Email Marketing Glossary

API
A/B/N split-testing
Auto-Responder

Bandwidth
Blacklists
Blocking

CAN-SPAM Act
Clickstreaming (CS)
Click-Throughs (CT) / Click-through Rate (CTR) / Click Rate
Confirmed Opt-In
Canonical Domain Name (or C Name)
Co-Registration / Co-Reg
Content
Copy

Dedicated Private IP Address
Delivery Statistics
DocBot
Double Opt-In

Email Ailias / Email Aliasing
Email Forwarding

Font
Footer
Frequency
From Line

Hard Bounce
House List
HTML Email
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

IP Address
ISP

Layout
Links
Load Time
Look and Feel

Mailing List
Member Status

Notified Opt-In

ODBC
Open Rate
Opens Tracking
Opt-In
Opt-Out

Permission
Personalization
Phishing
POP (Post Office Protocol) Account

Recency and Frequency

Salutation
Segmentation
Single Opt-in
Soft Bounce / Soft Bounced Email
Spam / SPAM / UCE
Static IP
Subsets
Spoofing
SSH
Subsets

Tier 1
Trackable Links
Tracking
Tracking Statistics
Triggered and Sequential Mailings
Type Size

Unsubscribe

Virtual Server Name

Whitelists


A/B/N Split Testing

Using the A/B/N split testing feature, marketers can improve their email marketing campaigns by testing different versions of an email message before it runs. Rather than guessing which subject line, offer, or content works best, users first test several versions on randomly generated test segments and, based on those results, send the best version to the rest of the list.

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API

Stands for "Application Program Interface," though it is sometimes referred to as an "Application Programming Interface." An API is a set of commands, functions, and protocols which programmers can use when building software for a specific operating system. The API allows programmers to use predefined functions to interact with the operating system, instead of writing them from scratch.

Most operating environments, such as MS-Windows, provide an API so that programmers can write applications consistent with the operating environment. Although APIs are designed for programmers, they are ultimately good for users because they guarantee that all programs using a common API will have similar interfaces. This makes it easier for users to learn new programs.

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Auto-Responder

An email that can be set up so that replies to a particular address will automatically receive a pre-defined response.

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Bandwidth

The amount of traffic that is allowed to occur between a site/server and the rest of the internet. In other words, bandwidth is the amount of traffic to allow transferring data between your site, your mail server and the Internet.

Bandwidth is measured in bits (a single 0 or 1). Bits are grouped in bytes which form words, text, and other information that is transferred over the Internet.

A note about discussion lists: Bandwidth for discussion lists is calculated by the total number of emails that are sent to the mailing list, as well as the reply emails that are sent by members of the discussion list to the discussion list. Any attachments that are sent with these emails are factored in to the total bandwidth. (list settings can be changed to deny attachments, to set daily message limits, to specify maximum message size, and more).

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Blacklists

Lists of IP addresses belonging to organizations that have been identified as senders of SPAM (unsolicited commercial email). Blacklists are often used by ISPs and corporations as part of the filtering process that determines which IP addresses they prohibit from sending mail to their members.

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Blocking

When emails are prevented from reaching their intended destination, typically due to action taken on the part of the Internet Service Provider (ISP).

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CAN-SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) is a federal law that establishes requirements for those who send commercial email. It spells out penalties for spammers and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the law, and gives consumers the right to ask emailers to stop spamming them. Among other measures, the law:

Bans false or misleading header information.
Your email's "From," "To," and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person who initiated the email.
Prohibits deceptive subject lines.
The subject line cannot mislead the recipient about the contents or subject matter of the message.
Requires that your email give recipients an opt-out method.
You must provide a return email address or another Internet-based response mechanism that allows a recipient to ask you not to send future email messages to that email address, and you must honor the requests. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your commercial email.
It requires that commercial email be identified as an advertisement and include the sender's valid physical postal address.
Your message must contain clear and conspicuous notice that the message is an advertisement or solicitation and that the recipient can opt out of receiving more commercial email from you. It also must include your valid physical postal address.

The CAN-SPAM Act also provides for penalties for a number of other offenses, which can be reviewed here: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.htm

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Clickstreaming (CS)

A Clickstream is the recording of what a computer user clicks on while web browsing or using a personal computer.

As the user clicks anywhere in the tool, application or the webpage the action is loggedon a client or inside the web server, as well as possibly the web browser, routers, proxy servers, and ad servers.

The number of trackable URLs that have been clicked. This number may be greater than the number of opens or recipients if recipients click on a trackable URL multiple times, or if there are multiple trackable URLs in your message that recipients are clicking on.

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Click-Throughs (CT) / Click-through Rate (CTR) / Click Rate

Tracking the number of web pages that have been visited by recipients of a message. This number may be greater than the number of opens or recipients if you put your clickstream tags on multiple pages, or if recipients visit your page multiple times.

An indicator of response to a given email message, as measured by the percentage of recipients that click on a link enclosed in the email. To determine the click-through rate, divide the number of responses by the number of emails sent (multiple this number by 100 to express the result as a percentage).

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Confirmed Opt-In

When a subscriber joins your mailing list an immediate emailed message is sent requesting confirmation of their intentions by replying to the email. This provides an additional layer of security by requiring that email account be both subscribed and then verified by a confirmation email before they are added to the list. As a result, only those people with access to the account can respond to the confirmation message, greatly reducing the chance of abuse. For this reason, confirmed opt-in is regarded as the gold standard for secure email marketing.

This method is required by Net Atlantic for list owners in acquiring their members. Also known as double opt-in.

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Canonical Domain Name (or C Name)

Another name for a canonical domain name (or C name) is a virtual mail server name. It is simply the term used to describe the words before your domain name, such as list.yourdomain.com.

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Co-Registration / Co-Reg

Co-registration is the process of using partners to generate opt-in email leads that you can add to your mailing list for marketing purposes. When you reach a co-registration agreement with a site or a network of sites, they will ask new registrants if they would like to receive information from your company as well. If the registrants opt-in (choose to receive mailings), they will be added to your mailing list so you can market to them directly.

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Content

The copy, graphics and images that comprise the presentation.

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Copy

The text of the campaign, distinct from the graphics.

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Dedicated IP Address

When delivering email campaigns and messages out through an ESP (Email Service Provider) such as Net Atlantic, it can be helpful to use a Dedicated IP address. This helps ensure transparency, that meaning that no signs of the provider, the providers' other customers, or any complaints generated from the other customers, are visible to the receiving ISP or email message recipient.

Net Atlantic allows customers to send emails through their own unique IP Address in conjunction with a unique Virtual Server name. Net Atlantic can provide you with your own IP address so your email reputation is not affected by another mailer's reputation on the same email server. Combined with a dedicated IP address, a virtual server name such as “list.yourcompany.com” can also help with correct and proper delivery of email messages to your recipients.

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Delivery Statistics

Delivery statistics tell you about the status of your message:

  • How many have received your message
  • How many have yet to receive your message
  • How many failed, and whether their bounce was hard or soft

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DockBot

A DocBot is a "document robot", an intelligent email address which responds to email sent to it by taking the actions you define.

For example;

  1. You set certain words or phrases with DocBot.
  2. When people send email to the email address with DocBot, the DocBot looks at their message for the words or phrases in the message.
  3. If the DocBot sees one of the words or phrases you set, it responds automatically by emailing the document you've chosen.

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Double Opt-In

When a subscriber joins your mailing list an immediate emailed message is sent requesting confirmation of their intentions by replying to the email. This is the method required by Net Atlantic for list owners in acquiring their members. Also known as confirmed opt-in.

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Email Ailias / Email Aliasing

Email alias is a virtual email account, not a real one.

This enables you to have several email addresses that all deliver mail to one email account. For example, your main email address could be:

bob@yourdomain.com

You could then set up email aliases such as:

  • sales@yourdomain.com
  • enquiries@yourdomain.com
  • info@yourdomain.com
  • support@yourdomain.com
  • billing@yourdomain.com

Any email sent to these email aliases are automatically forwarded to the main email address, bob@yourdomain.com.

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Email Forwarding

Email forwarding involves passing email along from one address to another. It can also be used to pass groups of messages.

Email forwarding automatically forwards all mail received at one of your addresses to another address. This allows you the convenience of utilizing multiple email addresses while keeping your main email address private, and still collecting all of your mail in one place.

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Font

A specific size and style of type within a type family.

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Footer

Some emails include a "footer". This is the area at the bottom of an email where you might find unsubscribe information.

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Frequency

The intervals at which email marketing efforts are repeated: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc.

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From Line

The information that appears in the "From" line at the top of the email and typically indicates the identity of the sender

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Hard Bounce

A hard bounce is an e-mail message that has been returned to the sender because the recipient's address is not valid. A hard bounce might occur because the domain name doesn't exist or because the recipient is unknown.

You may download the list of those who failed due to a hard bounce by clicking on the disk icon under the delivery statistics of the mailing. This file will be in csv format, which may be opened and read using Excel and other programs.

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House List

A permission-based list that you build yourself. Use it to market, cross sell and up-sell, and to establish a relationship with customers over time. Your house list is one of your most valuable assets.

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HTML Email

HTML email is simply an email created with HTML that allows for the display of images as opposed to simple text. Ninety five percent of all email readers have the ability to display HTML emails, which are more visually appealing and attention-grabbing than mere text.

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HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

A "markup" language designed for the creation of web pages and other information viewable in a Web browser.

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IP Address

An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a unique address that certain electronic devices use in order to identify and communicate with each other on a computer network utilizing the Internet Protocol standard (IP)—in simpler terms, a computer address. See also Static IP.

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ISP

An Internet Service Provider is a company that provides access to the Internet. AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, Comcast and various local phone companies are common ISPs.

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Layout

The arrangement of content within an email; designed to optimize the use of space while presenting the critical content in the portions of screen most likely to attract the recipient's immediate attention.

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Links

Text links, hyperlinks, graphics or images which, when clicked or when pasted into the browser, direct the reader to another online location.

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Load Time

The length of time it takes for a page to open completely in the browser window.

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Look and Feel

The degree to which design, layout and functionality is appealing to prospects and fits the image the business is trying to portray.

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Mailing List

A set of email addresses designated for receiving specific email messages.

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Member Status

Members are the subscribers you have in a given mailing list. The different member status types are as follows:

  • Confirm. Have been sent a confirmation message but have yet to confirm
  • Confirmation Failed. Were sent a confirmation message which did not go through (bounced)
  • Expired. Were sent a confirmation message and did not confirm before the expiry date
  • Held. Have “bounced” a number of messages in the past 30 days
    • The number of bounced messages (bounce limit) before someone is set as a held member can be viewed in your Web panel by clicking “Utilities -> List Settings -> Automatic Maintenance.” If someone cannot be sent to this number of times, they are automatically set as held. It is important to keep this number low to help filter out email addresses that have gone bad.
  • List Administrators. Any user that has been set as an administrator
  • Normal (active). All users that receive mail when sent
  • Not List Administrators. All members that are not set as administrator
  • Private. Members waiting for approval to join list – Only active if list is set as Private
  • Referred. Have been referred by a normal member and are waiting for confirmation
  • Unsubscribed. Any member who has unsubscribed from the list

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Notified Opt-In

Notified opt-in is similar to single opt-in and the two methods are often confused or grouped as one for this reason. In notified opt-in formats, however, after an email address is subscribed to the list, it's also sent a message offering the account's owner a chance to remove himself. If he fails to do so, he will remain on the list until such time as he opts out. While this is a step above traditional single opt-in, it does not clear the bar set by double opt-in because it subscribes the email account by default, instead of requiring active confirmation.

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ODBC

Abbreviation of Open DataBase Connectivity, a standard database access method.

ODBC operates as an industry-standard "shim" between applications which utilize databases and the databases themselves.

The aim of ODBC is to make it possible to access any data from any application, regardless of which database management system (DBMS) is handling the data. ODBC manages this by inserting a middle layer, called a database driver, between an application and the DBMS.

The purpose of this layer is to translate the application's data queries into commands that the DBMS understands. For this to work, both the application and the DBMS must be ODBC-compliant -- that is, the application must be capable of issuing ODBC commands and the DBMS must be capable of responding to them.

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Open Rate

The open rate is calculated as the total number of "opened" emails, expressed as a percentage of the total number of emails delivered.

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Opens Tracking

Opens are tracked using an HTML IMG tag embedded in outgoing emails, calling for a small, transparent tracking image. When the client or browser used to display the email requests that image, an "open" is recorded for that email. Reported numbers will be artificially lower than actual values because many recipients have images disabled on their email clients.

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Opt-In

Opting-In is the action a person takes when he or she actively agrees, by email or other means, to receive communications from an email marketer. There are different types of opt-in practices, some of which are more demanding than others (See also: Single Opt-in, Notified Opt-in, Double Opt-in)

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Opt-Out

To unsubscribe or remove oneself from a mailing list.

If readers fail to state explicitly that they no longer wish to remain on the list, they can expect to receive messages until they make their desire known. Response rates tend to be lower when sending opt-out email, so be prepared for this result when you're analyzing your campaigns.

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Permission

The practice of only sending e-mail messages to those recipients who have agreed (or asked) to receive them.

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Personalization

The practice of writing the email to make the recipient feel that it is more personal and was sent with him or her in mind. This might include using the recipient's name in the salutation or subject line, referring to previous purchases or correspondence, or offering recommendations based on previous buying patterns.

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Phishing

In a phishing scam, a spammer, posing as a trusted party such as a bank or reputable online vendor, sends millions of e-mail messages directing recipients to Web sites that appear to be official but are in reality fraudulent. Visitors to these Web sites are asked to disclose personal information, such as credit card numbers, or to purchase counterfeit or pirated products.See also Spoofing.

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POP (Post Office Protocol) Account

POP is an acronym for "Post Office Protocol". A communications "protocol" is the language used between your email program (a POP client) and your ISP's mail - or POP - server.

POP is the protocol, or "language", that's used to download your email from your ISP to your mail program.

POP account is where your incoming mail is stored. It is your password protected mail box for email messages sent to you.

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RFM (Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value)

RFM is used in print mail solely to measure purchasing behavior. In the case of email, the key variables are the recency and frequency of clickthroughs. Recency of clickthrough is a valuable measure of how engaged certain segments of a marketer's subscriber list are. People who have clicked recently are likely to be more responsive than those who haven't. Conversely, somebody who hasn't clicked in a long time (a long time will be different for each marketer) is a prime candidate for removal from the subscriber list.

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Salutation

This is the area in an email where you address your recipient. Examples are "Dear Customer", "Hello Larry", and "Dear Member".

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Segmentation

ListManager allows you to send to a segment, or subset, of your list who meet the criteria you define. Instead of sending to your entire list, you can use segments to filter exactly who should get a message based on whatever criteria you choose. Dividing your email list based on interest, purchasing behavior, demographics, etc. is critical in targeting your audience with relevant email campaigns. Targeting increases the likelihood of a response to your message or offer.

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Single Opt-in

Under single opt-in formats, businesses only mail addresses that have been actively subscribed to their list, typically by completing a web form, filling out a business reply card or sending an email to a specific address. Because the registration process is proactive, a single-opt in policy offers a higher level of security than the opt-out approach, but also has the following limitations:

  • Since single opt-in procedure does not require email address verification, it is possible to register other people without their consent, merely by having knowledge of that person's email address.
  • A mistyped address or the entry of a bogus email account that happens to belong to someone else can result in a company mailing a customer who has not registered to receive messages.
  • Single opt-in email policies are susceptible to spam traps. Spam traps are essentially email addresses or domains that have not registered to receive any email. Therefore, any messages they do receive must be spam. The problem for marketers comes when people deliberately subscribe spam trap addresses to their lists, or one is inadvertently added. This scenario exposes the mailer to blacklisting by ISPs or the organization operating the spam trap.

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Soft Bounce / Soft Bounced Email

A soft bounce is an e-mail message that gets to the recipient's mail server but is returned undelivered before it reaches the recipient. A soft bounce might occur because the recipient's inbox is full and may be deliverable at another time or may be forwarded manually by the network administrator in charge of redirecting mail on the recipient's domain.

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Spam / SPAM / UCE

Unsolicited bulk email or unsolicited commercial email.

SPAM or Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) is unsolicited email, particularly of a commercial nature. Sending email to people who have not requested to receive messages from you will likely result in SPAM complaints.

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Static IP

A static IP (Internet Protocol) address is an identifier that helps one computer find another one in the great Internet cloud.

A Static IP address is where a computer uses the same address every time a user logs on to a network, such as the Internet. With a static IP address, a computer's identity can be easily identified by others, and users can easily connect with it. That way, for example, a website, email server, or other type of server connection can be hosted.

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Subsets

ListManager allows you to send to a subset, or segment, of your list who meet the criteria you define. Instead of sending to your entire list, you can use segments to filter exactly who should get a message based on whatever criteria you choose.

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Spoofing

E-mail spoofing involves forging a sender's address on e-mail messages. It can be used by malicious individuals to mislead e-mail recipients into reading and responding to deceptive mail. These phony messages can jeopardize the online privacy of consumers and damage the reputation of the companies purported to have sent the messages. Spoofed e-mail often contains phishing scams. See also phishing.

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SSH (Secure Shell)

SSH (Secure Shell) is a protocol for creating a secure connection between two computers.

The secure SSH connection provides authentication and encryption. SSH also provides compression.

The SSH protocol is defined by the IETF Secure Shell Working Group(secsh).

SSH protects a network from attacks such as IP spoofing, IP source routing, and DNS spoofing. An attacker who has managed to take over a network can only force SSH to disconnect. He or she cannot play back the traffic or hijack the connection when encryption is enabled.

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Subsets

ListManager allows you to send to a subset, or segment, of your list who meet the criteria you define. Instead of sending to your entire list, you can use segments to filter exactly who should get a message based on whatever criteria you choose.

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Tier 1

Tier 1 providers offer many benefits. Typically, a Tier 1 provider has SLAs (service-level agreements) which include 99.9 percent uptime guarantees, impressive security, continuous and clean power, and protection from fire, earthquakes, and other disasters.

The impressive power of a Tier 1 provider is its backbone. They provide you clear passage while other providers may send you across the bumpy back roads. A Tier 1 provider takes you from the West Coast to the East Coast in one big hop, while others may pass you along to various locations across the United States.

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Trackable Links

Links are coded to enable data to be collected for each and every link clicked by each and every recipient. Used for building profiles, measuring response times and so on.

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Tracking

Collecting and evaluating the statistics from which one can measure the effectiveness of an email or an email campaign.

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Tracking Statistics

Tracking statistics tell you about the status of your message:

  • How many have received your message
  • What number have opened your message
  • What number have clicked trackable links
  • What number have gone to web pages with click stream tags

There are three kinds of tracking available in ListManager. These three different kinds of tracking are enabled at different points when creating a mailing.

  1. Clickthrough tracking, which allows you to track which of your members clicked on a particular link in your message. Clickthrough tracking is enabled when you create content.
  2. Opens tracking, which allows you to detect who opened your HTML or multipart message. Opens tracking is enabled when you create a mailing.
  3. Clickstream tracking, which allows you to detect what other pages your list members visited after clicking on a link. Clickstream tags must be put into the pages of your website that you'd like to be tracked.

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Triggered and Sequential Mailings

Triggered and sequential mailings enable you to time your mailings. Send automatic messages when your list members complete certain actions, or send a series of carefully timed email messages based on dates, events, and list member activity to improve response rates.

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Type Size

A size or style of typewritten or printed character. For example, a serif type (or typeface), a sans-serif type, 10 point type, 14 point type.

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Unsubscribe

When the owner of an email address unsubscribes, this indicates that the individual no longer wishes to receive emails from your organization. People can unsubscribe either by clicking the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of each email sent through our system, or by replying to the email with the word "Unsubscribe" in the subject line. This process I also known as opting-out.

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Virtual Server Name

Another name for a virtual mail server is a C name (which stands for canonical domain name), or a subdomain. It is simply the term used to describe the words before your domain name, such as list.yourdomain.com. Having a virtual mail server name will make your list appear as if it is on its own mail server.

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Whitelists

Whitelists are lists of commercial emailers (including ESPs) who have been approved to send mail through the ISP. The ISP requires a list of IP addresses that email will be sent from, and in some cases a test period where the commercial emailer will be approved or rejected.