Top 15 email marketing terms every marketer should know

Are you new to email marketing? Don’t worry—we were all at that stage once. We put together a few terms that we think will help you through your email marketing journey.

Email marketing terms
Top 15 email marketing terms that every email marketer should know

ESP – ESP, aka Email Service Provider, is the software you use to send out your email campaigns. They’re built keeping in mind the regulations and specifics of email marketing so you can send your campaigns without a hitch. The best email service providers should definitely have the below features:

  • List management – To manage the list of contacts who will receive your emails. You create a contact in your ESP and add them to a list so that you know which emails are to be sent to them. For example, if you have the email addresses of your recent event’s attendees, you can store them in a list called event attendees for further follow-ups.

  • Segmentation – To target the audience and improve engagement by creating segments that will help you create content tailored for each recipient. So, once you create a list, you can segment it based on the recipients’ geography, demography, etc. This categorization depends on your business need.

  • A/B Testing – This is a feature that lets you test two different versions of your email to learn which version (A or B) is preferred by your contacts. The two versions could be created by altering the subject line, sender name, or email content. Basically, you create two versions of an email campaign and send them to a small percentage of your total number of recipients. You can then determine which of the two versions gained more open or click rates. Based on this information, you can send the better-performing campaign to the rest of the recipients.


Personalization – Personalization in email marketing means taking data of your leads and contacts that they have consented to you and use to create tailor-made email content that is relevant to their interests. This increases the chances of them opening your emails and engaging with you and your brand. Any ESP should definitely have the below personalization features in order to add value to your email campaigns:

  • Merge Tags– These are tags that are used in your email content to add consented data automatically and dynamically based on the field value. The most common example of a merge tag is using the first name of your contact or lead in order to address them in your emails. This gives a personal touch to the email. A few other merge tags include email addresses, interests, and professions, among other examples.

  • Dynamic Content – This allows you to share the same email content with everyone while including different images, CTAs, offers, etc. based on recipient data. This is a great way to power up your personalization skills. It helps you send one-to-one marketing emails to all your leads and contacts, improving your engagement.

  • Send-time optimization – When to send out emails is one of the toughest things to know for a marketer. Send-time optimization solves this. All you have to do is schedule the emails, and your ESP will deliver them to your leads and contacts at a time when they’re most likely to open the emails. This is based on what time they previously opened emails.


Automation – In order to send the right emails to the right people at the right time, you need the help of automated emails. Without automation, the modern email marketer won’t achieve their intended results. Email marketing constantly changes, and right now the change is all about how well you can use the automation feature in your ESP.

  • Drip emails – This is another name for automated email campaigns. For example, if any of your visitors sign up for your newsletters, you should ideally send a welcome email first and then continue to send emails to nurture and engage with them based on their actions/responses, right? Drip emails will help you do this effortlessly! You will just have to set it up earlier so that it works according to the plan.

  • Workflow – When a series of emails are sent to your contacts based on their actions or behavior, it’s called a workflow. Most of the ESPs provide workflow templates to build strategies that work well with your business needs. You simply choose one and create content based on your scenario, and the ESP does the rest by helping you convert more leads to contacts.


Email Deliverability – When you’re able to deliver emails to your recipients’ inboxes without fail, it’s called email deliverability. While most email marketers can pull off everything else, they wouldn’t be able to strike the right chord of email deliverability unless they pay close attention to the following factors:

  • Spam – If your email marketing activities are not up to the mark, chances are that those emails will end up in spam, which will affect all your email marketing results. Purchasing a list from outside is one of the main factors that land you in spam, among others. So, make sure to follow the best practices and steps to not get to the spam folder. Spam not only affects your email deliverability but also results in bringing abuse complaints against the ESP you’re using.

  • Bounces – If an email is not delivered to your recipient, those emails are called bounces. There are two types of bounces: soft and hard bounces. If a recipient email address doesn’t exist or if the server through which your emails are being sent blocks your emails, it’s called a hard bounce. Meanwhile, temporary issues like emails being lengthy or the recipient’s mailbox being full, etc. could be termed as soft bounces.

  • CTOR – This is a metric/report used by email marketers to analyze their email marketing strategies. When the number of unique clicks for your emails is divided by the number of unique opens, the result you get is called the click to open rate (CTOR). Lower CTOR means you’ll have to streamline your email marketing strategies and aim to reach out to the right people so that they’ll open your emails. Doing this will improve the CTOR of your email campaigns.


Et voila! All done. We hope this blog helped you understand a few of the email marketing terms. There are other terms as well, so if you think of some that you’d like to know more about, please drop them in the comments. We’ll be more than happy to explain them to you! Also, do you think there are other terms that could’ve been included here? Write them down here and help your fellow email geeks 🙂

Thank you,

~Team Zoho Campaigns


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