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Glossary of terms

A/B testing
Compares the effectiveness of two versions of a message in order to discover which is more effective
Above the fold (ATF)
The part of an email message or Web page that is visible without scrolling
Accepted Rate
The total amount successfully delivered to the server divided by the total e-mails deployed (unique records). The amount successfully delivered is the total amount attempted minus all failures, including hard Accepted Emails/Sent Emails = Accepted Rate bounces
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The science of making computers do things that require intelligence when done by humans
Automated email message-sending capability, such as a welcome message sent to all new subscribers the minute they join a list. May be triggered by joins, unsubscribes, all email sent to a particular mailbox
Average Recipient Render Rate
The total number of times an email is rendered (whether fully opened or within the preview pane) and captured using a tracking image within an HTML format message divided by the unique number of emails Total Renders / Unique Renders = Average Recipient Render Raterendered, expressed as a percentage
The amount of information or data that can be sent over a network connection in a given period of time. Bandwidth is usually stated in bits per second (bps), kilobits per second (kbps), or megabits per second (mps). An analogy would be a water pipe where a larger diameter pipe can carry more water per second than a narrow pipe
Batch Messages
Grouping of individual messages over a period of time and sending them as a group rather than individually
Blind carbon copy (BCC)
A BCC, short for "blind carbon copy", is a copy of an email message sent to a recipient whose email address does not appear (as a recipient) in the message
A Blacklist collects known sources of spam. Email traffic then can be filtered against a blacklist to remove spam from these sources
A message sent by a receiving system that 'bounces back' to the originating server to alert the sender of the non-delivery
Hard Bounce
Message sent to an invalid, closed or non existent email account
Soft Bounce
Message sent to an active (live) email address but which is turned away before being delivered. Often, the problem is temporary - the server is down or the recipient's mailbox is over quota
Call to action (CTA)
Any portion of a landing page or email that drives a user to take a specific action, such as to click a link or to purchase a product or to provide an email address
Can-Spam Act
The CAN-SPAM Act, a USA law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations
Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL)
CASL is a Canadian law that aims to crack down on spammers and mailing list companies but in doing so, tightly regulates the way businesses can market to prospective customers via email and online. CASL requires a business to obtain consent from the recipient before it sends out commercial electronic messages (CEMs). It isn't limited to email; consent must be given for any electronic message, which could also include messages sent via social media, text messaging, instant messaging, sound or video
Carbon Copy (CC)
A CC, short for "carbon copy", is a copy of an email message sent to a recipient whose email address appears in the message's CC header field
When several documents and/or accounts are rolled up into a single account and delivered as a single attachment to one email address
Content filtering
A major goal is to ensure that the spam filters don't reject or place the email in the junk/spam/bulk folder based on message content. Spam filters block messages that are detected to match program-specified or user-specified criteria, such as words in the subject line like 'FREE', or messages that are detected to be machine-generated, part of a bulk mailing, or from a known source of spam. Other spam filters, such as Bayesian and heuristic programs, take a more complex approach to spam detection
Cost per acquisition (CPA)
Also can be Acquisition. A method of paying for advertising, or calculating results from non-CPA marketing
Cost per click (CPC)
A method of paying for advertising. Different from CPA because all you pay for is the click, regardless of what that click does when it gets to your site or landing page
Cost per thousand (CPM)
Cost per thousand (CPM) is a marketing term used to denote the price of 1000 advertisement impressions on one webpage
Customer Communication Management (CCM)
Customer Communications Management is a term highlighted by research companies such as Gartner Group, Forrester Research, InfoTrends, and Madison Advisors to define a convergent set of Information Technology solutions that together provide organizations with the ability easily create, manage and send communications to customers
Comma Separated Values (CSV)
A CSV file is a file with Comma Separated Values. CSV is a file format used as a portable representation of a database (or data file). Each line (or row) is one entry (or record). The fields (or columns) in the record are separated by commas
Click Through Rate (CTR)
(Click Through Rate) The number of times a link is clicked from a message divided by the number of delivered messages. This metric may be calculated as Unique CTR, which refers to the number of people that clicked or total CTR, which refers to number of clicks for a specific link
Click To Open Rate (CTOR)
Click-to-open rate, or CTOR, reveals the effectiveness of email content. With CTOR, unique clicks are divided by unique opens, and then expressed as a percentage. This basically tells you: of the recipients who opened the email, how many clicked. In this way, CTOR indicates how well the design and offers within a message performed. Since CTOR is based on open rate, which is only an approximation, CTOR itself is also a ballpark figure. Nonetheless, no other metric indicates how well your content engages your recipients
Data Subject
The person to whom the personal information relates (be it individual or juristic person) - so really the person or body to whom the data you have refers
Dedicated IP
A dedicated IP (Internet Protocol) is a unique Internet address dedicated exclusively to a single hosting account that belongs to your organization. This provides your organization sole control over what is sent and what reputation that IP address earns
Eliminate file records that are duplicates
Delivered Rate
The delivered or delivery rate refers to the amount of successfully delivered messages minus all failures, such as bounces
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
DomainKeys Identified Mail validates the identity associated with a message while being transferred over the Internet, holding it accountable for the message. DKIM uses public key cryptography to allow users to verify and maintain message integrity, and identify legitimate messages. The proposed standard uses DNS in the same manner as DomainKeys. DKIM also leverages IIM header-signing technology, ensuring signature consistency as messages are sent through networks
Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)
Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance standardizes how email receivers perform email authentication using the well-known SPF and DKIM mechanisms. This means that senders will experience consistent authentication results for their messages at AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! and any other email receiver implementing DMARC. A DMARC policy allows a sender to indicate that their emails are protected by SPF and/or DKIM, and tells a receiver what to do if neither of those authentication methods pass - such as junk or reject the message
Days Sales Oustanding (DSO)
A measure of the average number of days that a company takes to collect revenue after a sale has been made
A simple electronic consent process for electronic documents, requiring just one click to agree to go paperless, thereby driving paperless adoption
Email Cadence
The email cadence is the rhythmic repeating pattern of email communications and the frequency is how often campaigns and communication cycles run
Email client
The software recipients (online or through desktop/mobile applications) used to read email, such as Gmail, Outlook or Lotus Notes
Email Domain
AKA Domain. The portion of the email address to the right of the @ sign
Email Open Rate
The number of times an email is displayed (whether fully opened or within the preview pane) and recorded using a tracking image within an HTML format message. The open rate is worked out by dividing the number of opens by the number of emails delivered:Email Opens / Delivered Emails = Open Rate percentage
Email Prefix
The portion of the email address to the left of the @ sign
Email scrubbing
Otherwise known as email verification or email validation. The process of cleaning a list of email addresses by identifying any known issues in the format of the email address or correcting common user mistakes
Email Service Provider (ESP)
An Email Service Provider is a company that provides software, services and tools to send and manage email campaigns for other companies as a hosted service
Explicit consent
A process where customers will be asked if they wish to receive communications and they explicitly agree to the receipt of those messages. The customer will be able to unsubscribe from any message received
False Positive
A legitimate message mistakenly rejected or filtered as spam, either by an ISP or a recipient's anti-spam program
Feedback loop
An email feedback loop process service is where the receiving ISP will report back on any complaints received from an email recipient
Flat Design
Flat design refers to a style of interface design which removes any stylistic choices that give the illusion of three-dimensions and is focused on a minimalist use of simple elements, typography and flat colors
The frequency is how often campaigns and communication cycles run and email cadence is the rhythmic repeating pattern of email communications
FROM address
This is the email address associated with sending each email and appears next to the FROM name. This can be different from the reply address
FROM name
This is the name that is displayed as the person or company sending each email. It appears in the email recipient's inbox and is chosen by the sender
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
Short for File Transfer Protocol, the protocol for exchanging files over the Internet. FTP works in the same way as HTTP for transferring Web pages from a server to a user's browser and SMTP for transferring electronic mail across the Internet. Like these technologies, FTP uses the Internet's TCP/IP protocols to enable data transfer. FTP is most commonly used to download a file from a server using the Internet or to upload a file to a server (e.g. uploading a Web page file to a server)
Each time a given mailbox receives an email from an unknown contact, that mail is rejected with a 'try again later' message. (This happens at the SMTP layer and is transparent to the end user). This results in all mail being delayed, at least until the sender tries again. Most spam is not sent out using compliant mailers and therefore the spamming software will not 'try again later'
The email header is the information that travels with every email, containing details about the sender, route and receiver
Hardware Security Module (HSM)
Hardware Security Module. A physical device targeted at managing digital keys, and providing strong authentication to access critical keys for applications
Internet Messaging Access Protocol (IMAP)
IMAP, short for Internet Messaging Access Protocol, is an internet standard that describes a protocol for retrieving mail from an email (IMAP) server. IMAP allows email programs to access not only new messages but also folders on the server. Actions are synchronized between multiple email programs connected through IMAP
Implicit consent
A process where customers will automatically receive a message (based on a previous relationship or agreement of receipt of emails or text messages). The customer will be able to unsubscribe from any email at any time
Inbox Placement Rate
This is the ratio of emails that land in the inbox as opposed to the delivery of emails which measures whether an email successfully reaches the server rather than the inbox
IP address
A unique number assigned to each device connected to the Internet
Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Internet Service Provider. Examples: AOL, Yahoo!, Gmail
Juristic person
A group of people acting together for example as a company, close corporation, trust or body corporate
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol is an open, vendor-neutral, industry standard application protocol for accessing and maintaining distributed directory information services over an Internet Protocol (IP) network
List Hygiene
The act of maintaining a list, so that hard bounces and unsubscribed names are removed from mailings
A code to make an email address in either a text or HTML email immediately clickable (mailto:[email protected]). When the link is clicked, it usually opens the user's email client and inserts the email address in the To: link of a blank message
Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDN)
Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number: The number uniquely identifying a subscription in a GSM or a UMTS mobile network. Simply put, it is the telephone number to the SIM card in a mobile/cellular phone. MSISDN is the number normally dialled to connect a call to the mobile phone
Mail Transfer Agent (MTA)
Mail Transfer Agent (MTA). A server that forwards email from senders to recipients and stores incoming email
Multipart MIME
Multipart MIME refers to sending both an HTML and TEXT part of an email message in a single email. When a subscriber's email client receives a multipart message, it accepts the HTML version if it can render HTML, otherwise it presents the plain text version
Mail exchanger (MX)
A mail exchanger record (MX record) is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System that specifies a mail server responsible for accepting email messages on behalf of a recipient's domain
Open Rate
Open Rate is the percentage of unique confirmed opens divided by the total number of delivered emails. This metric may be calculated as total or unique. Opens / Delivered = Open Rate
Open relay
An SMTP email server that allows outsiders to relay email messages that are neither for nor from local users. Often exploited by spammers and hackers
Opened email
Any email that is delivered to a recipient's inbox and is then opened by that recipient and tracked as such through an image beacon
In the context of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4, 2013 (South Africa) - person/company that is contracted to process personal information for a Responsible Party, but is not under direct authority of that party. So your digital agency, WASP and print provider are all considered operators, as they process personal data on your behalf
A process allowing customers to add themselves to a mailing list, such as text or email. The customer explicitly agrees to the service and is able to remove themselves at any time
A process allowing customers to remove themselves from a mailing list, such as text or email. This is the act of unsubscribing from any communication received
One time password (OTP)
A password that is valid for only one login session or transaction
Personal Information
Any information or combination of information that can identify a living natural person or and existing juristic person
This is a process of including information available in the data within an email message in order for the communication to appear far more personal to the recipient. Personalization techniques include adding the recipient's name in the subject line or message body amongst many others
Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)
PGP stands for Pretty Good Privacy, a computer program for the encryption and decryption of data
Phishing (which is pronounced 'fishing') refers to email scams with the purpose of identity theft. Identity thieves send fraudulent email messages with return addresses, links, and branding that appear to come from banks and other companies. These messages are designed to 'phish' for personal and financial information (e.g. passwords, usernames, social security numbers, credit card numbers, etc.) from the recipient
Plain text
An email message that is purely text and includes no formatting code
The short summary text that appears at the top of an email. This text follows the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox. Many mobile, desktop and web email clients pull the first few lines of text to show you what the email contains, before you open it and so including a pre-header is important
Preview pane
The window in an email client that allows the user to scan message content without actually clicking to open the full message
Privacy policy
A clear description of how your company uses the email addresses and other information it gathers
Collecting, storing, collating, updating, modifying, retrieving, distributing, merging, linking or destroying of data - pretty much any action you could possibly do with data
Protection of Personal Information (POPI)
Legislation in South Africa aimed at regulating the processing of personal information by public and private bodies
The email address that receives responses from users who reply on email messages received. Can differ from the 'from address'
Responsive Design
An approach to web and email design to optimize how easily it is viewed and read on mobile devices
Responsible Party
In the context of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4, 2013 (South Africa) - any person or body which determines the purpose of and means for processing personal information
Reverse DNS
The process in which an IP address is matched correctly to a domain name, instead of a domain name being matched to an IP address. Reverse DNS is a popular method for catching spammers who use invalid IP addresses. If a spam filter or program can't match the IP address to the domain name, it can reject the email
Seed list
Email addresses placed on a list to determine delivery rate and/or visible appearance of delivered messages
The ability to slice a list into specific pieces determined by various attributes, such as open history or name source. Part of the List Hygiene process is to segment user data to allow for more personalized and user-centric communication
Sender score
Sender score is an indication of the trustworthiness of the email sender. Reputation management is vital and needs to be managed as an ongoing project due to the dynamic nature of the deliverability industry
Sender reputation
A metric that is used by email service providers and that is tied to your domain name and the IP address from which you sent your email that allows the email service provider to assess the likelihood that your email is spam or wanted by recipients. Sender reputation is compiled using data that includes, but is not limited to, spam complaints, email open rates, unsubscribe requests, IP address, the size of your email list, and the quality of your email list
Shared secret
Shared secret is a combination of customer information that is known by both the sender and the recipient that is used to unlock the attached document. It negates the need to remember complex usernames & passwords required to fetch documents off a website
Short Message Service (SMS)
Available on digital GSM networks allowing text messages of up to 160 characters to be sent and received via the network operator's message centre to your mobile phone. If the phone is powered off or out of range, messages are stored in the network and are delivered at the next opportunity - also referred to as 'texts' or just 'text messages'
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, the most common protocol for sending email messages between email servers
Snail mail
Postal mail
Spam can be defined as any electronic commercial message sent without the express consent of the recipient(s). Spam is also used as the vehicle for the delivery of other online threats such as spyware, phishing and malware
Spam Trap
Spamtraps are usually email addresses that are not created for communication, but rather to lure spam. In order to prevent legitimate email from being invited, the email address will typically only be published in a location hidden from view such that an automated email address harvester (used by spammers) can find the email address, but no sender would be encouraged to send messages to the email address for any legitimate purpose. Since no e-mail is solicited by the owner of this spamtrap email address, any email messages sent to this address are immediately considered unsolicited
A blacklist and IP-address database. Many ISPs check the IP addresses of incoming email against Spamcop's records to determine whether the address has been blacklisted due to spam complaints
Special personal information
The preferences, biometrics or personal views of an individual - the processing of which is subject to additional restrictions
Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
Sender Policy Framework fights return-path address forgery and makes it easier to identify spoofs. Domain owners identify sending mail servers in DNS. SMTP receivers validate the envelope sender address against this information, and can distinguish authentic messages from forgeries before any message data is transmitted
The practice of changing the sender's name in an email message, so that it looks as if it came from another address
striata: adj [strahy-ey-ta] orig. Latin circa 1600. Distinguished by furrows, stripes, grooves or channels. Striata: org [strahy-ey-ta] orig. Joburg circa 1999. Distinguished by groovy people enabling paperless communication through digital channels
Striata Encrypted
Striata proprietary encryption technology using 168 bit 3DES or 256 bit AES encryption to encrypt multiple documents which are then sent as a secure attachment by email. The resulting document has the extension: *.emc. Accessing the encrypted package requires an initial download of a small Reader application, which decrypts the package on the recipient's desktop or mobile device, using a password or shared secret if requested. Once decrypted, each document is viewed in the recipient's default application for that format - be it a browser, PDF reader, spreadsheet application or image viewer. The user experience is of a mini-website: land on an index/ summary page, navigate to different tabs, sort data in tables, view graphs, download PDF for printing or spreadsheet versions for uploading into financial management applications. This process is recommended for the protection of confidential information and when multiple documents of various formats need to be consolidated into a single, secured package for delivery by email
Striata Secure PDF
Striata Secure PDF is a PDF that is created and encrypted using the Striata Application Platform - it prevents unauthorized viewing, printing, editing, copying text from the PDF document and doing annotations. It is also possible to ask the user for a password in order to view the contents. To open the PDF document you need the freely available Adobe PDF Reader
Striata Transfer
Striata Transfer is a cross platform software application that enables the transfer of data in a secure, encrypted and compressed format
Striata Verified
This is Striata's way of assuring you that any Striata Emailed Document is from the sender that it claims to be from. This is achieved through a significant combination of 'verification' elements which, combined, are physically, practically and technically very difficult to copy, these include items such as SPF,DKIM, DMARC, personalization, Partial data and encrypted attachments
The process of joining a mailing list, either through an email command, by filling out a Web form, or offline by filling out a form or requesting to be added verbally
Suppression List
A list of email addresses you have removed from your regular mailing lists, generally because they have complained about receiving emails in the past. AKA Do-Not-Email list
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) animation
SVG, or Scalable Vector Graphics, is an XML based file format for describing two-dimensional vector graphics. It was created in 1999 by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) as a standard format for displaying vector graphics on the Web
This inserts a small sleep in an SMTP session for each RCPT TO after a certain number of RCPT TO's. If a spammer were to attempt to use your server to relay a message with, say, 10,000 recipients, and you inserted a five-second delay for each recipient, after the 50th, the spammer would be 'tarpitted,' and would most likely assume that their connection had stalled and give up
Regulating how many email messages are sent to one ISP or mail server at a time. Some ISPs bounce email if it receives too many messages from one sending address at a time
Time critical messages
Time critical messages are ones where the customer is waiting for the message before they can continue e.g. Forgot password or where the content of the message is time sensitive
Time sensitive messages
Time sensitive messages are ones where the content of the message is time sensitive i.e. the content of the email will no longer be relevant in 1 hours
Transactional messages
Transactional messages are operational in nature (as opposed to marketing content) and can be initiated by customer actions or automatically triggered by a system event, date or interaction
Formed from the words 'transaction' and 'promotional' it refers to adding relevant marketing messages, into existing transaction-related documents, such as statements, invoices, or bills
Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
The Web address for a page, typically beginning with http:// (or https:// for a secure page) and followed by www. and the domain name. E.g. https://www.striata.com
To remove oneself from a mailing list, such as email or text messaging
Wireless Application Service Provider (WASP)
Wireless Application Service Provider. A wireless application service provider (WASP) is the generic name for a firm that provides remote services, typically to handheld devices, such as cellphones or PDAs, that connect to wireless data networks. From Wikipedia
Web service
A web service is a method of communication between two electronic devices over a network (normally the Internet)
Whitelists are lists of trusted, opt-in emailers. Generally speaking, if you appear on the relevant whitelist or accreditation program, your emails will be delivered successfully. Very few ISP's have their own whitelisting mechanism at server level and tend to rely on users to whitelist at mailbox level
Extensible Mark-up Language (XML)
Allows you to define the tags (markup) that you need to identify the data and text in XML documents
Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT)
An XSLT style sheet can be used to transform an XML document into another form. This could be another XML document, or a document in a different format altogether, such as PDF, HTML