Email Marketing Glossary for Beginners: Main Terms and Phrases


Are you new to email marketing and feeling lost when it comes to all the technical lingo? We’ve created an email marketing glossary to help you understand the main terms and phrases. These definitions will help any beginner to feel more confident when learning about email marketing. If you can’t find a word or a phrase you’re looking for here, check out the first part of the glossary.

Email marketing – is a type of marketing when commercial, promotional emails are being sent to a group of people.

Promotional email – is a marketing email written and built for specific audiences to advertise products or services, offers, company brand, etc.

Transactional email – is a one-to-one automated email message that is sent to facilitate a transaction. Transactional emails can also be called “triggered” emails.

Bulk (mass) mail – is a mass email campaign, when one email message is sent to a large group of email recipients at once.

Spam – spam messages are unsolicited messages (emails, SMS and other types of messages) usually sent to a large group of people.

Email template – is a re-usable file that is used to build email campaigns. Email templates can be text-only or pre-formatted HTML emails.

HTML – is Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML and CSS are used to code emails and web pages.

CSS – stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and, together with HTML, they’re used to develop emails and web pages.

Email list – is a group of email addresses used as an audience to send email marketing campaigns to.

Cold email – email equivalent of “cold calling”. It refers to an unsolicited email, usually a sales email, that is sent to a potential customer.

Welcome email – a welcome email message that is sent to a new email subscriber.

Drip marketing / drip campaign – refers to a series of pre-set automated emails deployed over time to people who take specific actions.

Email funnel – is often used to represent how an email subscriber changes from being classified as a lead to a customer. Generally, this term can be used as a synonym to a “drip campaign”.

Email metrics – are various indicators helping you measure and evaluate the success of your email campaigns. There are many different email metrics that you should analyze,  including but not limited to the open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate and bounce rate. 

Open rate – shows the percentage of email recipients who open your email campaign. You can track the unique open rate and the total open rate

Click rate / click-through rate – is a percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link in the email in relation to how many emails were delivered (click rate can be unique and total).

Conversion rate – represents the percentage of email recipients who complete a specific action in your email marketing campaign.

Email copywriting – refers to the actual email copy in the email body and the subject line.

H1 – when writing email content, H1 usually refers to the title, or headline, that is typically the largest piece of text in the body of the email. 

Image blocking – in some email clients or because of personal email preferences, images can get blocked automatically.

Abandoned cart email – an email or series of emails that are sent to customers who add a product/service into an online shopping cart but do not complete the purchase. Abandoned cart emails are sent automatically to try to convince the email recipient to complete the check-out. You can learn more about abandoned cart emails here.

Dynamic content – is a dynamic email component. It can change based on the data, user preferences or behaviour. 

Email brief – a document that contains all main aspects of a planned email campaign, such as the content, email audience, deployment date, subject line, sender name, etc.

Sender name (from name) – is the name that’s being displayed in the inbox to show who sent the message.

Preheader text – is used to manage the preview text in the inbox. In the email template, the preheader is the part of the email that is above the email header.

Preview text – is the text that appears after a subject line when the email is viewed in an inbox. Here’s more information about preheaders and preview text.

Reply address – is an email address where the email replies will be sent to.

Social media bar – is a part of an email typically showing social media icons linked to specified accounts. You can read more about social media bars in emails here.

Unsubscribe mechanism – allows the email recipient to withdraw email consent at any time.

Email landing page – is a web page that email recipients will “land” on when they click on a link in the email.

Unsubscribe page / opt-out page – a web page that email recipients will be directed to when they click on the unsubscribe link in the email. 

Win-back email – is an email or a series of emails with the purpose to re-engage inactive subscribers. These types of campaigns can also be called re-engagement campaigns.

Apology email – mistakes happen! Apology email, also called “oops email”, is an email sent when something goes wrong with the original email campaign. For example, an incorrect audience segment was used, an incorrect offer was included, etc. Here’s some more information on how to create apology emails.

Gmail promotions tab – a while back, Gmail introduced inbox tabs to sort email messages automatically. Gmail promotions tab contains marketing emails. You can read more about Gmail promotions tab here.

Target audience – is a group of email recipients, a specific email list or segment that an email marketing campaign will be sent to. 

Email integrations – connect different tools or systems together to create seamless sync, data flow or processes with email marketing.

In case you find that any terms in this email marketing glossary are missing or just need assistance, then feel free to contact us. Our magnificent team is here to help you!