Have you ever felt lost in a sea of design industry jargon? We have. There are some words we see and use every day that should have simple, no-nonsense definitions. This is why we created the email design glossary here. Now all those pesky words are in one place, in alphabetical order. So the next time you need a refresher, make sure to bookmark this page and come back here!
A/B testing compares two variations of a design (from subject linest o email design layouts to CTA buttons, etc.). Often, one version is sent to one segmented audience (group "A") while another version is sent to the other segment (group "B") at the same time; then, response rates to both versions are compared.
a short keyword-rich phrase describing an image, which can help with SEO; alt text usually appears when a mouse pointer hovers over an image
linked text that, when clicked, takes you to a specific place in an email, or on a page, without needing to scroll (here's a quick tutorial on anchor links - plus, see the alphabetical anchor links we included above!)
an image format that allows for multiple frames, in order to provide an animated sequence
Animated GIF by Warby Parker
a call-to-action button that's written in HTML so it renders across all inboxes (but you don't need to know how to code to make one!)
call to action (CTA)
a short imperative phrase that usually appears on a button and motivates users to take action (like clicking through to a site, landing page, etc.); the better the phrase, the more clicks you'll probably get
a U.S. law that sets the rules for email and "establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations"
similar to a GIF, a cinemagraph is a still photo where a specific section or element has a repeated movement
Via the Flickr Group: Cinegraph--More Than a Photo
a "live" timer that counts down to a set date and time, in order to create urgency (here's how to make one!)
fallback content is what readers see when your original content—like an image or particular font—fails to load because of an email client compatibility
the last content block in an email, which often includes fine-print, like a physical business address and an unsubscribe link to comply with anti-spam laws (so make sure you know footer design best practices)
a full-bleed email layout with an edge-to-edge appearance, that extends to the full width of your screen; typically more noticeable on desktop and tablets, and sometimes referred to as full-width or edge-to-edge
CTA button in whichthe background color is transparent, just like the Twitter “Follow” button on this tweethttps://twitter.com/chadswhite/status/765941284917899265?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Femaildesign.pantheonlocal.com%2F2016%2F08%2Fbest-tips-from-the-litmus-email-design-conference%2F
stands for "Hypertext Markup Language"; often used to describe emails that are built like websites, with images and colors instead of with plain text
an email that's made entirely of, or mostly with, a single image—not a design best practice (we explain why here)
“email interactivity” refers toan action taken in anemail that triggers an event within the same email (like tappable pop-ups, drop-downs, videos)
part or all of an email comprised of "plain text" that reliably renders, using email-safe fonts like Arial, Georgia, and Helvetica
a placeholder for dynamic content, like a |FIRSTNAME| tag that gets populated with your subscriber's name upon sending
when you implement various design practices (like responsive design) to optimize a design's effectiveness on a mobile screen
empty space surrounding and separating content blocks (this makes a big difference!)
the text that follows the subjectline in the inbox, often used by readers as a screening tool
the practice of optimizing images for a phone's retina display by compressing them to avoid blur (here's how to do this!)
when a design is coded to detect the device it's being viewed on, so that it resizes (or "responds") to fit the device's dimensions/size parameters
small drawings similar to icons—usually without borders or backgrounds—that are often designed to appear alongsidetext
UNIQLO spot illustrations
a design foundation that's standardized (e.g., with the same header and footer layout) to improve workflow efficiency and provide a framework for delivering well-designed messages that are always on-brand
What You See Is What You Get text editor that allows users/editors/designers to create HTML emails without needing to know how to code (think WordPress)How would you define the words mentioned here? And, what other words do you want to define? Share them in our comments section!