Email Abbreviations: Key Things To Know

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Email marketing is riddled with jargon and abbreviations. Here’s a handy guide to some of the most commonly used ones:

ESP – Email Service Provider

An Email Service Provider is a company that offers services related to sending out emails. They may offer services like managing mailing lists, designing email templates, automating email sending, managing bounce rates, and tracking various metrics like open rates and click-through rates.

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CTR – Click-Through Rate

Click-Through Rate is a metric used in email marketing to measure the number of clicks that links within an email receive, divided by the number of emails that were successfully delivered. It’s usually expressed as a percentage and helps gauge the interest and engagement of email recipients.

ROI – Return On Investment

In the context of email marketing, Return On Investment is the profit made from an email marketing campaign divided by the cost of running the campaign. It is used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and profitability of a campaign.

KPI – Key Performance Indicator

A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. In email marketing, KPIs could include metrics like open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, bounce rate, and others.

A/B Testing

A/B Testing is a method of comparing two versions of an email to see which one performs better. By changing one aspect of the email, two versions are created and sent to similar groups of people, then analyzed to see which performed better.

CTA – Call To Action

A Call To Action is a prompt within the email that instructs the recipient to perform a specific action. CTAs are typically presented as clickable buttons or links that direct users to a website or landing page.


CAN-SPAM stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing”. This is a law in the United States that sets rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, and gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them.

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language

Hypertext Markup Language is the standard language for creating web pages and web applications, including email templates. HTML emails can include colors, graphics, and links, making them more visually appealing and engaging than plain text emails.

SPF – Sender Policy Framework

Sender Policy Framework is an email validation system designed to prevent email spoofing by verifying the sender’s IP address. It works by having domain owners specify which mail servers are authorized to send mail for their domain.

DKIM – DomainKeys Identified Mail

DomainKeys Identified Mail is an email authentication method that allows the receiver to check if the email was actually sent by the domain it claims to have been sent from and if the content was tampered with during transit.

SMTP – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is the standard protocol for sending emails across the internet. It’s used by email servers to send and receive emails and by email clients to send emails to a server.

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation

General Data Protection Regulation is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy. It gives individuals control over their personal data and simplifies the regulatory environment for international business.

ISP – Internet Service Provider

An Internet Service Provider is a company that provides services for accessing, using, or participating in the Internet. Some ISPs also provide email services — including email filtering — to their users.

DMARC – Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance

Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance is an email authentication protocol that uses SPF and DKIM to give email domain owners the ability to protect their domain from unauthorized use — also known as email spoofing.

CTOR – Click-To-Open Rate

Click-To-Open Rate is a metric used in email marketing to measure the percentage of recipients who both open an email and click on a link within it. It’s calculated by dividing the total number of unique clicks by the total number of unique opens and helps understand the effectiveness of the email content and the relevance to the subscribers.

Drip Campaign

A Drip Campaign is a series of automated emails sent to a subscriber over a specific period of time. The goal of such a campaign is usually to nurture leads or guide them through a sales funnel. The ‘drip’ signifies that the emails are not all sent at once but are spread out and triggered based on certain actions, time intervals, or behavior.

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