MailChimp Glossary


A/B Test

Campaign type that tests up to three variations of the same email campaign to determine the better option. Subject lines, from names, content, or send times can be tested.

Abuse complaint

An abuse complaint occurs when your recipient clicks to "report spam" in their email program. The abuse complaint causes the recipient to be automatically unsubscribed and they will no longer receive your email campaigns.

Account notifications

General email updates about the account that are sent to the account owner. Account notifications only include those that are managed in the Edit Contact Info section in the Account Settings.


User type with full access to all editable parts of the account and who can create new account users, edit billing information, and close the account. Owners are admins by default but they can add additional users as admins too.

Advanced forms

A version of a list's signup form where HTML code is editable.

Affiliate Marketing

A type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards individuals for each visitor or customer brought in through the by individual's marketing efforts.

Learn how MailChimp handles affiliate marketing.


Application programming interface. An API is a way for web programs to connect with one another using code instead of an interface in a browser. You can use MailChimp APIs to perform the same tasks that you can perform inside the app.

View MailChimp's API documentation.

Archive bar

Toolbar that displays across the top of an email campaign's archive page. Can be turned off.


The complete group of people you target with your content. An ad audience may include individuals who have not yet joined your list.


A license plate for your email that provides a trackable identifier to indicate you're a legit emailer.


User type that can create, edit, and delete email campaigns, templates, and automation. This user type also has access to view report overviews.

Auto-convert video

An option within the Campaign Builder which looks for videos embedded within RSS content and converts the videos to a linked screenshot.


MailChimp's ability to post information to other apps or sites on your behalf.


Feature that automatically translates signup forms and response emails for a list based on the language settings in the contact's web browser.


A method of updating contact information in your list when importing a file.


A feature that allows you to build a series of emails that are triggered by a sending event and then sent to contacts over a set period of time.


In MailChimp, the term autoresponder refers to an older version of our automation feature. Both are email series that are triggered by a sending event and targeted to qualifying contacts over a set period of time.

To access the most updated features, convert your legacy autoresponders to automations.



The MailChimp logo associated with the MonkeyRewards program. Badges are required for Forever Free plans and are optional for paid plans.

Batch delivery

A method of sending that allows for an email campaign to be sent in chunks, at least a few minutes apart, to help alleviate website traffic floods to the sender's website. Batch sending is especially useful to help prevent crashing the sender's website from an overflow of expected traffic.


A list of specific email or IP addresses blocked from by an email provider or spam filter.


Bounces are undeliverable addresses to an inbox. When an e-mail bounces, it is classified as either a soft or a hard bounce.



An email you send to your list. Each bulk email that is sent to the list is considered a separate campaign. Unlike an advertising campaign that can include dozens of ads and take place over the course of months, MailChimp's campaigns are a single instance.

Campaign Builder

A wizard used to create, design, and send an email campaign through MailChimp. The wizard walks you through the different steps to select a list, set up campaign information, choose a template, add content, and send or schedule delivery.

Campaign page

Online version of an email  campaign that displays in a browser when someone clicks the View in browser link in a campaign's header. Can be customized using conditional merge tags to display information different from the email campaign contacts received in their inbox.


Created in 2003, this act sets forth the basic legal principles that differentiate legal and illegal commercial email.

Chimp Chatter

Activity displayed on the account dashboard that provides a quick, at-a-glance overview of recent email campaigns, lists, and contact activity all in one convenient location.

Classic Template

A predesigned email template based on business type and subject matter. Classic templates offer predesigned layouts and styles, along with editable regions for content.


An address that has hard or soft bounced and been removed from your list of subscribed contacts.

Clear styles

A button option within the text editor on the Design step of the Campaign Builder which allows all of the formatting for the selected text to be removed, thus leaving text ready to be reformatted or left as is.


When click tracking is enabled for an email campaign, MailChimp tracking information is added to each url. When a tracked link is clicked in the campaign, this tracking info redirects the contact through MailChimp servers before sending them to the intended web address. That redirect through our server will be logged as a click on your campaign report.

Click Map

A report feature available for Regular and RSS campaigns that displays a campaign preview overlaid with the location of each link in an email campaign and the overall percentage of clicks on each link.

Click Performance

The click performance report lists each URL from a sent email campaign and displays the total clicks versus unique clicks for each link. Links generated by merge tags, such as "View in Browser", "Update Profile", or "Unsubscribe" are not tracked and do not count towards your campaign's click report.

Click Rate

The number of clicks that occur in a sent email campaign divided by the number of people sent to on that list.

Conditional Merge Tags

A special set of text and characters used to create logic statements to display dynamic content to contacts based on their association to the condition. Learn how smart (or conditional) merge tags work.


Someone whose email is stored in your list. A contact's email marketing status determines what kind of content you can share with them. Statuses include subscribed, unsubscribed, non-subscribed, and cleaned.


Feature that allows account users to comment on email campaigns and correspond from outside of MailChimp.


Units of payment that are used for the pay as you go plan. They work like postage stamps for email. One credit is equal to one email sent to one subscriber.


File type for storing tabular data and a preferred file type when importing contacts into MailChimp.

Custom-Coded Template

A custom HTML email template you create in or import to MailChimp. Paste code into the Campaign Builder or upload your HTML from a file or URL.



DomainKeys Identified Mail associates a specific domain name with an email message which allows a person or organization to claim responsibility for the message.


Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance that standardizes how email receivers perform email authentication using the SPF and DKIM.

DNS Record

Domain Name System is a naming system that designates domain names and maps those names to IP addresses.

Domain Keys

An email authentication system that is designed to verify the DNS domain of the sender to prove message integrity.

Double Opt-In

Opt-in requirement where a contact must click a confirmation link in a follow-up email after they submit their information through a signup form.


Changing from a paid plan back to the Forever Free plan. Downgrading is only allowed once during the life of your account.

Drag-and-Drop Template

A customizable email template used in MailChimp’s drag-and-drop editor. These templates allow you to quickly add, delete, duplicate, and move content blocks in your campaign layout, and are optimized for viewing across devices.

Dynamic Segment

A reusable, editable segment of a list. Dynamic segments update when existing contact information changes, or when new contacts who meet the segmenting criteria are added to your list.


E-Commerce Features

Our suite of features that can automatically add contact purchase activity to your MailChimp account. Only available with certain e-commerce integrations.


EepURL is MailChimp's in-house URL converter. EepURL generates shortened links to replace longer, more complex URLs.

Email Beamer

A method of campaign creation which allows you to use a unique address to import an email from a regular email client.

Email Client

A desktop program or web application that displays and manages your email. Apple Mail, Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail are a few examples of popular email clients. Email clients often have a strict daily sending limit of about 500 emails per day. If you need to send more emails, an Email Service Provider (ESP) like MailChimp can help.

Email Designer

A tool within the Campaign Builder that allows email campaigns to have a very flexible and customizable layout through the use of drag-and-drop modules.

Email Genome Project

An application that scans MailChimp's users, the contacts they manage, and the messages they send every day for nuggets of information that we can use to improve our deliverability and train our Omnivore abuse-prevention algorithms.

Embed Form

Version of a signup form designed to be placed on a website.


An email service provider (ESP), like MailChimp, is a company that provides bulk email services and email marketing tools.

Event Trigger

List information such as sign up date, a product purchase date, or even the contacts birthday that is used to send an automated email to a contact.



A tool on the campaigns, reports, and automation pages used to display campaigns based on status, type, or list.

Final Welcome Email

Automatic email sent from MailChimp after someone confirms their subscription to a list. Off by default but can be turned on.

Forever Free

MailChimp's basic free plan that allows you to send 12,000 total emails per month and have up to 2,000 total subscribed contacts across all lists in the account. All new users start out on the Forever Free plan.

Full width template

An Email Designer template that has a band of color that stretches across the page and contains the footer information. Regular  templates are generally a single, solid color and have a defined border.



The location and time zone determined for your contacts by data that's collected when they sign up for your list or from email campaign activity. This information is used for our Timewarp feature, Top Locations, and in your contact profiles.

Google Analytics

A Google service that generates statistics about a website's traffic and traffic sources to measure conversions and sales.


Feature that gives you the ability to categorize contacts based on their interests or preferences. A group consists of a group title and group names (subgroups).

Group Category

Designation given to a set of group names.

Group Name

The name of a subgroup under a group category.


Hard Bounce

A hard bounce indicates an email that cannot be delivered. When a hard bounce happens, MailChimp will remove the address permanently from your list into the cleaned section.


Customized payment plan for customers who send millions of emails each month. Our billing team works with you to set up this type of plan.


Inbox Preview

A feature that allows you to quickly and easily see how different email clients will render your campaign's HTML content.


The type of business industry associated with your account (e.g., retail, education).

Industry Average

The Industry average displays the average reported percentages for email campaigns sent in the industry set for your account.


An Internet Service Provider is a telephone or telecommunications company that provides Internet access to its customers.



A collection of contacts who can receive email or social ads from your organization.

List Average

Provides real-time data showing engagement with an email campaign compared to other campaigns sent to the same list.

List Growth

Graph showing your list's contact growth trends over time.

List ID

A unique identifier for a list that's used by some integrations, plugins, and widgets.


MailChimp Subscribe

A MailChimp app that lets you create multiple  signup forms on an iPad or Android tablet.


User type with permission to create and send campaigns, import lists, and view contact-level reports. This user type cannot export lists, access billing information, or close the account.


Our powerful delivery API that can be used for personalized, one-to-one e-commerce emails, or automated transactional emails.

Merge Tags

A set of system- and list-specific tags that allow for dynamic and personalized email campaign content, like permission reminder, virtual business card data, external web content, or contact information.

Mobile Styles

An option within the Design tab of the Design step of the Campaign Builder which allows for the existing fluid layout to be further adjusted for a custom look when the email campaign is viewed on mobile devices. Predesigned campaign templates have mobile styling applied, but you can add more customization if desired.


A pop-up window that appears when a user takes an action that requires secondary action to complete.


A MailChimp program where you earn points toward purchases by displaying a badge at the bottom of your email campaigns. MonkeyRewards badges display on all campaigns sent from Forever Free plans but are optional for paid plans.

Monthly Plan

A payment plan that charges once per month based on the highest number of total subscribed contacts in an account during a 30-day billing period. Monthly plans offer more features than in Forever Free accounts.


Non-Subscribed Contact (Contacto sin suscripciĆ³n)

Un contacto que ha interaccionado con tu tienda en línea, pero no ha optado recibir tus campañas de email. Los contactos desuscritos pueden recibir los emails transaccionales y es posible enfocar en los desuscritos con anuncios.



An authorization method used when you log in to MailChimp from other accounts like Google Apps. It enhances security and usability by allowing two services to connect without having to provide your credentials again.


MailChimp's abuse-prevention initiative that keeps our system clean by gathering information from billions of emails and predicting bad behavior in campaigns before they are distributed.


A statistic that indicates the email campaign has been opened and viewed by your contacts. When an email is opened with images turned on, an invisible open-tracker graphic that we embed into your email is downloaded from our server. Each time that graphic is downloaded, we count that as an open on your campaign report.

Open Rate

A rate of opens calculated for each sent campaign. It's determined by the number of times the campaign was opened, divided by the number of people who received the campaign.


The act of someone granting permission to be added to a list.


The primary contact and administrator of an account who can invite and set permission levels for other users. Learn how to transfer ownership of an account.


Pay As You Go

A payment plan designed for sending campaigns less than once per month. Instead of recurring charges, you buy credits for the number of emails you need to send. Pay As You Go offers more features than the Forever Free plan.


Agreement from a contact that indicates they've consented to receive email marketing from you. MailChimp documents proof of this agreement when they join your list through a double opt-in signup form.

Permission Reminder

A line of text in the footer of each campaign that explains why subscribed contacts are receiving the email campaign, and sometimes, how they were added to the list. The permission reminder is created when the list is initially set up.


Content tailored to individual contacts. When used in the "To:" field of the Setup step of the Campaign Builder, the contact's name can display next to their email address in the sent campaign.

Plain Text

A campaign type that does not contain any images, rich text formatting, or links. This is the most basic type of campaign, so that your content will appear the same in any email client. Learn how to build a plain-text campaign.

Popup Preview

Another term for the preview mode available from the Preview & Test menu on the Confirm step of the Campaign Builder.

Post-Sending List Actions

Use post-sending list actions to reorganize contacts after they receive an email in an automation series, or when they finish an automation. For example, a post-sending list action could be used to move a contact from one group to another in the same list.


This content block appears at the top of predesigned campaign templates, and is often a call to action or teaser of the email content. Its content appears as the text that follows the subject line when an email is previewed in a contact's inbox.

Preview Mode

An option in the Preview & Test menu in the Campaign Builder that displays how your campaign should appear on a desktop or mobile device. You can also choose to view live merge tag information, to see how that content will appear for specific contacts.

Publicity Settings

A list-specific setting that determines whether your campaigns can be discovered by people who aren't on your list via tools and services developed by MailChimp.



An HTML email campaign type that contains images, rich text formatting, and links. A plain-text version is packaged with the Regular Campaign, so that contacts who don't view email in HTML can still see your content.


To make a copy of something. In MailChimp, you can replicate campaigns and lists to reuse their content or settings.


RESTful is the term used to describe APIs that follow representational state transfer (REST), a style of API architecture. RESTful APIs typically rely on HTTP verbs to retrieve webpages and objects, or "resources." MailChimp's API 3.0 is a predominantly RESTful API.


The process of checking each list that comes into our system to make sure it meets our Terms of Use. This review process of each new list helps us ensure MailChimp only sends permission-based emails.


Return on Investment is calculated by comparing the estimated cost of a campaign in MailChimp to the goals set up in Google Analytics or the e-commerce sales generated on your website.


A campaign type where content is automatically populated by blog content and triggered to send periodically (once a day, week, or month).


Saved Segment

A reusable segment of a list. Segments can be static or dynamic. Learn how to create a segment.


A section of your list that includes only those contacts who share specific common field information.

Send Time Optimization

Feature that looks at your contacts' click activity history to calculate the best time of day to send your campaign.


An email validation system that builds on the SPF premise to verify sender IP addresses in order to prevent email spoofing.

Signup Source

Contact information that indicates how the contact joined your list.

Social Profiles

Optional paid add-on that gathers publicly available social data about your contacts that can be used to send targeted emails to them based on their age, gender, or their presence on social networks.

Social Share

A feature available for sent campaigns which displays the campaign URL, a suggested tweet including the URL, and buttons to share the campaign on Facebook or Delicious.

Social Stats

When a campaign is shared by auto-posting it on Facebook or by including the social share merge tags, the campaign report tracks each like and archive click.

Soft Bounce

A soft bounce indicates a temporary delivery issue, such as when a recipient's inbox is full, their server is down, or they're on vacation and have their email set to away. MailChimp will try sending to that address again, but will clean a soft bounce after five failed sends.


A computer program used for email spam filtering and scoring that is based on content-matching rules.


A spam reporting service that allows recipients of unsolicited bulk or commercial email to report IP addresses found to be sending spam to the abuse reporting addresses of those IP addresses.


An international nonprofit organization that tracks spam operations and sources in order to provide dependable anti-spam protection.


Sender Policy Framework is an email validation system that verifies sender IP addresses to prevent email spoofing.

Static Segment

A reusable, non-editable segment of a list. Learn how to create a segment.

Subscribed Contact

Someone who has opted in to receive your email marketing campaigns. Also referred to as a subscriber. 


A temporary hold on sending placed on a MailChimp account due to compliance-related issues.


Tab Delimited

Simple text format for storing tabular data and a preferred file type when importing contacts into MailChimp. Learn tips for using tab-delimited files.


An HTML file that serves as a starting point for a new email campaign. This is the container for the campaign's content where the design layout and all content reside.


A campaign delivery method based on your contact's time zones. You can schedule your email campaigns to go out at the same time in different time zones.

Tiny Letter

A simpler email service provider suitable for sending personal letters to friends, fans, and followers.

Transactional Email

A one-to-one email prompted by a specific trigger event on the part of the email recipient or activity in an account they own. 

Transactional Recipient

Transactional recipients are customers who provide their email address through your connected store, but don’t opt-in to receive marketing from you. These recipients are only eligible to receive transactional email, and can't be sent email marketing campaigns.


Unique Clicks

A campaign report stat counted only once for each contact that clicks a link in an email campaign.

Unique Opens

A campaign report stat counted only once for each contact that opens an email campaign.

Unsubscribed Contact

Someone who was once opted in to receive your email marketing campaigns, but isn’t currently. Unsubscribed contacts can receive transactional emails and be targeted with ads. 

User Agent

Information that indicates which browser, OS, or email client is used by the contact.

User Type

Permission level assigned to different account users. There are four user types in MailChimp: Admin, Manager, Author, and Viewer.



A virtual business card linked within each campaign's footer using the default *|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|* merge tag. The information displayed in the vcard will change depending on the list that the email campaign will send to. The vcard provides contacts a quick way to add your sender information to their email address book.

Verified Domain

An email domain which has been authenticated, or confirmed, as being accessible by the sender. Verified domains confirm ownership of and access to an email domain.

Learn how to verify a domain.


User type that can view reports in the account but cannot access contact-level reports.



A convenient method for triggering specific behavior on a web page or web application with custom callbacks. Callbacks allow a client register an API endpoint and receive data in a predefined format, as it's pushed by the server.

Learn how to set up MailChimp Webhooks.


A list of email or IP addresses that have proven to be valid senders. Whitelists are used frequently with email applications to allow users to compile lists of senders they wish to receive email from.

Learn about whitelisting MailChimp emails.


An acronym for "what you see is what you get," which refers to text and image editors that allow you to see what your final product will look like as you are creating it. MailChimp's drag-and-drop Campaign Builder is a WYSIWIG editor.


ZIP File

A file format multiple files or folders that supports lossless data compression.

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