Email Terminology Explained

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In this post we’ll discuss different email delivery terms to help you navigate the topics with ease. If you need any additional explanation, our experts are always at your disposal.
Authentication – authentication lets ISPs and mailbox providers know that the emails you’re sending are approved to be sent by the domain they are coming from and are not spam mail. Authentication is key to effective e-mail delivery.

3rd party list – The email addresses on the list have not specifically signed up to receive mail from your company, but have opted in through the other company to receive mail. Avoid sending from 3rd party lists unless you trust the email dresses on the list are expecting your mail. Ignoring this tip leads to high complaint rates and spam traps.

Whitelist – a whitelist is a list of senders who have been approved by a recipient, making it easier for the sender’s email to hit the inbox.

Blacklist – a blacklist is a special list, maintained by spam filtering companies. It basically identifies the servers, IP addresses and the domains that the spammers use.

Bulk Mail – a commercial mail sent out by companies, for marketing purposes (newsletters, promotions, coupons), sent out to entire lists at once.

Click – defined when a email recipient clicks on a link within a message, mainly used for authentication and confirming a certain task (for example, creating an account for a certain web site).

Complaint – When an email recipient hits the spam button in their inbox, an email provider’s spam filtering will often record this as a complaint and prevent future email from that sender from reaching the inbox. Complaints are the absolute place a web site’s newsletter doesn’t want to end up, especially if you want your users and customers well informed of your latest products/offers.

Content Filters – Content Filters are spam filters that review the content of an email and decide on whether that email should go to the spam folder of the inbox.

DKIMDomainKeys Identified Mail is an email authentication framework system that allows mailbox providers to validate email from your domain against a public and private key, protecting your brand and customers.

DMARCDomain based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance isa standard using SPF & DKIM to authenticate email sends in order to help eliminate phishing emails.

Transactional Mail – any message sent that was triggered by an action from the recipient.

DNS – Domain Name System helps your ISP communicate with network server when you’re trying to reach IP addresses that your PC or ISP server doesn’t have stored in it’s memory. DNS can turn an IP address into a host name or vice versa.

ESPEmail Service Provider is the company that provides the capabilities for end users to send email.

IP Address – an Internet Protocol address is a unique identifier for any device within a network on the Internet.

Soft Bounce – Soft bounces occur when a mailbox provider indicates that the email address you used isn’t valid, mostly because the inbox is currently full.

Hard Bounce – a hard bounce occurs when a mailbox provider indicates that the email address you used isn’t valid, mostly because it doesn’t exist.

Phishing – when an ill-intentioned party tries to gain sensitive info (mostly for privacy and credit card abuse) by appearing as a trusted brand, masking themselves to gain account information.

Reputation – it’s how ISPs view your sending habits. A good reputation consists of low bounce rates and low complaints.

Open Email – an email is considered open when the recipient of the mail clicks an email message in their inbox, seeing the body of the message.

Sender ID – sender ID is the validation of the emails being sent by verified domains, by checking the email sender’s IP address against the domain’s recorded owner.

Spam – any received message not wanted by the recipient, mostly bad marketing.

SPFSender Policy Framework is an email validation system that allows mailbox providers to validate mail from your domain against the IP addresses sending the mail.

Unsubscribing – when a recipient of your message requests to be removed form future communication. Try to avoid unsubscribing because it reduces your product/offer awareness.

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