MailChimp terminology

Here is an alphabetical list of MailChimp terminology:


A single email, or a series of emails sent to a subscriber based on a trigger event.

Automation email

A single email that is part of an automation workflow. MailChimp refers to emails as ‘Campaigns’, as they are sent to a list of subscribers. Within Automation, they are called ‘emails’, as they go to a targeted subscriber.


Application Programming Interface. An API allows one application (such as MC) to communicate (or ‘talk’) to another application, such as Magento.


Used to be referred to as a List. An Audience contains your Subscribers.


A bounce is where an email is rejected by the email server. A hard bounce indicates an email address is no longer in use (i.e. a member of staff has left the company or someone has changed their email provider). A soft bounce can indicate a full email in-box, for example.


An email campaign that you send via MailChimp. It can go to an entire Audience or part of that Audience.


The cleaned portion of your list, which won’t be sent campaigns. Subscriber’s email addresses arrive in ‘cleaned’ when their email address hard or soft bounces.


Provides information with regards to website optimisation, online forms, conversion analysis and usability. This is an option within Campaigns / Setup.


Content Management System, i.e. WordPress, Wix, Squarespace.

Contact rating

Contact rating (star rating): Activity ratings provide a visual means to determine subscriber engagement levels. They take into account open rates, click throughs and bounces. The ratings are recalculated after each campaign is sent.


Within Google Analytics, a conversion (or ‘goal conversion) is the completion of an activity on your website. i.e. a customer subscribes to your email newsletter (a Goal conversion) or they make a purchase (AKA transaction, e-commerce conversion). See also ‘Goal’ .


Customer Relationship Management system, i.e. Salesforce.


Comma Separated Values. A .csv file can be used to import contacts into MailChimp.

Duplicate email addresses

A subscriber with a single email address can only be within an Audience once. If they have a 2nd email address, then they can be in there twice.


The process of removing duplicate email addresses from a list. MC scans your file when you import a list and removes any duplicate email addresses. Furthermore, when you add new subscribers to an existing list, MC scans for duplicates, bounces and unsubscribes that are already stored in the list you’re importing to and dedupes them.


The period of time between two emails within an Automation workflow. A relative delay depends on the email before it, whilst absolute delays are based on the trigger-date.

Double opt-in

New subscribers immediately receive an email from you. They are invited to click on a link, in order to confirm that they really want to receive your emails. This process ensures that subscribers are using their own email addresses in your opt-in box. MailChimp likes account holders to use double optin.


MailChimp’s URL shortening service.


An engaged subscriber who opens your emails and clicks on links.


An Email Service Provider i.e. MailChimp.


A Google Analytics term for a pre-determined outcome which you wish to achieve. You can set a monetary value for each Goal (which means that you can see the value of your conversions).

HTML: Hyper Text Mark-up Language

This is the computer language used to create (most) websites. It is read by a website browser, in order to create a web page for you to look at. If you click on <> with a MailChimp campaign text block you will see the HTML code that sits behind the text.

Non-subscribed contact

A customer who has interacted with your online store, but they have not opted in to receive your email marketing campaigns from MC. (Not exactly GDPR friendly).


MailChimp’s automated abuse-prevention system. It processes information from billions of emails and doesn’t like high bounce rates and unsubscribes.


When a new subscriber chooses to join your list via a signup form.

I hope that this list of MailChimp terminology / MailChimp glossary has been of help. Subscribe to my newsletter and learn more about MailChimp: