a text-only version in th... [Read more]


A process though which a mail server can perform multiple concurrent deliveries to different domains, which greatly spee... [Read more]


A message format that includes both text and HTML versions. Recipients can then open the message in their preferred form... [Read more]


Mail Exchange Record
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Sending a media message to a highly targeted audience. The opposite of broadcasting, narrowcasting is also considered a ... [Read more]


A meta tag in the HTML code of a web page that tells search engines to disregard the page. On pages such as blog posts t... [Read more]

Nonprofit Marketing

Marketing with objectives that advance a nonprofit organization’s cause versus driving a business’s profitability. This ... [Read more]

Nth name

The act of segmenting a list for a test in which names are pulled from the main list for the test cell by number -- such... [Read more]
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Open DataBase Connectivity – A Microsoft standard for accessing different database systems from Windows, for instance Or... [Read more]


To assume part of the processing demand from another device.

Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing creates a cohesive, integrated shopping experience across a brand’s sales touchpoints—including br... [Read more]

Open rate

The number of HTML message recipients who opened your email, usually as a percentage of the total number of emails sent.... [Read more]

Open relay

An SMTP email server that allows outsiders to relay email messages that are neither for nor from local users. Often expl... [Read more]


Open-relay is the third-party relaying of email messages though a mail server. Spammers looking to obscure or hide the s... [Read more]

Open-up rate

The percentage of recipients who opened their email messages. The open-up rate is often used to measure the success of a... [Read more]

Open-up tracking

The process of tracking how many recipients opened their email messages as part of an email marketing campaign. Open-up ... [Read more]

Operating system

A program that manages all other programs in a computer, such as Windows or Unix.


A specific, pro-active, request by an individual email recipient to have their own email address placed on a specific ma... [Read more]


A specific request to remove an email address from a specific list, or from all lists operated by a single owner. Also, ... [Read more]

Organic Search

The natural and unpaid results users receive after making search queries. Search engines, which crawl your web pages and... [Read more]

Out-of-office replies

Automatic email reply messages triggered by incoming email to a user's inbox, typically activated when users are on vaca... [Read more]


An arrangement where one company provides services to another company that would otherwise have been implemented in-hous... [Read more]
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Paid Search

Online advertising that is triggered when users perform searches using keywords that a company has purchased. Ads look l... [Read more]


An email recipient who got your message via forwarding from a subscriber. (Some emails offer "forward to a friend" in th... [Read more]

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

An online advertising campaign that a company pays for only when users interact with the ads. Instead of paying for your... [Read more]


A Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file that looks like a printed document and is compatible across computer systems.... [Read more]


The implicit approval given when a person actively requests to have their own email address added to a list.


A targeting method in which an email message appears to have been created only for a single recipient. Personalization t... [Read more]

Personalized Marketing

The practice of using analytics to make advertising messages and product experiences feel unique to each customer. Perso... [Read more]

Personalized Product Recommendations

Suggestions to customers for products they may be interested in based on products they’ve already bought or viewed onlin... [Read more]

PGP (Pretty Good Privacy)

Software used to encrypt and protect email as it moves from one computer to another and can be used to verify a sender's... [Read more]


A form of identity theft in which a scammer uses an authentic-looking email to trick recipients into giving out sensitiv... [Read more]

Plain text

Text in an email message that includes no formatting code. See HTML.


Post Office Protocol – A protocol used to retrieve email from a mail server. Most email clients use either the POP or th... [Read more]


Whom to contact at a Web site, ISP or other site to request information, get help with delivery or register complaints.


Options a user can set to determine how they want to receive your messages, how they want to be addresses, to which emai... [Read more]

Preview pane

The window in an email client that allows the user to scan message content without actually clicking on the message. See... [Read more]


A major concern of Internet users that largely involves the sharing of personally identifiable information, which includ... [Read more]

Privacy policy

A clear description of how your company uses the email addresses and other information it gathers via opt-in requests fo... [Read more]

Product Differentiation

What makes your product or service different and more appealing to customers than other options in your category. Produc... [Read more]

Product Lifecycle

The stages a product goes through during its time on the market. There are 4 stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and... [Read more]

Product Positioning

The image of your product or service that you want members of your target audience to have in their minds. Because first... [Read more]

Product Range

A set of versions of one product from the same brand, each tweaked to appeal to a different audience segment. These vers... [Read more]

Promotional Mix

The combination of promotions (advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, publicity) you use to deliver marketing m... [Read more]


Marketing communications designed to inform target audiences about products or services and persuade them to buy them. T... [Read more]


The set of formal rules that describe how to transmit data, especially across a network of computers.


Your target audience’s values, beliefs, and behaviors that are relevant to your product or service. Like demographics, p... [Read more]
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Quality Score

A Google Ads metric that rates how relevant your pay-per-click (PPC) ads and landing pages are to your chosen keywords. ... [Read more]


A subset of records in a database. Queries may be used to create highly specified demographics in order to maximize the ... [Read more]


A set of questions about a topic that’s used for research purposes. Questionnaires are commonly used in digital marketin... [Read more]


Where an email message goes after you send it but before the list owner approves it or before the list server gets aroun... [Read more]
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Read email

Not measurable. Only opens and clicks are measureable in any way. You can never know if a recipient simply read your mes... [Read more]


Sending a user to a different web page than the one they requested with a URL. Redirects send readers to a new page if c... [Read more]


When a website sends traffic to another website. Tracking referrals can help you understand how people find your website... [Read more]


The process where someone not only opts in to your email program but provides some additional information, such as name,... [Read more]

Relationship email

An email message that refers to a commercial action -- a purchase, complaint or customer-support request -- based on a b... [Read more]


The email address that receives messages sent from users who click “reply” in their email clients. Can differ from the “... [Read more]

Responsive Web Design

An approach to website design that enables a single page to be displayed comfortably whether it’s on a phone, tablet, or... [Read more]

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

The ratio of the amount of revenue generated by an ad campaign to its cost. If you generated $10,000 from a campaign tha... [Read more]

Return on Investment (ROI)

A calculation of the monetary value of an investment versus its cost. The mathematical formula is: (profit minus cost) /... [Read more]

Return Rate

Number of hard/soft bounces divided by the number of emails sent. This is an inexact number because some systems do not ... [Read more]

Reverse DNS

The process in which an IP address is matched correctly to a domain name, instead of a domain name being matched to an I... [Read more]

Reverse DNS Lookup

A Reverse DNS Lookup is the process of looking up and translating an IP address into a domain name. This can be compared... [Read more]

Rich Media

Creative that includes video, animation, and/or sound. Rich-media emails often collect high open and click rates but req... [Read more]


A file placed on a web server that gives instructions to search engine crawlers, which are the robots that index web pag... [Read more]

Router (Routing System)

The role of a route can be described as a bridge between two or more networks. The function of the router is to look at ... [Read more]


Really simple syndication (RSS) takes the content of a website and packages it into a feed that can be easily displayed ... [Read more]
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The ability of a software program to continue to function smoothly as additional volume, or work is required of it.

Schema Markup

Bits of code added to a web page that help search engines understand the content of the page. With better understanding ... [Read more]

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Paid advertising on a search engine results page (SERP). This is also called paid search. Search engine marketing (SEM) ... [Read more]

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Changes made to the content and structure of a website to improve ranking on a search engine results page (SERP). Search... [Read more]

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The page that a search engine returns after a user submits a search query. In addition to organic search results, search... [Read more]

Search Engines

Software used to find information and websites on the internet. Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the big 3 search engines in ... [Read more]

Search Query

The string of words users enter into a search engine to receive a result. Search queries are the raw text that people ty... [Read more]

Seed emails

Email addresses placed on a list (sometimes secretly) to determine what messages are sent to the list and/or to track de... [Read more]


The ability to slice a list into specific pieces determined by various attributes, such as open history or name source.


A segment of a list determined by any number of attributes, such as source of name, job title, purchasing history, etc. ... [Read more]

Selective Unsubscribe

An unsubscribe mechanism that allows a consumer to selectively determine which email newsletters they wish to continue r... [Read more]

Sender ID

Sender ID is an authentication protocol used to verify that the originating IP address is authorized to send email for t... [Read more]

Sender Policy Framework (also SPF)

A protocol used to eliminate email forgeries. A line of code called an SPF record is placed in a sender’s Domain Name Se... [Read more]

Sent emails

Number of email names transmitted in a single broadcast. Does not reflect how many were delivered or viewed by recipient... [Read more]


A program or computer system that stores and distributes email from one mailbox to another, or relays email from one ser... [Read more]


A program that acts as a central information source and provides services to programs in the same or other computers. Th... [Read more]

Shared server

An email server used by more than one company or sender. Shared servers are less expensive to use because the broadcast ... [Read more]


This term refers to software available on public networks.


A line or two of information found in the closing of an email, usually followed the sender’s name. Signatures can includ... [Read more]

Signature file

A short text file that email users can automatically append at the end of each message they send. Commonly, signature fi... [Read more]


An ad extension that places more than 1 link in a paid search ad. For example, beyond your standard ad copy and call to ... [Read more]

Sitemap XML

A list of pages on a website that search engines should index. Written in extensible markup language (XML), both humans ... [Read more]


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol – A protocol used to send email on the Internet. SMTP is a set of rules regarding the inte... [Read more]

Snail mail

Traditional or surface mail sent through postal services such as the USPS.


A method of determining whether email recipients are capable of receiving HTML-formatted messages. This procedure is not... [Read more]

Social Media Marketing

Using social media to advertise a brand, products, or services. Social media marketing allows a brand to insert itself i... [Read more]

Soft Bounce

An email that is rejected by an email server for a temporary reason. An email may soft bounce if a mailbox is full, the ... [Read more]

Solo mailing

A one-time broadcast to an email list, separate from regular newsletters or promotions, and often including a message fr... [Read more]


The digital equivalent of junk mail. Spam can be an email, text message, social media direct message, or any other unwan... [Read more]


A blacklist and IP-address database, formerly privately owned but now part of the email vendor Ironport. Many ISPs check... [Read more]


Sender Policy Framework – An authentication protocol used by recipient sites to verify that the originating IP address i... [Read more]

Sponsorship swap

An agreement between email list owners, publishers or advertisers to sponsor each other's mailings or newsletters for fr... [Read more]


The disreputable and often illegal act of falsifying the sender email address to make it appear as if an email message c... [Read more]


Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a method of encryption that protects data being sent between websites. SSL is closely rela... [Read more]

Streaming media

Audio and video files transmitted on the Internet in a continuous fashion.

Subject line

Copy that identifies what an email message is about, often designed to entice the recipient into opening the message. Th... [Read more]


The process of joining a mailing list, either through an email command, by filling out a Web form, or offline by filling... [Read more]


The person who has specifically requested to join a mailing list. A list has both subscribers, who receive the message f... [Read more]

Suppression file

A list of email addresses you have removed from your regular mailing lists, either because they have opted out of your l... [Read more]
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A piece of HTML code that tells a web browser how to render an element on a web page. Tags are the workhorses of HTML an... [Read more]

Target Audience

The people you want to reach with your marketing efforts. These are the consumers who will be most interested in your pr... [Read more]


Using demographics and related information in a customer database to select the most appropriate recipients for a specif... [Read more]


Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol – This is the protocol that defines the Internet. TCP / IP was origina... [Read more]


A necessary step before sending an email campaign or newsletter. Many email clients permit you to send a test email befo... [Read more]

Text newsletter

Plain newsletter with words only, no colors, graphics, fonts or pictures; can be received by anyone who has email.

Thank-you page

Web page that appears after user has submitted an order or a form online. May be a receipt.


The practice of regulating how many email message a broadcaster sends to one ISP or mail server at a time. Some ISPs bou... [Read more]

Title Tag

An HTML tag that designates the title of a page. Confusingly, the title tag isn’t responsible for the headline that appe... [Read more]


In an email marketing campaign, measuring behavioral activities such as click-throughs and open-ups.

Tracking Code

A small piece of JavaScript placed on a website that sends data to Google Analytics. The tracking code is what enables G... [Read more]

Transactional email

also known as transactive email. A creative format where the recipient can enter a transaction in the body of the email ... [Read more]

Twitter Advertising

Twitter’s advertising platform. Twitter ads are tweets that are promoted to a specific target audience. Since they are t... [Read more]
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Unsolicited Commercial Email, also called spam or junk mail.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

A web address. Uniform resource locators (URLs) can point to a website or any other resource on the web, such as an imag... [Read more]

Unique Reference Number

A unique number assigned to a list member, usually by the email-broadcast software, and used to track member behavior (c... [Read more]

Unique Selling Proposition

The reason people should buy your product or services according to your marketing and advertising. In any ad, your uniqu... [Read more]

Unique Visitors

The number of individuals who visited your website in a defined amount of time. This is often compared to visits, which ... [Read more]


To remove oneself from an email list, either via an emailed command to the list server or by filling in a Web form.


Uniform Resource Locator – The address of a file or Web page accessible on the Internet.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

The Web address for a page,.

User Experience (UX)

How a person feels about using a product or service. The discipline of user experience (UX) makes digital experiences ef... [Read more]

User Interface

A set of controls such as buttons, commands and other devices that allow a user to operate a computer program.

User Interface (UI)

The visual and audio elements on a website or app presented to a visitor. User interface (UI) elements can include text,... [Read more]
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Any company that provides a service. See email vendors.


A program that determines an email came from the sender listed in the return path or Internet headers; designed to stop ... [Read more]

Video e-mail

An email message that includes a video file, either inserted into the message body, accessible through a hotlink to a We... [Read more]

Viral marketing

A marketing strategy that encourages email recipients to pass along messages to others in order to generate additional e... [Read more]

Virtual hosting

A Web server hosting service that replaces a company's need to purchase and maintain its own Web server and connections ... [Read more]


A program or computer code that affects or interferes with a computer’s operating system and gets spread to other comput... [Read more]

Vision Statement

A short description of a company’s goals for the future. Vision statements tend to be highly aspirational, serving to mo... [Read more]
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Web bug (also Web beacon)

A 1 pixel-by-1 pixel image tag added to an HTMLmessage and used to track open rates by email address. Opening the messag... [Read more]

Welcome Email

A message to a new subscriber or customer. Welcome emails are a follow-up to a newsletter signup, service subscription, ... [Read more]

Welcome message

Message sent automatically to new list members as soon as their email addresses are added successfully.

White Hat SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that benefit both websites and the people who use them. White hat SEO fights... [Read more]


Advance-authorized list of email addresses, held by an ISP, subscriber or other email service provider, which allows ema... [Read more]


A blueprint for a website’s user interface (UI). Wireframes are simplified sketches—often drawn by hand—of how content a... [Read more]

Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOM Marketing)

Person-to-person conversation that promotes a product or service. For example: “Hey, I loved that movie. You should chec... [Read more]


A piece of malicious code delivered via an executable attachment in email or over a computer network and which spreads t... [Read more]


Malicious code that is often spread through an executable attachment in an email message.
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Extensible Markup Language – A flexible way to create standard information formats and share both the format and the dat... [Read more]
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Yahoo Advertising

Yahoo’s ad platform. Yahoo offers various formats and placements much like other ad networks. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads on... [Read more]

YouTube Advertising

Video ads that appear across YouTube. Since Google owns YouTube, YouTube advertising shares many of the core features of... [Read more]
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