Glossary of Terms for Email Compliance

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To help you understand the terms commonly used when discussing SPAM and email marketing, we have compiled a glossary for your easy reference. Always, be sure to know the rules and regulations before sending out commercial messages. Read more about email best practices.


This is a list of IP addresses & domains of senders that have been listed as known sources of spam.

Bulk folder

Commonly referred to also as Junk or Spam folder in some email clients.


Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation establishes provisions and standards for all commercial electronic messages, including email, SMS, voice, IMs, and social media in Canada. Please check your country’s own Spam laws or review Aweber’s article on Meet the Anti-Spam Laws From Around the World.


This is the adherence to email laws and delivery best practices.


This is the permission an email recipient gives for a sender to contact them via email. In express consent, the subscriber clearly opts in to receive your emails. In implied consent, you have a relationship with the email recipient but they have not explicitly signed up or opted in to receive your emails. This could be the case if you have purchased from this business in the past.

Email Service Provider (ESP)

A company that sends email on behalf of its clients

From Line

This is information Indicates the sender of an email and is usually one of the first bits of information you will see in an email. Typically comprised of a Friendly From Address and a Friendly From Name, which is usually the sender’s or company’s name.


This is a form of identity theft in which a scammer uses an authentic-looking email to trick recipients into giving out sensitive personal information, such as credit card or bank account numbers, Social Insurance numbers, and other personally identifiable information (PII).

Safe Sender List

Email recipients (in most email clients) have the option to mark senders as Safe Senders, a practice also known as whitelisting. If your sending domain is on someone’s Safe Senders list, your emails will usually reach the recipient unimpeded.


This is a generic term that refers to any company sending emails to a large number of subscribers.


Spam is an unsolicited email and should be avoided.

Spam Filter

A mechanism used to identify spam email and keep it out of the recipient’s inbox.


The process of joining a mailing list, either through an email command, by filling out a web form, or offline by filling out a form or requesting to be added verbally


 The person who has specifically requested to join a mailing list.


By law, every commercial email must offer the recipient the choice to no longer receive email messages or other communications. This is one of the most important requirements of compliance.

Written by Digital Marketing by Design

Sharon King is a WordPress and Email Marketing Specialist, solving your technical and business needs virtually.

June 8, 2019

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