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21 Email Marketing Terms You Need To Know

So you’re ready to dive into email marketing for your eCommerce business, but you’re getting lost in a sea of email marketing terms.

Every month there is an average of 14,800 Google searches for email marketing. That means a lot of people want to learn about email marketing.

However, due to the surge in content being released into the Google jungle, how do you understand the email marketing guides you encounter?

And if you can’t understand a thing, how are you going to fire up your eCommerce marketing strategy?

This is why we’ve compiled a list of email marketing terms you need to know and also what exactly they mean so you don’t have to.

Ready to be an email marketing expert? Let’s dive in!

Basic email marketing terms

These are the first sets of terms you’ll come across as you learn more about email marketing. Most of these have to do with explaining the process and how customers can join your list.

Email Campaign

This is the heart of your marketing strategy. An email campaign is a series of emails designed to increase leads and meet your goals.

Email Service Provider (ESP)

An ESP helps email marketers and business owners implement their eCommerce email marketing campaigns.  There are a lot of ESPs to choose from. The best ones allow you to customize email templates. You can also send emails manually or by schedule, produce reports, create subscriber lists and sub-groups, and test your campaigns.

Email List/Retention List

This is an email list of your subscribers that you built by yourself through opt-ins and sign-ups. All of the people in this list gave their permission for you to send emails to them. Nurture this list because it is a very valuable asset.

Landing Page

You send an email to your subscribers. When they click the link you sent, they will go to a landing page with more information. This can also be pages that appear when you click ads.

Opt-in and Double Opt-in; Opt-out

“Opt” is an email marketing lingo for “subscribe.” Opting in is when a customer chooses to subscribe to an email list, while opting out is the opposite. Double opt-in is the recommended way of list building. It requires subscribers to confirm their opt-in through a link sent via email.

Privacy Policy

Never forget this! You should always have a clear description of how you will use information and data collected from your subscribers.

Whitelist and blacklist

Whitelisting is when subscribers list your email as important. This means they want to keep on receiving your emails. Meanwhile, blacklists are collections of suspected spammers. Sadly, some blacklists actually include legitimate email service providers. That’s why it’s important to choose an ESP that will help you avoid this.

Tactics and strategies

This next set of email marketing terms are for strategizing how to best communicate with your customers. Take note that email marketing is about meaningful relationships with buyers. As you craft your strategy on how to attain this, these are the most important words you will use and hear often.

A/B Testing (Split Testing)

A split test is when you create two separate content types, email copies, or other promo material and send it to two customer groups. By doing so, you’ll get to see which version gets the results you want.

Cart abandonment

Some online users select products to add to their virtual cart. However, they end up not completing the purchase. In fact, in 2017, the cart abandonment rate was 78.65%.

One goal of marketers is to decrease the number of abandoned carts. To do this, they send out emails to remind buyers of the purchases they left behind. Often, these emails to passive subscribers end up being sales.

Marketing Automation

This refers to automating repetitive tasks to save on time and effort. This can include automatic card abandonment emails. Other examples are automatic follow-ups and automatic requests for reviews. This will take some time and effort to set up. But, once it’s all good, you have more time to focus on other business functions.

Multivariate Testing

Don’t confuse this with A/B Testing. Multivariate testing is testing different variables to find which one works best. These variables can be images, copy, font, call to action, or offers. A/B Testing tests only one variable. Multivariate testing experiments with more than one variable.


This is when you craft the email such that it seems as if you are talking one on one with your email subscriber. Email is highly customizable. You can create content for birthdays, send recommendations based on recent purchases, and give special offers based on interests. Guess what? Personalization is so important that it increases open rates and revenue by 760%.


Break your list into smaller segments. The types of segments can be whatever you want them to be. For example, one segment can be buyers who bought a dog leash. Another segment can be a client who buys a lot of makeup. Segmentation makes it easier to communicate effectively to smaller groups of people.


Targeting is when you send emails to those most likely to respond or to purchase. This is based on demographics, location, interests, and other behaviors. Targeting can be as general or as specific and detailed as you want it to be.

Triggered emails

This is part of the marketing automation process but it is largely based on behavior. Triggered emails depend on the customer’s behaviors or actions. What makes these emails successful is their impeccable timing and relevance.

Monitoring and analytics

Knowing these terms will help you make better decisions for your next steps. These represent data and quantitative objectives.

Basically, these are the terms you will use when you make targets. These numbers will dictate your strategies and tactics.

Acceptable Spam Report Rate

The rate at which ESPs report you as SPAM but without intervening with your reputation as a sender. One SPAM report in every 1000 emails is actually not bad.

Bounce (hard and soft)

A hard bounce is an email returned to the sender due to permanent reasons. These reasons invalid email addresses or unknown recipients and mostly happens when users make mistakes in entering their email addresses.

Monitoring hard bounces is important because your deliverability rate is affected. You can even be tagged as spam. This will cost your email marketing a lot as it’s wasted time and money.

Meanwhile, a soft bounce is an email that failed to send due to temporary reasons only. Usually, this happens when a file is too big or when the receiver’s inbox has no more space.

Click-through Rate

This pertains to how many people clicked through and followed a link or graphic in your email. See, not all who open your email will actually click something. What if a lot of people open your emails but only a few are clicking? Then there must be something you need to change in the email copy. Oh, and in case you were wondering, 15% is a pretty healthy click-through rate.

Conversion Rate

It shows how many people accomplished an action you set up via an email campaign. A 10% conversion rate for a campaign means 10 out of 100 people bought the product you advertised via email. This is the measure of your campaign’s success.

Email Deliverability

This is your ability to deliver an email to an inbox. You may think it’s easy but there are a lot of factors that can affect this. Some of the factors are bounces, spam, single opt-ins, or the provider itself. Of course, the higher the deliverability rate is, the higher the potential for conversions.

Open rate

This one is pretty easy. It’s how many times your emails were actually opened. Now, not all opened emails convert. Some recipients even ignore emails totally. To increase the open rate, a good practice is by personalizing the subject line to include the first name of the subscriber.

How to master email marketing lingo

Knowing these important email marketing terms is the key to your e-commerce marketing strategy’s success. Feel free to go back to the list we put together to help you.

There are a few more things you should do. These will help you master not only the email marketing lingo but also email marketing itself.

Familiarize it and practice it

Expose yourself to email marketing articles and resources. You will surely get the hang of the terms if you keep practicing them.

You can also try conversing with email marketers to get used to the context and the meaning of the terms. Another thing you can do is sign up for seminars or talks on email marketing.

Keep up to date with email marketing news

Even expert email marketers still need to brush up on terminology occasionally. Technology keeps growing, and digital media keeps evolving.

Likewise, there are new terms invented every now and then. As a business owner, one needs to stay on top of things so as not to get left behind.

Be proactive

Don’t stop looking for resources. Continue studying the industry. Read about how other local and global brands were able to reach their targets through email marketing.

The more you look for relevant content, the more you will be exposed to email marketing terms. Use them regularly and read more about them as they become a part of your everyday life.

You’ll soon find yourself talking and sounding like a pro!

Engage with experts

Best of all, engaging with an expert in this field will be life-changing. You will not only understand the meanings of the words but also know how these different terms are intertwined. Eventually, you won’t see them as just words with meanings you need to memorize. You will see them for what they really are—tools that will help you power through your eCommerce business.

Email marketing is your eCommerce business’ best friend

Email marketing gives your eCommerce business a huge boon.

Now that you know the basics, how about you learn from the best?

Schedule a call with us now.

Ready to get started?

We’ve put together a handy-dandy eCommerce marketing calendar to help you forecast all the sale dates you’ll need to watch out for! It’s chock-full of major and minor holidays, perfect for your eCommerce brand!
Book a call

Ready to get started?

We’ve put together a handy-dandy eCommerce marketing calendar to help you forecast all the sale dates you’ll need to watch out for! It’s chock-full of major and minor holidays, perfect for your eCommerce brand!
Book a call