Essential Terms That Every Email Marketer Should Know

Making Sense of Email Marketing Jargon

eblast jargon graphic

Key Takeaways:

Using the right email marketing platform can reduce your stress and workload.

Automated emails come in a wide range of types, from promotional to transactional.

An A/B test can be used to experiment with two emails to see which one is more effective.

Email segmentation – which can be based on contacts’ behavior, geographic info, psychographics and demographics – lets you customize which emails go to which contacts.

When done right, email marketing can make your life easier. But navigating the lingo associated with it can be confusing for many business owners. No worries! We’re here to break down commonly-used terms so you can focus more of your energy on planning and carrying out your email marketing campaigns.

Before we dive in, however, it’s important to know that different platforms have different names for the same thing. And there’s a spectrum of email marketing platforms to suit different preferences and needs. Some popular platforms that businesses use are Klaviyo*, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Hubspot, & Emma. (Note: We here at Technology Therapy ® Group highly recommend Klaviyo, but more on that later.)

Email marketing revenue is estimated to reach almost 11 billion by the end of 2023.


Types of Emails


Promotional and educational emails are two popular kinds of emails that businesses send clients. This type of correspondence tells clients about a special discount or an exclusive training course that they’re offering.

Another frequently-used type of email is a site-triggered segmented email. Sometimes referred to as a triggered or behavior-driven email, it’s simply an automated message that you can set up to be sent to certain sub-groups within your client base depending on certain client actions or behaviors. For instance, you might use this type of email to share travel updates, event updates, subscription renewal reminders, or shopping cart reminders with your customers.


Ecommerce clients have a variety of email types suited for client communications. For starters, there’s the browse abandonment email. It automatically triggers in the event that a client views a product, then navigates away from the page without buying. A similar kind of message, an abandon cart message, can be automatically sent to clients when they add products to their virtual shopping cart but don’t proceed with the check-out process.

Retail businesses might also employ transactional emails. These automatically provide receipt and shipping details to clients after they purchase something from your store.


With sponsored emails, you pay to be in someone else’s newsletter to their contacts. In other words, you work with a third-party provider like an association or publication. They’ll send out the email to their customer base so you can reach a lot of readers with your content. This type of email is an effective one for small publications to use when they’re trying to reach a niche audience. It’s also really great for B2B enterprises. An example of sponsored emails is seen with trade shows. Before a trade show, some associations will send out an eblast to their database on your behalf.

Old School

Of course, you can always go the traditional route of sending prospective and current clients a personal email from your business. But depending on the size of your business and your staff’s bandwidth, this type of email might be impractical to send out on a regular basis. 

General Email Marketing Lingo


This is the term most often used to describe a single mailing. It’s worth pointing out that certain platforms use other words to refer to campaign. For example, Send Grid calls a campaign a “single send.”

Clone, Replicate, and Duplicate

These three terms all mean the same thing in the world of email marketing. It’s a shortcut to create a new eblast off one you previously created to save you time while you communicate with customers.

Preheader Text

Sometimes called “preview text,” this phrase is the blurb that appears directly under the email’s subject line when a customer views a preview of your message in their email inbox. The purpose of the preheader text is to motivate customers to open the email and read it.

A/B Test

Also known as a “split test,” this term describes the method of creating two versions of the same email with one variable changed. These two emails are sent to two subsets of your client base, so you can see which email performed best. For instance, you might perform an A/B test to experiment with different subject lines, “from” names, or email personalization.

Lists, Groups, and Tags

The names for contact lists can vary by platform. For instance, one might call it a “list” while another calls it a “group.” In addition, some platforms have a tag feature while others do not. Take some time to review the help articles offered by the email platform you’re using to be sure you’re clear on how to best group contacts together.


This term is different from lists or groups in that you’re not populating it manually or via form fills. Instead, it refers to the practice of using the platform’s data to choose a set of criteria to create a targeted list of contacts.

Email segmentation can be demographic, psychographic, behavioral, or geographic. We at TTG find behavioral segments to be incredibly valuable. For example, when sending an eblast, you could exclude contacts who have not opened any emails in the past year (i.e., they’re not engaging with your brand). Or you could create a segment comprised of contacts who added a product to their cart.

Subscriber and Unsubscribes

This type of email alerts you when someone signs up for your company’s email marketing. It can also tell you when someone opts out of it and no longer wishes to receive emails from you.

Suppressed Profile

Email marketing platforms can let you “suppress” the profiles of certain contacts. A contact with a “suppressed profile” will remain in your contact list, as a customer you could potentially send “X” email to. But they will no longer receive emails that you send to other clients who have subscribed and are more engaged in your products/services.


Anyone who sends emails to clients, of any sort, must follow the CAN-SPAM Act. These are compliance guidelines that dictate the rules businesses must follow for sending commercial emails. It enforces strict penalties for businesses who don’t follow these guidelines. And it protects the rights of customers to quickly and easily unsubscribe from your company’s email marketing.


These phrases have to do with a customer’s permission when it comes to email marketing. When a customer subscribes to receiving regular emails and promotional messages from your company, they “opt in”. When they unsubscribe, they are withdrawing their permission for you to do that (i.e., opting out).

Single Opt-In vs. Double Opt-In

These two phrases refer to how a contact subscribes to your email marketing. As its name suggests, single opt-in requires customers to enter their email address only once before being added to your email list. Double opt-in, by contrast, requires the contact to enter their email address twice — once via a “subscribe” button on your website, then again once they receive a confirmation email to verify their account. One advantage of using double opt-in vs. single is that there’s a lower chance of mistyped email addresses ending up on your mailing list.

Spam and Spam Filter

“Spam” signifies unwanted, unsolicited emails that typically get sent out in bulk. It’s important to be aware of spam filters, a tool that customers’ email servers use to filter out messages that meet its spam criteria. For instance, spam filters can send your email to a customer’s junk or trash folder if the subject line looks sketchy or the email and/or subject line includes spam-related words or phrases.


The process of automatically sending emails to subscribers. An email marketing platform will let you pre-set what emails you want to send to which people (and when!). It’s a fantastic tool to help your team work smarter instead of harder when it comes to client communication. 


This term refers to a series of automated emails that are sent based on a subscriber’s actions. For instance, a business’s “welcome” series of emails that trigger once “X” customer subscribes could be considered a flow.


A customer’s action or behavior that meets certain conditions necessary for your email marketing platform to send an automated email in response to it. For instance, subscribing to an email list or making a purchase could be called a “trigger.”

Smartphone users prefer to receive brand communications via email.


Analytics Jargon

Open Rate 

As you might have guessed, this phrase signifies the percentage of recipients who opened “X” email from your company. According to the latest stats from MailChimp, the average email open rate (regardless of industry) is 21.33%.

Click Rate 

Sometimes called the “click-through” rate (or CTR), this term refers to the percentage of contacts who click on an image or link within your email. The average email CTR is 2.91% across all industries, according to recent data from MailChimp. 

Bounced Email & Bounce Rate

When a commercial email doesn’t make it into a contact’s email inbox, but gets rejected by the mail server, it’s referred to as a “bounced” email. The bounce rate is simply the percentage of email addresses on your subscriber list that didn’t receive your message because it was undeliverable.

Opt-Out Rate

Also known as the “unsubscribe rate,” this is the number of unsubscribes divided by the number of emails delivered. Per Entrepreneur, the ideal opt-out rate for an email campaign is 0.1% or lower.

Take Your Email Marketing to The Next Level

Ready to take your email marketing to new heights? Schedule a mentoring session with a Technology Therapy ® Group expert. Whether you’re just starting out with email marketing or need help navigating the details of an email marketing system like Klaviyo*, we’re here to help.

*DISCLAIMER: Links included in this article might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that we provide, TTG may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you!

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