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Web Site Glossary Word Definitions

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Web Glossary

Term or Concept related to Web hosting services are not clear for you? This glossary gives meaning to much of the commonly used vocabulary associated with Web Hosting and the Internet.

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Absolute URL
The Internet address of a page or other World Wide Web resource that includes the protocol and complete network location of the page or file. The absolute URL includes a protocol, such as "http," network location, and optional path and file name. For example, http://www.acme.com/welcome.html is an absolute URL.

Active hyperlink
A hyperlink that is currently selected in a Web browser. Some Web browsers indicate the active hyperlink by changing its color.
Active page
The page currently being edited.
ActiveX control
A component that can be inserted in a page to provide functionality not directly available in HTML, such as animation sequences, credit-card transactions, or spreadsheet calculations. ActiveX controls can be implemented in a variety of programming languages from Microsoft and third parties.
A paragraph style usually used to render addresses on a page or to supply signatures or other indications of authorship. Address paragraphs are usually displayed in italics and are sometimes indented.
Anonymous FTP
A file transfer (FTP) service in which any user can copy files by logging on with the name "anonymous." See also FTP.
See Java applet.
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
The predominant method for encoding 7-bit characters on a personal computer. HTML tags and URLs must be in ASCII.
Authentication database
A database on a server that matches user names to passwords.

Background sound

A sound file that you associate with a page. When the page is displayed in a Web browser, the sound file repeats the number of times that you specify.
Base URL
An optional URL that you assign to a page to convert relative URLs on the page into absolute URLs. A base URL should end with a document name part, such as http://sample/sample.htm, or a trailing slash, such as http://sample/subdir/.
A resolution-dependent file format for images created by Windows Paint, PaintBrush, and other applications.
A named set of zero or more characters in a paragraph that can be the target of a hyperlink. In a URL, a bookmark is preceded by a number sign character.
Broken hyperlink
A hyperlink that does not correctly point to a page or other Internet file. A broken hyperlink indicates either an incorrect URL or a missing page or file.
See Web browser.
Bulleted list
A paragraph style that creates a single list element, usually indicated by a bullet character. Also called an unordered list.
Bulletin board
An Internet service that makes multiple discussion groups available.


Common Gateway Interface


A hosting service that simply stores and maintains a customer's server.

Dedicated Hosting

A company that provides all the equipment and assumes all the responsibility for the technical support and maintenance of Websites.
Default hyperlink
In an image map, the hyperlink to follow when the user clicks outside of any hotspots on the image. You set the default hyperlink by editing the Default Hyperlink field in the Image Properties dialog box.
The style of the second of a pair of paragraphs composing a definition list entry. The first paragraph in the pair is the term.
Definition list
A list of alternating term and definition paragraphs. Definition lists are often used to implement dictionaries in FrontPage webs. See also term and definition.
Discussion group
A Website that supports interactive discussions by users. Users submit topics by entering text in a form, and they can search the group using a search form or access articles using a table of contents.
Domain name
See network location.
Drop-down menu field
A form field that presents a list of selections in drop-down menu style. A drop-down menu form field can be configured to permit the selection of many fields or a single field.
An interactive program that can create and modify files of a particular type.
E-Mail (electronic mail)
A service for sending messages electronically, over a computer network.
Emphasis text
The HTML character style used for mild emphasis. Certain browsers display emphasized text as italic.
EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)
An extension of the PostScript graphics file format developed by Adobe Systems. EPS lets PostScript graphics files be incorporated into other documents.
A commonly used local area network (LAN) technology.
External hyperlink
A hyperlink to any file that is outside the current web page.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
A common type of document on the Internet that contains a list of questions and answers on a common theme. On the World Wide Web, questions are often hyperlinks to the answers.
A named collection of information that is stored on a computer disk. Also, an Internet protocol that refers to files on the local disk.
File server
A program running on a network that stores files and provide access to them. Also called server.
File type
The format of a file, usually indicated by its filename extension. Editors usually work on a limited set of file types.
An Internet program that displays information about the users currently logged on to a computer.
A method of protecting one network from another network. A firewall blocks unwanted access to the protected network while giving the protected network access to networks outside of the firewall. A company will typically install a firewall to give users access to the Internet while protecting their internal information.
In a URL, a single part of the path to a page. A folder is a named storage area on the computer containing files and other folders. In http://my.web.site/sample/test.htm, sample/ is a folder.
A set of data entry fields on a page that are processed on the server. The data is sent to the server when the user submits the form by clicking on a button or, in some cases, by clicking on an image.
Form field
A data-entry field on a page. A user supplies information in a field either by typing text or by selecting the field.
Form handler
A program on a server that executes when a user submits a form.
Formatted text
A mono-spaced paragraph style in which all white space (such as tabs and spaces) is displayed by the browser. In other text styles, the browser may ignore extra white space.
A named element of a frame set. A frame appears in a Web browser as a scrollable window in which pages can be displayed. You assign a page to a frame when you create a hyperlink to the page.
Frame set
A page that defines a set of named scrollable windows in which other pages can be displayed. Use a frame set when you want the contents of one part of the page to remain unchanged while the contents of other parts of the page change based on hyperlinks that the user selects.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
The Internet service that transfers files from one computer to another.
Gateway script
A paragraph type that is displayed in a large, bold typeface. The size of a heading is related to its level: Heading 1 is the largest, Heading 2, the next largest, and so on. Use headings to name pages and parts of pages.
Hidden field
A form field that is invisible to the user but that supplies data to the form handler. Each hidden field is implemented as a name-value pair. When the form is submitted by the user, its hidden fields are passed to the form-handler along with name-value pairs for each visible form field.
Home page
The starting point on a Web server. It is the page that is retrieved and displayed by default when a user visits the Web server. The default home-page name for a server depends on the server's configuration. On most Web servers, it is index.html or index.htm. Some servers support multiple home pages.
Horizontal line
A horizontal graphic element on a World Wide Web page often used to separate sections of the page.
See server.
Host name
See network location.
A graphically defined area in an image that contains a hyperlink. An image with hotspots is called an image map. In browsers, hotspots are invisible. Users can tell that a hotspot is present by the changing appearance of the pointer.
The CERN image map dispatcher. This program handles server-side image maps when the image map style is "CERN."
HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
The standard language for describing the contents and structure of pages on the World Wide Web.
HTML attribute
A name-value pair used within an HTML tag to assign additional properties to the object being defined.
HTML character encoding
A table that associates a numeric index with each character in a character set. The table is used when you create a Web page for use in a specific language.
HTML tag
A symbol used in HTML to identify a page element's type, format, and structure.
HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol)
The Internet protocol that allows World Wide Web browsers to retrieve information from servers.
A jump from text or from an image map to a page or other type of file on the World Wide Web. In World Wide Web pages, hyperlinks are the primary way to navigate between pages and among Websites.
Originally, any textual information on a computer containing jumps to other information. The hypertext jumps are called hyperlinks. In World Wide Web pages, hypertext is the primary way to navigate between pages and among Websites. Hypertext on World Wide Web pages has been expanded to include hyperlinks from text and hyperlinks from image maps.
IIS (Internet Information Server)
Microsoft's high-performance, secure, and extensible Internet server based on Windows NT Server. IIS supports the World Wide Web, FTP, and gopher.
A graphic in GIF or JPEG file format that can be inserted in a World Wide Web page. FrontPage lets you import images in the following formats and insert them as GIF or JPEG: GIF, JPEG, BMP (Windows and OS/2), TIFF, TAG, PCD, RAS, EPS, PCX, and WMF.
Image alignment
The specification of how images and text are aligned with each other on the page.
Image form field
A form field that displays an image in a form. By clicking the image, the user either submits or clears the form.
Image map
An image containing one or more invisible regions, called hotspots, which are assigned hyperlinks. Typically, an image map gives users visual cues about the information made available by clicking on each part of the image. For example, a geographical map could be made into an image map by assigning hotspots to each region of interest on the map.
The NCSA image map dispatcher. This program handles server-side image maps when the image map style is "NCSA."
Inline image
An image that is embedded in a line of text rather than in its own window.
Interlaced image
A GIF image that is displayed full-sized at low resolution while it is being loaded, and at increasingly higher resolutions until it is fully loaded and has a normal appearance.
Internal hyperlink
A hyperlink to any file that is inside the web page.
Internal web
A World Wide Website created within an organization and accessible only to members of that organization on an intranet.
The global computer network, composed of thousands of Wide Area Networks (WANs) and Local Area Networks (LANs), that uses TCPIP to provide world-wide communications to homes, schools, businesses, and governments. The World Wide Web runs on the Internet.
Internet address
See network location.
Internet database connector
A Microsoft IIS feature that allows your World Wide Website to access databases.
IP (Internet Protocol)
Internet software that divides data into packets for transmission over the Internet. Computers must run IP to communicate across the Internet. See also TCP.
IP address (Internet Protocol address)
The standard way of identifying a computer that is connected to the Internet, much the way a Phone identifies a telephone on a telephone network. The IP address is four numbers separated by periods, and each number is less than 256, for example, Your system administrator or Internet service provider will assign your machine an IP address.
IP address mask (Internet Protocol address mask)
A range of IP addresses defined so that only machines with IP addresses within the range are allowed access to an Internet service. To mask a portion of the IP address, replace it with the asterisk wild card character (*). For example, 192.44.*.* represents every computer on the Internet with an IP address beginning with 192.44.
ISAPI (Internet Server Application Programming Interface)
A high-performance Web server application development interface, developed by Process Software and Microsoft Corporation, which can be used in place of CGI.
A general-purpose programming language created by Sun Microsystems. Java can be used to create Java applets. A Java program is downloaded from the Web server and interpreted by a program running on the machine containing the Web browser.
Java applet
A short program written in Java that is attached to a World Wide Web page and executed by the browser machine.
A cross-platform, World Wide Web scripting language developed by Netscape Communications. JavaScript code is inserted directly into the HTML page.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group)
A color image format with excellent compression for most kinds of images. JPEG is commonly used on the World Wide Web for 24-bit color images.
LAN (Local Area Network)
A computer network technology that is designed to connect computers that are separated by a short distance. A LAN can be connected to the Internet and can also be configured as an intranet.
Line break
A special character that forces a new line on the page without creating a new paragraph.
See hyperlink.
A group of paragraphs formatted to indicate membership in a set or in a sequence of steps.
The Internet protocol that is used to send electronic mail.

A region on a page that displays a horizontally scrolling message.

Menu list
A list of short paragraph entries formatted with little white space between them.

Meta tag
An HTML tag that must appear in the portion of the page. Meta tags supply information about the page but do not affect its display. A standard meta tag, "generator," is used to supply the type of editor that created the HTML page.

MIME type (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions type)
A method used by Web browsers to associate files of a certain type with helper applications that display files of that type.

The ability of a Web server to support more than one Internet address and more than one home page on a single server. Also called multihoming.


Name-value pair
The name of a form field and the value of the field at the time the form is submitted. Each field in a form can have one or more name-value pairs, and the form itself can have one or more name-value pairs.

Nested list
A list that is contained within a member of another list. Nesting is indicated by indentation in most Web browsers.

Network location
In a URL, the unique name that identifies an Internet server. A network location has two or more parts, separated by periods, as in my.network.location. Also called host name and Internet address.

Numbered list
The World Wide Web page paragraph style that presents an ordered list of items.


OLE (Object Linking and Embedding)
An object system created by Microsoft. OLE lets the author invoke different editor components to create a compound document.

One-line text box
A labeled, single-line form field in which users can type text.

A single document in a World Wide Website written using the HTML language.

Page title
A text string identifying a page.

Paragraph style
Paragraph style specifies the type of font to use in a paragraph, along with the font's size, and other attributes. Paragraph style also specifies whether to use bullets and numbering, and controls indentation and line spacing.

A text string that allows a user access to an Internet service, if the service requires it.

The portion of a URL that identifies the folders containing a file. For example, in the URL http://my.web.site/hello/world /greetings.htm, the path is /hello/world/.

PCT (Personal Communications Technology)
An enhanced version of Secure Socket Layer. See also SSL.

A file format that compresses its image data with RLE-type compression, used by early versions of Windows PaintBrush.

One of a set of software modules that integrate into Web browsers to offer a range of interactive and multimedia capabilities.

Post Office Protocol 3

One of the network input/output channels of a computer running TCP/IP. In the World Wide Web, port usually refers to the port number a server is running on. A single computer can have many Web servers running on it, but only one server can be running on each port. The default port for World Wide Web servers is 80.

The settings and values that characterize an item on the web, such as the title and URL of a web, the file name and path of a file, or the name and initial value of a form field.

A method of accessing a document or service over the Internet, such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Also called type.

Proxy server
An Internet server that acts as a firewall, mediating traffic between a protected network and the Internet.

Push button
A form field that allows the user to submit a form or reset the form to its initial state.


Radio Button
A form field that presents the user with a selection that can be chosen by clicking on a button. Radio buttons are presented in a list, one of which is selected by default. Selecting a new member of the list deselects the currently selected item.

Registered User
A user of a Website with a recorded name and password.

Relative URL
The Internet address of a page or other World Wide Web resource with respect to the Internet address of the current page. A relative URL gives the path from the current location of the page to the location of the destination page or resource. A relative URL can optionally include a protocol. For example, the relative URL doc/sample.htm refers to the page sample.htm in the directory doc, below the current directory.

Root web
To access the root web, you supply the URL of the server without specifying a page name.

In a table, a horizontal collection of cells.

RTF (Rich Text Format)
A method of encoding text formatting and document structure using the ASCII character set. By convention, RTF files have an RTF filename extension.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Defines a way two mail servers communicate in order to transmit and receive E-Mail messages.

A type of computer code than can be directly executed by a program that understands the language in which the script is written. Scripts do not need to be compiled into object code to be executed.

Scrolling text box
A labeled, multiple-line form field in which users can type one or more lines of text.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
A low-level protocol that enables secure communications between a server and a browser.

A computer that offers services on a network. On the World Wide Web, the server is the computer that runs the Web server program that responds to HTTP protocol requests by providing Web pages. Also called host.

Server Name
See network location.

Server-Side Image Map
An image map that passes the coordinates of the cursor to a CGI handler routine on the server. Server-side image maps require your server to compute the target URL of the hyperlink based on the cursor coordinates.

Server-Side Include
A feature provided by some Web servers that automatically inserts text onto pages when they are given to the browser.

An ISO (International Standards Organization) markup language for representing documents on computers. HTML is based on SGML concepts.

Shared Hosting
Hosting service that allows you to effectively manage your site by sharing server space with other clients allowing for a lower cost of service.

Size Handle
The black rectangle displayed on a selected form field or hotspot. When you select a size handle, the cursor becomes a bi-directional arrow. Click and drag a size handle to reshape the field or hotspot.

Special Character
A character not in the standard 7-bit ASCII character set, such as the copyright mark ().

Strong Text
The HTML character style used for strong emphasis. Certain browsers display this style as bold.


One or more rows of cells on a page used to organize the layout of a page or arrange data systematically.

See HTML tag.

Tag Selection
A method of selecting a group of paragraphs and other objects on a page. Use tag selection to select the members of a list, an entire form, or a WebBot component. To tag select a set of objects, move the cursor to the left of the objects until the cursor becomes the tag selection cursor (an arrow pointing to the upper-right), and then double-click.

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)
Internet networking software that controls the transmission of packets of data over the Internet. Among its tasks, TCP checks for lost packets, puts the data from multiple packets into the correct order, and requests that missing or damaged packets be resent. Computers must run TCP to communicate with World Wide Web servers.

A set of designed formats for text and images on which web pages can be based.

The first of a pair of paragraphs formatted as a definition list entry. The second paragraph is the definition.

A small version of an image on a World Wide Web page, often containing a hyperlink to a full-size version of the image.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
A tag-based image format. TIFF is designed to promote universal interchanges of digital images.


Unordered List
See bulleted list.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
A string that supplies the Internet address of a resource on the World Wide Web, along with the protocol by which the resource is accessed. The most common URL type is "http," which gives the Internet address of a World Wide Web page. Some other URL types are "gopher," which gives the Internet address of a Gopher directory, and "ftp," which gives the address of an FTP resource.

An operating system typically used on proprietary workstations and computers. Some World Wide Web servers run on UNIX systems.


A subset of the Microsoft Visual Basic programming system. Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0, along with other browsers, can read VBScript programs embedded in HTML pages. VBScript programs can be executed on either the browser machine or on the World Wide Web server.

Video Clip
A short video sequence that can be embedded into a World Wide Web page. Video clips can be inserted into FrontPage using ActiveX Controls, VBScripts, Java applets, or plug-ins.

Virtual Hosting
Hosting service designed to provide you with the tools you need to effectively manage your presence on the Internet.

Visited Hyperlink
A hyperlink on a page that has been activated. Visited hyperlinks are usually displayed in a unique color by the browser.

Visual SourceSafe
A document source-control system developed by Microsoft.

Email Marketing Glossary

The part of a web page that is visible without scrolling. It is generally more desirable placement on a Website because of its visibility.If you have a "join our mailing list" tag on your Website, you should place it "above the fold" making it easy for visitors to opt-in.
Affirmative Consent
Another word for permission. The recipient of your email has been clearly and fully notified of the collection and use of his email address and has consented prior to such collection and use. Affirmative consent is not only a best practice; it is required by all reputable email marketing services.
Auto Responder
A program or a script that automatically sends a response when someone sends a message to its address. The most common uses of auto responders are for subscribe and unsubscribe confirmations, welcome emails and customer-support questions.
An email marketing message or a series of messages designed to accomplish an overall goal.
CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
Federal anti-spam legislation passed in 2003 that requires the following in each email: a legitimate header, a valid "From" address, a straightforward "Subject" line, an unsubscribe/opt-out link and/or instructions and a physical address. It also requires that all unsubscribes are processed within ten days of receipt.
Challenge Response
An automated message triggered by the receipt of an email for the purpose of identifying the sender as a trusted source. The challenge is a message to the sender of the email with instructions on how to validate themselves. If the sender provides a valid response, his email address is added to the recipient's list of trusted senders and his message is passed along to the recipient.
Confirmed Opt-In
A more stringent method of obtaining permission to send email campaigns. Confirmed opt-in adds an additional step to the opt-in process. It requires the subscriber to respond to a confirmation email, either by clicking on a confirmation link, or by replying to the email to confirm their subscription. Only those subscribers who take this additional step are added to your list.
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.
CTR (or Click-through rate)
The percentage (the number of unique clicks divided by the number that were opened) of recipients that click on a given URL in your e-mail.
Conversion rate
The number or percentage of recipients who respond to your call-to-action in a given e-mail marketing campaign or promotion. This is the measure of your e-mail campaign's success. You may measure conversion in sales, phone calls, appointments etc.
Email Blocking
Email blocking typically refers to blocking by ISPs. E-mails that are blocked are not processed through the ISP and are essentially prevented from reaching their addressed destination. ISPs actively block email coming from suspected spammers.
Email Newsletter Ads or Sponsorships
Buying ad space in an email newsletter or sponsoring a specific article or series of articles. Advertisers pay to have their ad (text, HTML or both depending on the publication) inserted into the body of the email.
An ezine is an electronic magazine emailed to a list of subscribers. Advertisers pay to have their ad (text, HTML or both depending on the publication) inserted into the body of the email. Buying ad space in an e-zine or email newsletter, or sponsoring a specific article or series of articles allow advertisers to reach a targeted audience driving traffic to a website, store or office, signups to a newsletter or sales of a product or service.
False Positive
Legitimate permission-based email that is erroneously blocked due to the limitations of current email blocking and filtering techniques. False positives are an industry wide problem. Currently, 17% of permission-based email is erroneously blocked.
From Line or Sender Line
The from line has two parts: part one is the "From Name" - such as "Constant Contact's Email Marketing Diva, Michelle Keegan." Part two is the "From Address" - the electronic address including "@" such as, "tips@constantcontact.com." Your recipients may see just the from name, just the from address, or both depending on the configuration of their email client.
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.
House List (or Retention 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 because it is 7 times less expensive to market to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. Use every opportunity to add to it and use it.
HTML E-mail
An e-mail that is formatted using Hypertext Markup Language instead of plain text. HTML makes it possible to include unique fonts, graphics and background colors. HTML makes an e-mail more interesting and when used properly can generate higher response rates than plain text.
Landing Page
A web page that is linked to an email for the purpose of providing additional information directly related to products or services promoted in the email.
Text links, hyperlinks, graphics or images that, when clicked or when pasted into a browser, send the prospect to another online location (e.g. a landing page or other pages of a website). Links in emails are a call-to-action. To be most effective in motivating action, links should be visible, clear and compelling.
Open Rate
The percentage of e-mails opened in any given e-mail marketing campaign, or the percentage opened of the total number of e-mails sent.
Opt-in (or Subscribe)
To opt-in or subscribe to an e-mail list is to choose to receive e-mail communications by supplying your e-mail address to a particular company, website or individual thereby giving them permission to e-mail you. The subscriber can often indicate areas of personal interest (e.g. mountain biking) and/or indicate what types of e-mails she wishes to receive from the sender (e.g. newsletters).
Opt-out (or Unsubscribe)
To opt-out or unsubscribe from an e-mail list is to choose not to receive communications from the sender by requesting the removal of your e-mail address from their list.
Permission-Based E-mail
E-mail sent to recipients who have opted-in or subscribed to receive e-mail communications from a particular company, website or individual. Permission is an absolute prerequisite for legitimate and profitable e-mail marketing.
Refers to email scams whose purpose is identity theft. Identity thieves send fraudulent email messages with return addresses, links, and branding that appear to come from credit card companies, banks and some of the Web's most well known sites including eBay®, PayPal®, MSN®, Yahoo®, and AOL®. These messages are designed to "phish" for personal and financial information (e.g. passwords, usernames, social security numbers, credit card numbers, mother's maiden name, etc.) from the recipient. For examples, see www.anti-phishing.org
Preexisting Business Relationship
The recipient of your email has made a purchase, requested information, responded to a questionnaire or a survey, or had offline contact with you.
Important note: Federal law recognizes your right to send email to people with whom you have a preexisting business relationship provided that you include a working unsubscribe link or instructions, however, be aware of the difference between your legal rights and best practices. Blasting off an email campaign to all of your past customers will likely engender bad will and get you a high complaint, or abuse, rate. First, forget about the customers who are more than one year old if you haven't emailed them before. To your remaining list, you may want to send a permission letter that reminds customers of their relationship with you. Then, encourage them to unsubscribe if they do not want to receive your future mailings. Your permission letter reassures your customers that you care about their permission, minimizes complaints and starts you off with a cleaner list.
Privacy Policy
A clear description of a website or company's policy on the use of information collected from and about website visitors and what they do, and do not do, with the data. Your privacy policy builds trust especially among those who opt-in to receive e-mail from you or those who register on your site. If subscribers, prospects and customers know their information is safe with you, they will likely share more information with you making your relationship that much more valuable.
Rental List (or Acquisition list)
A list of prospects or a targeted group of recipients who have opt-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. Be sure your rental list is a certified permission-based, opt-in list. Permission-based lists are rented, not sold. Don't be fooled by a list offer that sounds too good to be true. Save the $19.95 and buy yourself a George Foreman grill instead. Unlike the cheap list, the grill is worth the money.
Dividing your email list based on interest categories, purchasing behavior, demographics and more for the purpose of targeting specific email campaigns to the audience most likely to respond to your messaging or offer. Your list segmentation and targeting efforts pay off in higher open and click-through rates.
Signature File (or sig file for short)
A tagline or short block of text at the end of an e-mail message that identifies the sender and provides additional information such as company name and contact information. Your signature file is a marketing opportunity. Use it to convey a benefit and include a call-to-action with a link.
Single Opt-in (with a subscriber acknowledgement email)
The most widely accepted and routinely used method of obtaining email addresses and permission. A single opt-in list is created by inviting visitors and customers to subscribe to your email list. When you use a signup tag on your website, a message immediately goes out to the subscriber acknowledging the subscription (this is often accomplished using an auto-responder). This message should reiterate what the subscriber has signed up for, and provide an immediate way for the subscriber to edit her interests or opt-out.
Spam or UCE (Unsolicited Commercial E-mail)
E-mail sent to someone who has not opt-in or given permission to the sender. Do you get spam? (a rhetorical question, to be sure) Find out how the sender obtained your e-mail address.
The falsification of an email header so that the email appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. Illegitimate marketers use spoofing to disguise their identity in an attempt to commit fraud and avoid prosecution for sending UCE or spam. Federal law prohibits spoofing, however, until sender identity can be established, spammers will continue to escape the law.
Subject Line
The short line of type in an email that indicates what the message is about. Your subject line should be short (30 - 40 characters including spaces, or 5-8 words), and it should include a specific benefit that accurately reflects your offer in order to be effective. Federal law prohibits the use of misleading subject lines.
Suppression List (a.k.a. opt-out list)
A list of email addresses whose owners have asked to be removed from an email list so that they longer receive email regarding an advertiser's products or services. A reputable email marketing service makes this process automatic, however, if you use multiple email products, or have multiple databases from which you send emails, you should use a suppression list to process all unsubscribe requests across all lists.
Selecting a target audience or group of individuals likely to be interested in a certain product or service. Targeting is very important for an e-mail marketer because targeted and relevant e-mail campaigns, yield a higher response and result in fewer unsubscribes.
URL (or Universal Resource Locator)
A website, page or any other document address or location on the Internet. URLs indicate the location of every file on every computer accessible through the Internet.
USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
Your USP is the unique attribute(s) of your business that makes your company, product or service the best solution to a problem, the best way to fulfill a need or desire or the best way to achieve a goal. Your USP answers the prospect's question: "Why should I do business with you instead of someone else?"
Viral Marketing
A type of marketing that is carried out voluntarily by a company's customers. It is often referred to as word-of-mouth advertising. Email has made this type of marketing very prevalent. Tools such as "send this page, article or website to a friend" encourage people to refer or recommend your company product, service or a specific offer to others.
WIIFM or "What's In It For Me?"
The question at the forefront of every email recipient's mind when making a decision to open, read and take action on your email (e.g. click on a link, call for an appointment, visit an office or retail location).
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