E-mail terms, definitions

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Click-through rate: The number of recipients who click on links to additional information in your marketing messages.

Hard bounce: Undeliverable messages that come back due to a variety of reasons. Some hard bounces happen because of spam filters—your recipient’s mail server rejects messages outright—while others occur because your recipient’s e-mail address isn’t current.

Opens: A delivered message isn’t valuable until it’s opened at the very least. Your open rate is the number of people who received and opened your message. This number can be distorted by multiple opens from a single recipient.

Soft bounce: These undeliverable messages often make it through in the end. Usually, soft bounces occur when a recipient’s mailbox is temporarily full.

Unique opens: The total number of people who opened your marketing message.

Unsubscribe rate: The number of people who ask to no longer receive your messages. Experts suggest providing a field so people can explain why they are making this choice.

—Karen J. Bannan

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