Bob’s Jargon Buster

Acceptable Spam Report Rate

The acceptable level of your emails sent that are reported as SPAM before harming your sender reputation. Typically the acceptable level is 0.1% (1 email per 1000) before being reported as a sender of SPAM.

Topic: Email Marketing

Acceptance Rate

Also referred to as Deliverability Rate,this is the percentage of your sent email campaign messages that are accepted by your recipients mail servers. Just because an email is accepted by the mail server does not mean it will get to an inbox. Even legitimate email can be mistakenly labelled as SPAM.

Topic: Email Marketing


A list that identifies the source of Spam email. If your emails exceeding the Acceptable Spam Report Rate you will be added to a Blacklist. Email servers around the world use Blacklists to identify the sources of Spam Email and will mark all emails from those senders as Junk.

Topic: Email Marketing

Bounce Rate

The percentage of your email campaign messages that are not delivered to recipients. There are two types of bounces, hard and soft. An acceptable bounce rate is less than 5%, above which you risk being identified as a source of spam email and added to a Blacklist.

Topic: Email Marketing


Short for ‘Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003’, a law that defines the rules and requirements for commercial email. It provides email recipients the right to stop senders emailing you, and lays out consequences for violations of the Act.

Topic: Email Marketing

False positive

This is when a legitimate permission-based email is incorrectly filtered or blocked as spam.

In other words, the person confirmed they wished to receive your emails by subscribing using Double Opt-In but your email to them was marked as spam.

False positives are a common occurrence since mail systems do not check whether the recipient requested the email in the first place. False positives can be avoided by following best-practice guidelines on designing marketing emails.

Topic: Email Marketing


A email address created specifically by organizations trying to combat spam that, when a spammer adds to their mailing list and emails, identifies that sender as a spammer.

Also referred to as a ‘Spamtrap’.

Topic: Email Marketing

List Segmentation

The selecting of a target audience of subscribers for your email marketing list based on their interests, activities or demographics. For example, a segment could be subscribers who own a saloon car which is more than 5 years old who live within a 50 mile radius of your location. Or they could be subscribers who clicked on any link in your last email marketing campaign.

List segmentation is essential to ensure subscribers are sent relevant email campaigns from you, thereby getting a higher level of engagement and less unsubscribes and spam reports.

Topic: Email Marketing

Rental List (or Acquisition List)

A list of subscribers available for rent or purchase. Usually of people who have requested information on specific topics.

Use of rental lists is highly inadvisable. Often lists can be of poor quality, or may contain email addresses that have been illegally added.

There is a high risk of being labelled as a spammer if recipients were not expecting to receive your emails.

Topic: Email Marketing

Reverse DNS (rDNS)

A method of determining the domain names associated with an IP address. It’s basically the opposite of DNS, which determines the IP address of a domain.

Email systems check to see if the IP address recorded inside the email matched the sender’s email address. If it doesn’t match then it may treat the email as spam.

A reverse DNS check helps filter out spam email sent from someone other than the owner of the domain name.

Topic: Email Marketing, Websites

Shared IP

An IP address that is shared between many different organisation. For example, if hosting your website on a shared platform you will be given a shared IP address by default. The downside to a shared IP address is that another person can damage the reputation of that address and thereby affect your business. An example of this would be the sending of spam emails from a shared mail service.

Many hosts give the option to purchase a dedicated IP address.

Topic: Email Marketing, Websites

Spam (or Unsolicited Commercial Email)

Email sent to someone who has not opted-in or given permission to be emailed by the sender.

Over 90% of all email sent is classified as spam. Luckily most of it is filtered out automatically!

Topic: Email Marketing


A email address created specifically by organizations trying to combat spam that, when a spammer adds to their mailing list and emails, identifies that sender as a spammer.

Also referred to as a ‘Honeypot’.

Topic: Email Marketing

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