A recent study by the Email Experience Council highlighted the lack of standardization around Email definitions and metrics and found that inconsistency in these areas makes it difficult for marketers to manage and improve upon their campaigns and/or e-newsletters. That's why the IAB created a document that aims to guide marketers and vendors towards more consistency in what the current email terminology actually describes.
The proposed terms below represent the metric as a "snapshot" of, or at a "moment in time" within, a particular campaign.
These words and phrased are used throughout the proposed terms below and, as such, it may be helpful to refer to them prior to or during further review.
- Bounce: An Email that cannot be delivered to the mailbox provider and is sent back to the Email Service Provider that sent it. A bounce is classified as either "hard" or "soft." Hard bounces are the failed delivery of Email due to a permanent reason, such as a non-existent address. Soft bounces are the failed delivery of Email due to a temporary issue, such as a full inbox or an unavailable ISP server.
- Email Service Provider (ESP): A business or organization that provides the Email campaign delivery technology. ESPs may also provide services for marketing, advertising and general communication purposes.
- Inbox: Within a mailbox provider, the default, primary folder that stores delivered Email messages.
- ISP: A business or organization that providers internet access, and related services, to consumers.
- "Junk" or "Bulk" Email Folder: An inbox-alternative folder, within a mailbox provider, that stores Email messages that are, for various reasons or rationale, unable to be delivered to the inbox.
- Mailbox Provider: The Email program, and by extension the server, that hosts the targeted Email address.
- Preview Pane: A small window within a mailbox provider that allows the user to view some Email content without opening the Email.