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Every industry has its own language. The email marketing community, too, has its own jargon that sets it apart. And if you are unfamiliar with it, navigating the world of email marketing can be confusing.

Whether you send email campaigns (as a marketer) or receive them (as a consumer), you need to understand email terminology.

The following is a list of 17 email marketing terms that every business should know. (Note: This list is not comprehensive, nor is the discussion of the terms, each of which could be the subject of an entire article. So consider this list a starting point).

1. Blacklist: A blacklist contains a set of IP addresses that are suspected of sending out unsolicited email (spam). If your sending IP has a high complaint rate, high hard-bounce rate, or a bunch of spamtrap addresses (see term No. 16), you are more likely to be blacklisted.
Bonus: Having your IP addresses blacklisted is bad. Do everything you can to avoid it from happening.

2. Bounce: An email that is rejected by the receiving mail system is said to have bounced. An email can be returned as "bounced" for many reasons, such as having an unknown alias (username), nonexistent domain name, or full inbox. (See more in the "Hard Bounce" and "Soft Bounce" sections.)

Bonus: Pay particular attention to the number and rate of bounced emails, both of which could negatively affect your overall deliverability.

3. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003: Signed into law in December 2003 by President Bush, CAN-SPAM establishes the standards for sending commercial email in the United States.

Bonus: This act is the minimum standard for sending commercial email in the United States. Most email service providers (ESPs) have much stricter requirements.

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image of DJ Waldow

DJ Waldow is an email marketing consultant, writer, blogger, speaker, founder and CEO of Waldow Social, and co-author of The Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing.

Twitter: @djwaldow

LinkedIn: DJ Waldow