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A/B Split

When the list is divided into two segments, each of which is tested for different offers.
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Above-the-fold

The part of an email or web page that is visible without scrolling. It is generally more desirable placement because of its visibility.
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Acquisition Versus Retention

The presentation and content of an email marketing message or campaign often depends on whether the objective is to acquire new customers or encourage loyalty and repeat purchases from existing customers. Acquisition efforts are more likely to focus on encouraging action, retention efforts on building relationships.
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AIDAS

"Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, Satisfaction" - elements of a sales campaign that establish and sustain the prospect's momentum from initial contact up to and beyond the "close."
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Benefits Versus Features

Benefits address a prospect's emotional needs and communicate how the product or service will improve his/her quality of life or make him/her feel better. Features address the attributes of the product or service. Benefits are more effective in driving action.
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Buyer

A lead currently in negotiation who has made a commitment in principle to buy, but has not yet purchased the product or service.
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Calls to Action (see also Point of Action - POA)

Words that offer the opportunity and encourage the prospect to take action. For example, "Click here to see CM3's new designer colors" or "Add this product to your wish list."
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Campaign

A coordinated set of individual email marketing messages delivered at intervals and with an overall objective in mind. A campaign allows each new message to build on previous success.
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Cell Testing

When the list is divided into a number of discrete cells to allow for a robust test across multiple variables. To determine optimum response, conversion rate is measured for each cell.
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Click-through

When a prospect takes an action and clicks on a link. To determine the click-through rate, divide the number of responses by the number of emails opened (multiple this number by 100 to express the result as a percentage).
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Closing Sentence

The last sentence of the communication, which must reinforce desire to take action.
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Color Theory

A body of knowledge concerning the ability of color to help create an appropriate psychological state and present information most effectively, in addition to engaging prospects and directing their progress through the process.
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Content

All the copy, graphics and images that go into the presentation. Effective content is engaging, useful, informative, educational, professional and entertaining.
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Conversion Rate

The key metric to evaluate the effectiveness of a conversion (often, sales) effort, reflecting the percentage of people converted into buyers (or subscribers, or whatever action is desired) out of the total population exposed to the conversion effort. For websites, the conversion rate is the number of visitors who took the desired action divided by the total number of visitors in a given time period (typically, per month). For email marketing, the conversion rate is the number of people who take an action divided by the total number of people who received the email. (Multiply these numbers by 100 to express the results as percentages.)
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CPA (or Cost per Acquisition)

A payment model in which payment is based solely on qualifying actions such as sales or registrations.
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CPM (or Cost Per Thousand)

In e-mail marketing, CPM commonly refers to the cost per 1000 names on a given rental list. For example, a rental list priced at $250 CPM would mean that the list owner charges $.25 per e-mail address.
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Customer

A person who has paid for the product or service.
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Customer Experience

The customer's (possibly only the prospect's) overall experience of pleasure during the sales encounter.
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Delight Factor

A person's overall experience of delight - or the absence of it - during the conversion encounter.
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Font

A complete set of type of one style and size. For example, all the characters associated with 12 point Arial constitute a font.
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Format (Appearance)

Emails currently can be delivered in plain-text format or HTML format. Consider the target audience to determine which is the more appropriate format for any specific campaign.
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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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Goal (Objective) of Emailing

The coherent, defined purpose, which allows targeting recipients appropriately, creating a unified and effective message and measuring the results. Each email, as well as the overall campaign, should have a clear goal.
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Hard Bounce/Soft Bounce

A hard bounce is the failed delivery of an e-mail due to a permanent reason like a non-existent address. A soft bounce is the failed delivery of an e-mail due to a temporary issue, like a full mailbox or an unavailable server.
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Headers

The documentation that accompanies the body of an email message. Headers contain information on the email itself and the route it's taken across the Internet. Recipients can normally see the "to" (identity of recipient), "from" (identity of sender) and "subject" (information in the subject line) headers in their inbox. You can modify these to influence their decision to open or delete an email.
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Headline

The opening announcement that greets recipients once they have opened the email. Ideally, this immediately communicates the company's unique selling proposition and encourages the recipient to penetrate further into the email.
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House List

A permission-based list that you built 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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Incentive

A reason to take action, which might include discounts, bonuses, free shipping, bundle pricing, etc.
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Instills Trust

The ability of the communication to create trust and confidence in the mind of the recipient.
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Jargon

A word or term that is unique to a particular business or area of knowledge and not generally known to the public at large. In most cases, avoid the use of jargon.
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K.I.S.S.

"Keep it Simple, Stupid" - a directive to keep the communication clear, concise and intuitive to improve the likelihood the prospect will take action.
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Landing Page

The page on a website where the visitor arrives (which may or may not be the home page). In terms of an email campaign, one can think of the landing page as the page to which the email directs the prospect via a link. A landing page must satisfy all the requirements pertaining to a home page.
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Layout

The arrangement of elements in the communication, designed to optimize use of screen real estate within the prospect's email client. Layout of an email must take into account the fact that only a small portion of the content will appear in the visible window ("above the fold"), and further reading requires the prospect to scroll down.
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Lead

A prospect who is engaged actively in the buying decision for a product or service.
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Links

Text links, hyperlinks, graphics or images which, when clicked or when pasted into the browser, direct the prospect to another online location. To be most effective in motivating action, links must be obvious to the visitor or recipient. When images or graphics are used as links, or when hyperlinks are used, always provide a corresponding text link as well.
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List Host

A service providing users with tools and facilities for distributing high volumes of email and managing a list of email addresses.
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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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Navigation

The tabs, text and graphic hyperlinks that always let prospects know both where they are and where they can go. Navigation elements must always be available and obvious. Well-designed navigation will lead the prospect in the intended direction.
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Nth Sampling

When a subset of the list is constructed based on every Nth individual. For example, if one is doing Ninth-Testing, every ninth person on the list is sent an email.
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Opening Sentence

The first complete sentence of the email communication.
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Opt-in / Opt-out

Opt-In is the action a person takes when he or she actively agrees, by email or other means, to receive communications. It requires tactics and mechanisms to encourage and allow people to become recipients. Opt-Out is the action a person takes when he or she chooses not to receive communications. It requires tactics and mechanisms by which people can ask to be removed reliably from an email list.
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Paragraph Length (Average)

The average number of sentences in a paragraph, determined by dividing the total number of sentences in a document by the total number of paragraphs. Shorter paragraphs encourage readers to stay focused and move through the document.
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Percent Bounced Back

The number of emails that were returned as undeliverable divided by the total number of emails sent, multiplied by 100.
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Percent Opened

The number of emails opened divided by the total number of emails sent, multiplied by 100.
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Percent Removed

The number of requests for opt-out or removal divided by the total number of emails sent, multiplied by 100.
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Permission

The idea of only sending email messages to those recipients who have agreed (or asked) to receive them. The definition of permission is the subject of considerable debate in the email marketing community.
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Personality

The tone the email communicates: excited, cheerful, playful, serious, concerned, helpful, etc. The personality of the document should be consistent with the personality of the business and the offer. It should remain consistent throughout any one email and consistent across all emails in a campaign. (For "personality" as it pertains to your prospects, see WIIFM.)
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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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Persuasion Factor

The ability of the copy to persuade the recipient to take action.
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Point of Action (POA) (see also Calls to Action)

Specific locations in a presentation that offer the opportunity and encourage the prospect to take action.
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Presentation

The manner in which the communication describes and displays the products or services.
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Privacy

The quality or condition of being free from unsanctioned intrusion. Communications need to reassure the prospect through clear, accessible and enforced assurances so he/she can feel comfortable about providing personal information and transacting business.
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Prospect

A suspect who actively expresses interest in the product or service.
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Readability

The degree to which the copy is well-written as well as optimized for reading on the web. The readability of text is affected by many factors including, but not limited to: the color of the text in relation to the background color, the font, the spacing between words and between lines of text, the length of lines of text, how blocky and dense the paragraphs appear, text justification, the complexity of the grammar and the education level of your audience.
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Relationship Building

Undertaking strategies and tactics aimed at developing a positive and ideally long-term relationship with the prospect or customer.
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Rental list (or Acquisition list)

A list of prospects or a targeted group of recipients who have opted-in to receive information about certain subjects. Using permission-based rental lists, marketers can send e-mail messages to audiences targeted by interest category, profession, demographic information and more. Renting a list usually costs between $.10 and $.40 per name.
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Sales Process

A five-step expert process that directs a prospect from the start of a sale to the close and beyond. The steps begin with Prospecting (largely a marketing function), continue through establishing Rapport, Presenting, Qualifying and culminate in the Close. Overall, the sales process is linear, although there are always iterative elements.
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Scannable Text (also called Skimmable Text)

Highlighted, bolded, bulleted or otherwise visually-distinguished content that allows the reader to quickly scan block text and distill the overall point and essential features of the communication. More correctly, scannable text is "skimmable" text - text the reader can easily skim through to determine the essence of the communication.
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Sentence Length (Average)

The average number of words in a sentence, determined by dividing the total number of words in a communication by the total number of sentences. In general, shorter sentences best capture and retain a reader's interest. Long sentences can be confusing.
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Spam / UCE

Unsolicited commercial email. The term normally given to commercial email sent without the recipient's permission. Those accused of sending UCE can run into trouble, ranging from impolite responses through loss of Internet access accounts to destruction of reputations and infrastructure.
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Subheads (or Subheadings)

Titles within the body of the email communication that distinguish discrete sections, topics, offers, promotions, etc.
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Subject Line

The title of the email communication. This is the first (and hopefully not last) element of the communication recipients will see when they access their email. It has to grab attention and be credible or the email will not get opened.
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Suspect

Any one individual from the universe of potential customers for the product or service.
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Targeting

Sending the right message to the right recipient at the right time.
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Teaser

A message, or part of a message, designed to arouse curiosity and interest, but without revealing too much detail in itself. You can use appropriate teaser copy in the subject line to encourage prospects or customers to read the email.
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Terminology

Words that communicate specifics about the features and benefits of the product or service, or features and benefits of the sales process. Content needs to communicate effectively in language that avoids jargon, does not require insider knowledge and is understood easily. In email campaigns, it is particularly important that terminology avoid clich├ęs and "spam words" such as "free," "limited time offer," etc.
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Timing

1. Scheduling the email campaign to reach the audience at the most opportune time so it is most likely to be read. Timing might be seasonal (for example, vacation or school), dependent on holidays, etc. or mailings might go out on a standard schedule. Even the day of the week and what time of day the mailing goes out are important considerations: for example, a Friday afternoon mailing may be great for retailing customers, but bad for business-to-business customers. 2. Choosing the most appropriate interval between emails in a campaign, to maximize overall effectiveness.
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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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Type

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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Unique Forwarders

The number of unique individuals who forwarded an email.
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Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The concise and memorable phrase that concisely and powerfully describes the unique value of your business and creates excitement in the prospect. The USP is not a slogan or a phrase designed for advertising, although that is one potential use for it. Instead, its purpose is to answer the prospect's implicit question, "Why should I do business with you and not somebody else?"
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Up-Selling / Cross-Selling

Presenting customers with an opportunity to purchase related products, services or accessories to products they have shown an interest in or previously purchased.
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Usability

The ability to implement effectively the body of knowledge concerning the human-computer interface in order to remove any obstacles impeding the experience and process of online interactions.
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Value

The overall appeal and usefulness of the product or service to the prospect. Rarely is value simply a function of price (which typically ranks fourth among purchase considerations).
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Viral Design

Elements and functions included in a communication that encourage and allow recipients to pass the offer along to others, thereby leveraging the marketing effort ("tell a friend," "please forward," etc.).
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Viral Effect

A measurable outcome of the degree to which recipients of a communication refer the offer, products, services or company to others.
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Viral Forwards

The number of referrals sent.
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Viral Responses

The number of recipients who received the referral, opened it and clicked on a link.
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Visual Clarity

A function, in large part, of layout and design: Pages are easy to scan; text and graphics are clear; prospects can find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
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Voice

A grammatical property of verbs that indicates a relationship between the subject and the action expressed by the verb. "Birds build nests" is written in the active voice and emphasizes the subject - birds. "Nests are built by birds" is written in the passive voice and emphasizes the action - building nests. Active voice is far more persuasive in driving action.
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We Test

Developed by Future Now, Inc., this metric provides a general measure of the degree to which your communication is customer-centered. It compares the number of customer-oriented words (you, your, etc.) in the communication to the number of self- or company-referential words (we, our, I, me, etc.).
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WIIFM

"What's In It For Me?" - this question always underlies and informs a prospect's decision whether to take the suggested action. Beyond addressing the critical value propositions and benefits that will interest prospects, all communications must accommodate their deeply-felt, emotional needs and take into account the different personality profiles which influence prospects' different shopping styles. (Driver, Analytical, Amiable and Social are the four acknowledged dominant personality profiles).
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Word Length (Average)

The average number of letters in a word, determined by dividing the total number of letters in a communication by the total number of words. Unless meaning is compromised, choose the shorter word over the longer word.    
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