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8 Email Marketing Terms to Know

“Insider” language can be overwhelming when you’re looking into email marketing for the first time. Marketing gurus talk about flows, bounces, conversion rates, campaigns, and segments —  and you have no idea what any of those terms mean. 

We understand marketing jargon can be daunting at first. To make it easier on you, we’ve written the meanings of 8 terms we use a lot at Sigl Creative in the context of digital marketing.

1. ESP

ESP stands for “email service provider.” An ESP is an email hosting platform for your subscriber lists, campaigns, flows, etc. Mailchimp, Klaviyo, AWeber, and Hubspot are all ESPs. Easy enough, right?

2. Subscribers

Subscribers are customers or prospects who opt-in to receive emails from your organization. You want subscribers because that means your brand will be in their inboxes (and on their minds!) every time you send an email.

3. Campaign

No, no one’s running for a political office. An email marketing “campaign” (or “broadcast” depending on the ESP) is the name for a one-time email you send to subscribers on a specific day and time. These can be emails that you send to your entire list of engaged subscribers (like a newsletter or sales email), or emails you send to specific segments of subscribers (like a VIP group or regional clients).

4. Flow

There’s an important distinction between a campaign and a flow. Campaigns are one-time emails you send to subscribers. A “flow”is an automated email or series of emails sent based on certain “triggers” or filters. 

In other words, customers or prospects will receive these emails because of an action on their part like subscribing to your organization’s blog or not opening your emails for a while. For example, you might create and automate a welcome flow of 3-5 emails for new subscribers. You can also send a re-engagement flow to subscribers who’ve not opened your emails in a while with reminders and incentives to “re-engage” with your brand. The key distinction of a flow is that once you make the flow live, you don’t have to ever click send again — these emails automatically send when a subscriber triggers them with their own actions.

5. Lists and Segments

You can create different categories of subscribers by creating stagnant lists or dynamic segments. 

Think of a list as a pond — no water is coming in or out unless you manually add or remove it. Email lists are the same — subscribers must be manually added (via upload or form submission) and they’ll stay on that list unless you manually remove them. 

A segment is like a river — the subscribers in a segment are always updating because segments are created by grouping subscribers together either by demographic information (such as age, gender, or location), or by behavior (such as time range for subscribing, recent purchases, or not opening an email is 90 days). By creating lists and segments, you can send emails that are more personalized and speak to your subscribers’ unique situation.

6. Open Rate

The open rate is the number of people who opened your email divided by the total number of people who received it. Open rates are helpful when determining which emails were most effective. When you take note of what emails with higher open rates have in common (like subject line and preview text qualities), you’ll know how to improve your emails so more people open and read them in the future!

7. Conversion Rate

Conversion rates are another important data point in email marketing. Every email should include a “call to action,” or the action you want customers and prospects to take after reading your email. The conversion rate is the number of email recipients who performed a call to action divided by the total number of recipients. The higher the conversion rate, the higher the number of people you won over with your email!

8. Subject Line and Preview Text

The subject line and preview text are often an afterthought, but the stakes are high for getting them right! They’re usually the driving factor of whether email recipients decide to open or ignore your email. The subject line tells or hints at what’s in the email. The preview text is the copy under the subject line that might elaborate on the subject line or pique greater curiosity. Get creative with your subject lines and preview text and test what works best for your subscribers!

We know the amount of terms to learn can be overwhelming. This blog will help you get started, and we recommend this extended list of terms if you want to know more. Need help creating the perfect campaign for an upcoming sale or want a re-engagement flow for your subscribers who’ve gone MIA for a while? Our team at Sigl Creative is ready to craft and design the perfect emails for your business. Schedule a call today, and let us create some emails we’re confident will grab attention, even in the most crowded inbox.

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