Email marketing is a lot more complicated than you might imagine. Sending a campaign itself isn’t that difficult, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. If you don’t know your way around the industry terminology, you may have a hard time figuring out how to get the most out of emails.
While there are dozens of terms that are unique to email marketing, you only need to know a few of them to get the most out of it. For example, if you know what email automation and personalization are, you’re already well on your way to mastering the basics.
In this article, I am going to introduce you to 15 email marketing terms you need to know if you want to start using any platform and get the most out of it. Let’s get started!
1. Email Service Provider
An Email Service Provider (ESP) is a platform that enables you to send and receive emails. Gmail, for example, is one of the most popular email providers around the globe.
However, when it comes to email marketing, this term can also stand for services that enable you to build subscriber lists, send campaigns, and more.
2. Click-Through Rate
When you send an email campaign, not everyone is going to click on it. Sadly, some people will ignore your emails or outright delete them. Each email you send has a click-through rate, which is the percentage of users that opened it, taken from the total of your email list subscribers.
Generally speaking, anything above 20% can be considered an excellent click-through rate, so don’t get discouraged if you see low numbers now and then!
3. Automation or Autoresponders
These days, a lot of email marketing services enable you to automate campaigns. That is to say, create emails and schedule their submission in advance.
In a lot of cases, people use the term autoresponders interchangeable with automated emails. However, autoresponders actually refer to emails that send automatically once certain criteria are met. For example, you can configure emails to go out when someone subscribes to your list using autoresponders.
Email personalization is a feature that enables you to add information about subscribers to your emails. For example, with personalization, you can include your subscriber’s names within each email, so they feel less spammy.
Email campaigns are a broad term for any mass email you send to your list of subscribers. A campaign can be as long as a single email or span several of them. Depending on your email marketing service, you may be able to send as many of them as you want.
6. Bounce Rate
When someone says an email bounced, they mean that it wasn’t able to be delivered. In most cases, this means the email you tried to send it to doesn’t exist, or their provider decided to block your message for one reason or another.
The percentage of emails that bounce to your subscribers make up your bounce rate. In most cases, it should be below one percent. If yours is climbing too high, it might be time to switch marketing platforms.
7. Conversion Rate
In most cases, when you send an email campaign, you have a goal in mind. For example, if you’re marketing a product, each sale would be a conversion. Your conversion rate indicates how successful your campaigns are.
Tracking conversion rates can be complicated since you need to set up custom goals. That process varies from one email marketing platform to another, so you’ll need to browse your provider’s documentation to figure out how to do it.
Opt-ins are the forms you use to enable people to subscribe to your email list. Most people also know them as signup forms, and they come in many shapes and sizes. Setting one up is simple, and it’s the first step to building a base of subscribers.
Spam is one of the scariest words in the vocabulary of any email marketer. Every ESP has its own spam filter, and a lot of factors go into determining what is and what isn’t spam. If too many people mark your campaigns as spam, your delivery rate can drop, so you need to come across as professional.
Segmentation is a feature that email marketing services offer that enables you to choose which subscribers to send emails to. For example, you can segment your list depending on country of origin, age, or other factors.
A Call-to-Action (CTA) is a message that tries to get your email recipients to convert. It can be something as simple as a Buy Now message or a button that says Purchase. If you want to get conversions, you need to include a CTA to nudge users towards them.
12. Sender Score
Sender Score is an online service that assigns a score from 0-100 to every IP address that sends outgoing emails. ESPs use these scores to determine what emails to let through. In other words, if you have a low score, ESPs probably see your emails as spam.
13. Transactional Emails
Transactional emails are automated messages that trigger when you make a purchase. For example, if you buy a pair of shoes from Amazon, you’ll get an email confirming your purchase. These types of emails have one of the highest click-through rates in the business and they’re powered by autoresponders.
14. Subscribers List
This is an easy one. Your subscribers are the people who signed up to receive emails from you through your opt-in form. In most cases, these subscribers make up the core of your blog’s audience, and you need to nurture that relationship if you don’t want them to jump ship.
15. A/B Testing
A/B testing enables you to send your subscribers variations of a campaign to figure out which one works best. With enough data, you should be able to refine your campaigns and get more conversions as you figure out what works.
I usually talk about email marketing as a complement to blogging. However, email is a complex field of its own. It takes a while to master what makes an excellent email campaign. However, just knowing the basics will put you ahead of a lot of the curve.
Once you have a grasp on these basic email marketing terms, you should follow it up by taking a look at our Beginner Blogging program. We talk more about email marketing there, as well as other methods you can use to grow your blog to its full potential.
Do you have any questions about specific email marketing terms? Ask away in the comments section below!