MailChimp Glossary


A/B Test

Campaign type that tests up to three variations of the same 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 a campaign's archive page. Can be turned off.

Archive page

Online version of a 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 campaign subscribers received in their inbox.


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 campaigns, templates, and Automation workflows. 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 subscriber's web browser.


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


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

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



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

Banded template

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

Batch delivery

A method of sending that allows for a 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.

Black list

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.


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 campaigns, lists, and subscriber activity all in one convenient location.


MailChimp app that lets you use a list's signup form on an iPad or Android tablet.


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

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 a campaign, MailChimp tracking information is added to each url. When a tracked link is clicked in the campaign, this tracking info redirects the subscriber 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 a campaign and the overall percentage of clicks on each link.

Click Performance

The click performance report lists each URL from a sent 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 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 subscribers based on their association to the condition. Learn how smart (or conditional) merge tags work.


Feature that allows account users to comment on 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 subscribers into MailChimp.



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 subscriber 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.

Dynamic Segment

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



Feature that imports subscriber purchase activity into MailChimp. Only available with certain ecommerce integrations.


Tablet version of the Email Designer where you can create, edit, send, and collaborate on campaigns. Editor is available for iPad and Android tablets.


EepURL is MailChimp's in-house URL converter. EepURL generates shortened links to replace longer, more complex URLs. MailChimp uses EepURL for various different links provided to your throughout the application and website. The EepUrl Activity section of your Social Stats lets you see where in the world people are reading your campaigns.

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 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 subscribers 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 subscriber sign up date, a product purchase date, or even the subscriber's birthday that is used to send an automated email to a subscriber.



A tool on the Campaigns, Reports, and Automation workflow 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 subscribers across all lists in the account. All new customers start out on the Forever Free plan.



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


Feature that allows you to track subscriber activity from campaigns to a website that has the Goal tracking code installed. Segments can be created using subscriber Goal activity.

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 subscribers based on their interests or preferences. A group consists of a group title and group names (subgroups).

Group Name

The name of a subgroup under a group title.

Group Title

Designation given to a set of group names.


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 Inspection

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 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 subscribers who have opted-in to receive correspondence from you or your organization.

List Average

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

List Growth

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

List ID

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


MailChimp VIPs

MailChimp app that allows you to keep track of specific subscribers tagged as VIPs in the account.


User type with permission to create and send campaigns, import lists, and view subscriber 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 campaign content, like permission reminder, virtual business card data, external web content, or subscriber 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 campaign is viewed on mobile devices. Predesigned campaign templates have mobile styling applied, but you can add more customization if desired.


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 subscribers in an account during a 30-day billing period. Monthly plans offer more features than in Forever Free accounts.



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 campaign has been opened and viewed by your subscribers. 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 subscriber that indicates they've consented to receive email communications 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 subscribers 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 subscribers. When used in the "To:" field of the Setup step of the Campaign Builder, the subscriber'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.


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 subscriber'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 subscribers.

Publicity Settings

A list-specific setting that determines whether your campaign archives are tracked by Wavelength and othe parts of the Email Genome Project.


QR Code

Dynamically-created image you can put in a campaign that subscribers can use to access a coupon, signup page or other web URL.



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 subscribers 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 ecommerce 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 subscribers who share specific common field information.

Send Time Optimization

Feature that looks at your subscribers' 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

Subscriber information that indicates how the subscriber joined your list.

Social Profiles

Optional paid add-on that gathers publicly available social data about your subscribers 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's short URL, a suggested tweet including the short URL, buttons to share the campaign on Facebook or Delicious, as well as a QR code.

Social Stats

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

Soft Bounce

A soft bounce indicates a temporary delivery issue, such as the recipient's inbox is full, their server is down, they're on vacation and have set up 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.


Someone who has opted in to your list in order to receive emails from you.


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 subscribers into MailChimp. Learn tips for using tab-delimited files.


An HTML file that serves as a starting point for a new 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 subscriber's time zones. You can schedule your 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. 

Tweet Trends

A feature that allows you to see subscriber activities on Twitter. Requires setup of the Twitter integration.

Twitter Lead Generation Card

An integration that allows advertisers to create an easy way to sign up for MailChimp lists using Twitter. This service allows Twitter to pass back three pieces of information regarding new subscribers: Name, username or @twitterhandle, and the email address associated with the Twitter account.

Twitter Tailored Audience

A Twitter integration to match your MailChimp subscribers' email addresses to Twitter users for sending relevant, targeted tweets. Learn more about using Twitter Tailored Audiences with MailChimp.


Unique Clicks

A campaign report stat counted only once for each subscriber that clicks a link in a campaign.

Unique Opens

A campaign report stat counted only once for each subscriber that opens a campaign.

User Agent

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

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 the campaign will send to. The vcard provides subscribers 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 subscriber level reports.



A feature powered by the Email Genome Project that analyzes your list and compares your subscribers to other publicly available lists to find subscriber overlap. Once analysis is complete, Wavelength displays screenshots of publicly available email campaigns with similar subscriber profiles. The goal of the app is to help you contact those other MailChimp users and maybe form a relationship with each other.


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.


The primary tool for MailChimp’s powerful automation feature. Workflows allow you to package an email or series of emails triggered by a particular sending event.


An acronym for "what you see is what you get" that 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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