EMAIL GLOSSARY

May 16, 2000 6:55 PM  By

ASP: Application service provider; a third-party provider of Web-based services or applications.

Autoresponder: Program that enables you to send an automatic e-mail response to incoming e-mails; for instance, a “thank you” in response to all online orders even if you haven’t yet processed the order.

Bayesian filter: Technique that looks beyond subject lines and headers into the entire e-mail message to identify spam; Bayesian filter software refines its spam-identifying criteria the more it analyzes messages.

Blacklist: List of the domains or IP names of suspected spammers, used by ISPs and other companies to block suspicious incoming e-mail.

Can-Spam: Controlling the Assault of Nonsolicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003; law implemented to punish spammers; requirements include a valid “from” line, physical address, and opt-out link in every e-mail message, and processing of opt-out requests within 10 days of receipt.

Click-through rate: Percentage of clicks registered on the e-mails sent in a given campaign.

Dedicated server: E-mail server used by only one sender.

DomainKeys: Technology proposal by Internet service provider Yahoo! designed to give e-mail providers a mechanism for verifying both the domain of each e-mail sender and the integrity of the messages sent; once the domain can be verified, it can be compared to the domain used by the sender in the “from” field of the message to detect forgeries and help ward off spoofers and phishers.

Double opt-in: Process that requires no names on an e-mail list to take a specific action (such as clicking on to a confirmation page) to ensure that they have indeed opted in to receive messages as a part of the list; also called confirmed opt-in.

Dynamic content: Content that changes per recipient, based on each recipient’s history or preferences.

E-mail appending: Adding e-mail addresses to a list of postal addresses.

E-mail newsletter: Regularly transmitted e-mail message emphasizing editorial content rather than selling content; also called ezine.

Event-triggered e-mail: Preprogrammed messages that are sent in response to specific dates or events, such as a “happy birthday” e-mail to names on your list who have provided their birth date.

Filter: Software the blocks or sorts incoming e-mailing, based on criteria regarding message headers, from addresses, or content.

Hard bounce: E-mail message that is undeliverable because of an erroneous address or other permanent cause.

Hijacking: Sending an e-mail that, when the recipient opens the message or clicks on the attachment, unleashes a virus that infiltrates and “spoofs” the recipient’s e-mail address, allowing a spammer to actually use that computer to send more spam.

IP address: Internet Protocol address; unique numerical identifier of a computer or server that has access to the Internet.

ISP: Internet service provider.

M-commerce: Mobile commerce; marketing via a mobile device such as a cell phone or a PDA; also called wireless commerce.

MSP: Mail service provider.

Open rate: The percentage of sent e-mails that were actually opened by recipients.

Opt-in: Request by a prospect or customer to be included on an e-mail list; an opt-in list consists only of individuals who specifically asked to be included.

Opt-out: Request by a person to be removed from an e-mail list; an opt-out list is created by adding names to a list without contacting those individuals first, and removing them only if they request removal.

Phishing: Fraudulent solicitation for account information, such as credit-card numbers and passwords, by impersonating the domain and e-mail content of a company to which users have entrusted the storage of these data. The e-mail message will direct the recipient to a Website resembling that of the legitimate company; the site will include a form for the recipient to input his personal information, which the scammer can use for identity fraud.

Preview window: Window in an e-mail client that allows the user to view the beginning of a message without actually clicking on the e-mail to open it; this complicates efforts to determine open rates.

ROKSO: Register of Known Spam Operators, a list of spam operators that have been thrown off at least three ISPs (www.spamhaus.org/rokso)

RSS: Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication; means of distributing dynamic content to subscribers via an XML (Extensible Markup Language) format rather than e-mail.

Sender ID: Proposed authentication standard that is a merged proposal between the authors of SPF and Microsoft’s Caller ID.

Sender policy framework (SPF): Allows mail servers to distinguish forgeries from “genuine” e-mail from a domain; works before the message body is transmitted, saving ISPs and other e-mail recipients the bandwidth cost of downloading the message and the cost of filtering it.

Soft bounce: E-mail message that is returned because of a temporary problem, such as a full mailbox.

Spam: Unsolicited commercial e-mail.

Spoofing: Forging of another person’s or company’s e-mail address to get users to trust and open a message.

Suppression list: List of names who requested to opt out or unsubscribe to an e-mail list; also called do-not-email file.
Whitelist: List of e-mail senders, domain names, and IP addresses whose messages are authorized to pass through an ISP’s or a company’s e-mail filters.