Glossary of Terms

There's a lot of terms and phrasing when it comes to email marketing. Some of it's fairly simple and straight-forward, while other terms seem confusing and complex on first reading.  

This guide is designed to walk you through the most common words and phrases you'll see in email marketing as well as provide direction and insight into how the different terms are used in FeedBlitz.

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A/B Testing - Testing two versions of a mailing, subscription form or landing page after editing one variable to see which version was most effective in reaching the desired outcome. Common items to A/B test in email marketing include subject lines, email preview text, call to action text, and subscription form headlines. 

Automation - The process of sending pre-determined content to your subscribers based on their preferences and actions. Commonly referred to as funnels, autoresponders or drip campaigns.

Automated Campaign - An email campaign built from an RSS feed, with updates delivered based on a pre-set schedule.

API - An application program interface (API) is used to connect online programs or apps to each other and direct them on how to interact. FeedBlitz Clients can access their API under My Account > Integrations.


Blacklist - A list of IP addresses or email addresses blocked due to suspicious or spamming activity.

Bounce - An email address determined undeliverable either permanently or momentarily. A bounce can either be a hard bounce or a soft bounce, based on the message returned.

Bounce Rate - The percentage of bounces received on a single or set of mailings in relation to the total number of emails sent.


Call to Action (CTA) - A method of inciting a specific action from your reader. A CTA can be an image, link or button, encouraging a click to subscribe to your list, make a purchase or engage with you further.

Campaign - A campaign is any method you choose within FeedBlitz to distribute your message. Campaigns can be automated with RSS to email, manually sent or scheduled with single campaigns, pre-determined with funnels, or social campaigns auto-posting your RSS feed's latest updates to Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

CAN-SPAM - The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, CAN-SPAM dictates what actions are and are not legal for all commercial email. All clients of FeedBlitz must abide by the CAN-SPAM rules according to our Terms of Service.

CASL - Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation went into effect in July of 2014. This legislation requires that commercial emails must be able to prove that the email addresses mailed have given consent, that the identity of the sender is clear, and that a method to unsubscribe is provided. The full text can be read here.

Churn -the rate at which people stop subscribing

Clicks per Open - A part of your delivery metrics, your clicks per open is your click-through rate divided by your open rate in a particular mailing or set of mailings.

Cohort Analysis - In FeedBlitz subscribers who started and finished a specific opt-in process in a given timespan, typically a month. Cohorts are most often used to identify how users behave after a change has been made. Example: Users joining a list in January signed up through a Facebook ad campaign. A cohort analysis would allow a comparison between the metrics of the list as a whole and the cohort to determine if they are more engaged than other subscribers.

Complaint - A complaint is recorded when a subscriber clicks report SPAM in an email. FeedBlitz is aware that sometimes people click SPAM instead of unsubscribing, and sometimes they do so by accident. Each list is monitored for complaint rates that rise above our tolerance and will be suspended automatically for manual review.

Click-Through Rate - A part of your delivery metrics, this percentage is the number of clicks divided by the total number of emails sent in a single or set of mailings.

CSV - This is a type of text file where values are separated by commas often used for importing and/or exporting subscribers.

Custom Field - Also known as a tag, a custom field is any extra information attached to a subscriber beyond their email address, for example, a first name, location, subscription form used, or funnels completed.


Delivery Metrics - Tracking points in your email marketing such as emails sent, opened, clicked, returned bounces, unsubscriptions, complaints, and forwards. 

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)- How a domain name is associated with a mailing, allowing an organization, business, or person to claim responsibility for the mailing when sent by an email service provider. The system uses a special signature in the header of each email sent to verify the sender is authentic. The originating email server has a private key that the receiving mail server can verify with the public key. 

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) - This process, using SPF and DKIM records, regulates the validation of email senders to prevent spoofing.

DomainKeys Identified Mail Key Each email sent using DKIM travels with the equivalent of an encrypted watermark or signature. It takes two keys or decryptors to decode the signature to verify the email's authenticity. There is a public key associated with the domain and a private key used by the email's sender. The recipient server then uses the keys to decode the signature to verify the email as authentic and untampered with.

DomainKeys Identified Mail Selector (DKIM) Selector - The selector is specified within the email header and indicates where the public key is found in DNS records.

Domain Name Server (DNS) Record domain names and- This translates a domain names (URLs) and other associated information to an IP address to be recognized by a computer. FeedBlitz clients may need to add a DNS record when using SPF (anchor link) or DMARC (anchor link), as well as when adding their DKIM profiles.

Dual Opt-In - Process by which subscribers must submit their email address then confirm their subscription by clicking a link sent via email. This ensures that the email addresses submitted to forms are valid and not added for illegitimate purposes. All FeedBlitz clients must abide by our Terms of Service and dual opt-in policy.


Enterprise Domain Protection - this feature ensures that only authorized accounts may use your domain as a sending or reply address in email campaigns.

Email Automation - The process of sending pre-determined content to your subscribers based on their actions and preferences. Commonly referred to as funnels, autoresponders, or drip campaigns.

Email Service Provider (ESP) - A service that enables the sending of email campaigns to a list of email addresses.


Funnel - The term used in FeedBlitz in conjunction with email automation.


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - Having taken effect on May 25, 2018, GDPR is a series of European Union (EU) regulations regarding how you are to collect, store, and use personal information, including the email address, of your subscribers, clients, and customers who are members of the EU. Learn more about GDPR and FeedBlitz here. 

Group - A group is a static list of email addresses used to categorize subscribers or shape email campaigns.

Graymail- An informal term for email that subscribers opt into but never open. You do not want your email to become gray mail, over time it decreases your reputation with inbox providers. Practice good list hygiene and remove inactive subscribers.

Globally Unique Identification  (GUID) - A unique reference number created by a new post on your site and referenced in the site’s RSS feed. A GUID is one of two eligibility factors our mail servers use when determining eligible posts for an automated campaign.


Hard Bounce - An email address that is returned to the sender with an error indicating the address is invalid. In FeedBlitz a hard bounce also refers to when we have not been able to successfully mail an address for a period of 3 mailings or two weeks, whichever time period is longer.

Heat Map - This analytics report visually shows the popularity of links in a mailing by highlighting which were clicked and the percentage of clicks a link received.

Honeypot - A list of email addresses created by an email service provider or third party containing known spam addresses, used to identify possible spammers. When an imported list of emails triggers an address in a honeypot, the import is blocked to protect the sending reputation of all publishers.


IP Address - Your IP address is the numerical identifier associated with the device being used on a participating network. IP Addresses are tracked to protect the sending reputations of publishers as well as the validity of subscriber email addresses.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) - This is the company providing your access to the internet. (They allow us to have careers here at FeedBlitz HQ. Thanks, guys!) Often an ISP will allow clients to create and use an email address on their service.  


Landing Page - A page where a reader or subscriber lands after completing a desired action. Commonly used when gathering leads, increasing sales or thanking someone for taking that action.

List - A list is a set of email addresses. Campaigns can be sent to one or more lists.

List Hygiene - over time subscribers may lose interest in the content they receive or may abandon their email addresses. FeedBlitz offers tools that allow clients to remove subscribers who have not engaged with campaigns in a given timeframe.


Margin of Error - In statistics, the margin of error is the amount of a test taken into consideration for miscalculations and changes of circumstances. In A/B testing, factor in the MOE (generally the square root of your sample size), to gauge the effectiveness of your testing.  The MOE is roughly the square root of your sample size. Once you know your MOE, you can better calculate which test was the most successful.


Open Rate - A delivery metric tracking the percentage of emails opened based on the total number of emails sent.

Opt-In - The method used to subscribe to a mailing list. Opt-Ins can be single or double. Single opt-in means an email address was submitted. Double opt-in requires a subscriber to confirm their subscription by clicking a link proving the email submitted is valid. Double opt-ins are a requirement for all FeedBlitz Clients. 

Opt-Out - A method by which subscribers can easily unsubscribe from your mailings. You are required by CAN-SPAM (anchor link), CASL (anchor link) and GDPR (anchor link) to have this option readily available in all mailings. FeedBlitz automatically inserts an unsubscribe link in each email sent. Publishers have the ability to add additional unsubscribe links to their template or mailing.

Parser - A parser is a tool used as a middleman, sorting information between a third party and FeedBlitz. Parsers are used in actions such as adding subscribers to a list after completing a purchase or action or removing subscribers once a membership has been canceled. They are a key player in FeedBlitz integrations.

Pending Subscription - A subscriber status that occurs when an email address has been submitted but has not yet activated.  As pending subscriptions have not confirmed their consent, these addresses are not visible to FeedBlitz clients.

Permalink –  Permalinks are URLs that link to a specific entry, post, or page as opposed to an archive, category or tag. Not all website software uses the term permalink.

Preview Text - This text, also known as preheader text, is visible after the subject line in many email applications.

Recipe - A recipe is a pre-designed template for a funnel campaign.  A recipe is a starting point, emails or steps can be added to or removed from the campaign.

RSS Feed - A Real Simple Syndication Feed, also referred to as Rich Site Summary, an RSS Feed is a file of regularly updated content from a website or blog. The feed is listed in reverse chronological order and allows readers to easily subscribe to a website to receive updates. In FeedBlitz, automated campaigns are powered by a website's RSS feed.

RSS to email - Also known as automated campaigns, the RSS to email process automatically mails your subscribers content posted to your site based on changes to an RSS feed. Many websites automatically update their RSS feed when new posts or updates are added

Rule – A rule, sometimes referred to as a trigger, begins when a subscriber completes an action which then signals an automated action such as being subscribed / unsubscribed from a list, added or removed from a group, tagged with information, etc..


Seed List- A list of email addresses used for testing purposes. These addresses should be from different email services and ISPs. Seed lists are used to help identify problems with authentication, spam filters, and appearance. There are services that can help with this, but live environments are always a good idea, too.

Segmentation - The process of dividing subscribers into a subset based on a particular metric. Segments can be used to shape recipients of a particular mailing or saved as Groups to use for future mailings.

Single Campaign- A single campaign in FeedBlitz is a manually created mailing to a selected email list. It can include text, images, and automated components such as RSS feed updates or social feed updates. It can be scheduled to send immediately or at a designated date.

Single Opt-In - The process of a user signing up for an email list without having to confirm their subscription. This method of growing your list is not allowed in FeedBlitz. We require double opt-in for all subscribers.

Soft Bounce - An email address deemed temporarily undeliverable due to one of many reasons such as a brief server disruption or full inbox. FeedBlitz will continue attempting to mail to this address for a period of two weeks or three mailings, whichever period is longer, at which point the subscriber is treated as if the soft bounce error were a hard bounce.

SPAM - Short for Unsolicited Bulk Email, SPAM is email sent to those who have not opted-in to receive email communication. We take SPAM very seriously in order to protect our deliverability rate and sending reputation of all FeedBlitz clients. You can learn more about these policies here.

Spam Trap - An email address created for the purpose of catching spammers. FeedBlitz watches lists for these addresses in order to protect the sending reputation of all clients, and will prevent an import from being completed should one of these traps be found. Lists of addresses available for purhcase often contain spam traps. Don't buy lists.

SPF Authentication - Sender Policy Framework Authentication - This is a process by which an IP address is validated as an approved sender for a domain. A client can easily add a record to their domain that states that FeedBlitz is an approved sender of their domain's email which decreases the likelihood of being caught by a spam filter and helps prevent email spoofing.

Spoofing - A tactic used by spammers causing emails to appear as if they are sent by another domain.

Subscriber - An individual who has opted-in and confirmed subscription to a mailing list.

Subscriber Journey - A predesigned path based on a subscriber’s actions and events that trigger specific emails delivered automatically, through email automation.

Subscription Form - A way of gathering email addresses from your website visitors. Common subscription or signup forms include a sidebar form, popup, a full page and post footer form.


Tags - Also known as custom fields, a tag is any extra information attached to a subscriber beyond their email address, for example, a first name, location, subscription form used, or funnels completed.

Template -  The design of your mailing(s). A template can be created for a single use with the Visual Mailing Editor (VME) or created to be used in automated campaigns for every mailing with the Visual Template Editor (VTE)

Trigger - A trigger, sometimes referred to as a rule, begins when a subscriber completes an action which then signals an automated action such as being subscribed / unsubscribed from a list, added or removed from a group, tagged with information, etc..


Unique Clicks - A metric tracking individual clicks by a subscriber in a mailing.

Unique Opens - Similar to unique clicks, unique opens track a subscriber’s single open for a mailing. This prevents the same subscriber opening an email many times from inflating the open rate.


Whitelist  - An approved list of email or IP addresses shown to be valid senders, also referred to as a Safe Senders List. All subscribers are encouraged to add feedblitz@mail.feedblitz.com to their whitelist to help ensure receipt of emails.

Anything missing from this list? Send our team an email and we'll be sure to add it right away.

As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let us know. You can find all of our great support resources and how to get in touch with us via email, chat or phone on our Support Page

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