Pardot Knowledge Base

Email Deliverability and Reputation Terms Glossary

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2016 | Print this Article
There are a lot of email deliverability and reputation terms you may run into while using Pardot, so we've compiled a list of the most important terms for you.
Term Definition
Abuse Complaint When a prospect marks an email as spam in their email client. These spam complaints are recorded in Pardot and will show up in your spam complaint reporting. The limit for abuse complaints is 1 per every thousand emails, or 0.1%.
Blacklist Lists of IPs or domains that are sending unsolicited email and engaging in email bad practices. There are different types of blacklists: public blacklists and private blacklists.
CAN-SPAM The US law that sets the rules and requirements for senders of bulk marketing email within the United States. The requirements can be found here.
CASL The Canadian Anti Spam Legislation that sets the rules and regulations for senders of bulk marketing email to or from Canada. The requirements can be found here.
Direct complaint When a subscriber complains that they no longer want to receive email from you by emailing our address. These cases are different from standard abuse complaints,  as Pardot gets a direct email from a complaining prospect.
DomainKey Verifies the domain of an email sender and message integrity to prevent email tampering. DomainKeys are like signing the back of an envelope to prove the message inside has not been tampered with.
Engagement How subscribers respond to the content you’re sending. Are your emails being opened and clicked through? Higher engagement metrics improves your reputation and deliverability. Lower engagement (including marking as spam) can decrease your reputation and deliverability.
ESP Email Service Provider. Email Service Providers enable a user to send permission-based marketing campaigns to prospects.
MTA Message Transfer Agent. An application that transfers email from point A to B.
Permission-based Marketing The practice of sending marketing communications to only those recipients who have consented to receiving them. Pardot operates on a permission-based marketing policy -- this means that every prospect in your account needs to give you explicit permission before you send them any marketing emails.
Prospect Someone who has given you explicit permission to send them marketing emails.
Reputation How your content and sending are judged. It’s a score (out of 100) tied to your IP address or domain that determines how trustworthy of a sender you are. Generally, reputation is calculated by a formula of engagement, abuse complaints, bounces, and send volume.
Spam Spamhaus defines spam as unsolicited bulk email. Unsolicited means that the recipients have not explicitly consented to receiving emails from the sender. Bulk means that the message is sent as part of a larger collection of messages, all having nearly-identical content.
SPF Sender Policy Framework. An email validation system designed to prevent email spam by detecting email spoofing, by verifying sender IP addresses.
Spamtrap 'Bait' email addresses that blacklisting providers and ISPs use for catching spammers. Spamtraps can be in old lists, purchased lists, and scraped lists, and they will never opt in to receiving email. The best way to stay away from spamtraps is to use permission-based marketing and clean old lists prior to sending through Pardot.
Transactional/operational email An email meant to be used for important updates not related to any marketing information. They do not require an unsubscribe link Transactional emails include confirmations, reminders, or important system-wide updates.
Unsubscribe When a prospect requests to be removed from a list. Unsubscribes must be honored in a timely manner. Failure to do so is a violation of CAN-SPAM.

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