Ever-evolving marketing jargon: it just seems to come with the territory. From acronyms to shorthand and nicknames for emerging technologies, sometimes it can feel like marketers are creating their own language. Don’t worry! You’re not alone in feeling like you have to look up every acronym.

If you’re diving into email marketing and feeling overwhelmed by the language, this helpful glossary of tips on email marketing terms and trends is for you! We’ve rounded up some of the newer terms we’ve seen emerging over the last several months, along with some of the more common phrases all in one handy guide. So enjoy, and remember to save this for when you need a refresher, are training a new employee, or need to send someone a useful reference guide.

Email Marketing Terms & Trends Glossary


  • AMP – Newer to the game, AMP emails allow marketers to embed helpful information like carousels, accordions, calendar bookings, and more into their emails without needing to open a new tab to visit a website.
  • Acceptance Rate – The rate at which your emails are accepted by the mail server they are sending to. Acceptance rate does not equal the rate at which emails hit the inbox vs junk folder.
  • A/B Split Test – The most common way of testing if elements in an email campaign are effective. These tests include one element that is different between the two campaigns such as the subject line or the placement of the call-to-action button.


  • BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) – Designed to help cut down on fraudulent emails and spam, this standard emerged to help businesses get their logo pictured along with their message in your inbox.
  • Bounce Rate – The rate at which emails don’t make it to the inbox because the email address provided was undeliverable. There are two categories of bounces: hard and soft.
  • Bulk Mail – The process of sending one email to a large number of people.
  • Blacklist – A list of senders who have been reported time and time again as spam. Getting blacklisted will negatively affect your send score and make it more likely that these campaigns are hitting junk folders.


  • CTR (Click-through rate) – This is the metric that measures how many people clicked on active links in the email. This is one of the key metrics used in email reporting to determine if a campaign was effective or not.
  • Clicks Per Open – This metric measure of the number of clicks divided by the number of opens.
  • CAN-SPAM – Stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act, which is a USA law that governs how businesses need to be transparent when sending marketing messaging to avoid sending misleading messaging to consumers.
  • CTA (Call to Action) – A request that asks the consumer to take action such as “Buy Now” or “Learn More By Clicking Here”. These can be found as buttons, as linked copy, or even copy on images.
  • Conversion Rate – Calculated by taking the total number of people who completed your desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form, and dividing by the total number of people the email was sent to. This percentage is another key metric in determining the effectiveness of campaigns.


  • Dark Mode – A setting on your device that switches the display from predominantly white to predominately black. An important factor to consider when testing the look of campaigns.
  • Dedicated IP – An IP that only your business sends from. Most ESP offer a shared IP for their basic plans.
  • DKIM – Stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail and is the way ESPs can confirm that an email claiming to come from a specific domain did actually come from that domain.
  • DMARC – Short for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, it was designed to give email domain owners the ability to protect their domain from unauthorized use, such as in cases of email spoofing.
  • Dynamic Content – This is content that will change depending on the person receiving it. In emails this can look like the including the subscriber’s first name in the campaign or even dynamic images that populate depending on the subscribers location.
  • Drip Series – An automated email campaign that sends out a series of emails based on time triggers or actions triggered by the subscribers themselves.


  • ESP (Email Service Provider) – This is the software marketers use to send email campaigns to their subscribers.


  • Hard Bounce – When an email is returned to sender for a permanent reason such as the email address is incorrect, no longer active, or the recipient’s inbox came back as full too many times.


  • Multivariate Testing – This is a method of testing that tests multiple elements of a campaign such as images, headlines, and button colors all at once.


  • Newsletter – Another name for a regular email that goes out to subscribers with news, tips, tricks, and other information. Usually on a monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly basis.


  • Open Rate – The percentage of subscribers on your list who opened the email. This is another key metric for understanding the effectiveness of an email.


  • Personalization – The use of dynamic content to create campaigns that are pertinent to the person receiving them.


  • SPF – An email verification method that allows the owner of the domain to say which servers have permission to send emails from this domain.
  • STO (Send Time Optimization) – A method of A/B testing send times and dates to find the optimal time for getting the most opens and clicks for a specific list.
  • Soft Bounce – When an email is undeliverable for temporary reasons such as the recipient’s inbox being full or the file being too big.
  • Sender Reputation/Send Score – An reputation rating from 0-100 that indicates to email clients what to do with your email. This is one factor for how email providers decide which emails end up in the junk folder and which ones don’t.
  • Spam Report Rate – This is the rate at which your emails can be reported as spam before it starts to hurt your sender reputation. Usually this rate is around .1% for most providers and lists. Luckily, there are lots of actions you can take to lower your spam rate if it is above this.


  • Transactional Email – Unlike marketing emails, these emails are informational and triggered by the customer taking an action like making a purchase or resetting their password. These types of emails can continue to send to active customers even if they opt out of marketing messaging.


  • White List – When a customer moves an email from the junk folder into the inbox or adds the sender’s email into their address book, showing their email provider that they would like to continue seeing these messages.

Now you have access to all the email marketing language you need to feel more confident setting up campaigns, reporting, and maintaining lists. Now when you open up your email service provider (ESP), keep this guide of email marketing terms and trends handy to get a fuller understanding of your reports and account set up. With this guide, you’ll be an email marketing pro in no time!

Kim Anchors