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Are You Baffled By Email Terminology?

Posted by sbh-admin on 18 04 2017.

Email and email terminology these days can be quite complicated, below you’ll find a list of the key terms you might come across or need:


A forwarder is a way to relay an email from one email account to another automatically as soon as the email is received. This can be useful if you have multiple email accounts and just want to be able to read all of the emails in one place. The only downside is that you can’t reply to an email received to another address and have the reply appear as though it came from the aforementioned account.

CC and BCC

CC (Carbon Copy) is a way to send an email to multiple addresses by copying them in, but not have their mail address in the main To field. Each recipient of the email will see the email addresses of people on the CC list.

BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) is another way to send multiple people emails, but putting an email address in the BCC field is a way to not have each recipient know the email addresses of other recipients.


A bounceback is somewhat similar to returning a physical letter to the sender. A bounceback message is received when the email fails to send. Potential reasons for this could be the recipient email account does not exist, the server is unavailable, the recipient’s inbox is full or perhaps your email address is being marked as spam.


This is an automatic email response. It’s often used for Out-of-Office automatic replies.

Shared Mailbox

This is an inbox that can be used and accessed by multiple people, but with this the password for the account in question is not shared by the users.


This allows somebody else to access and manage emails and calendar appointments for a user without giving them the password. This could be useful when you’re unavailable and need a colleague to manage emails and calendar appointments.


An email group is when an email address is created without a mailbox associated, any email sent to that email address will be received by any person (mailbox) associated with the group.


POP, IMAP, and SMTP are protocols for sending and receiving emails. Your email client (such as Outlook, Thunderbird, Mac Mail, and iPhone/iPad Mail etc) will likely use these protocols for connecting to the server. As a general rule, the login for the SMTP server will be the same as POP or IMAP (depending on your setup).

POP is useful if you wish to download emails from the email server and have them be removed from the server but still stored on your device as soon as your email client downloads them. This is not ideal if you have multiple devices (such as an iPad, iPhone, and laptop).

IMAP is a protocol that allows you to sync your email inbox with the server and any other devices. Generally when using IMAP, your emails stay on the server and your devices. When you read an email, the email will be marked as read on all of your devices too.

SMTP is the protocol used for sending emails.

Email Server

This is (in essence) the machine that your emails are sent to and stored on. When you receive an email, the email is transported from the sender’s computer, to their email server, and then to our email servers, and then to your device.

Inbox Limit

An inbox limit is the amount of storage your inbox is capable of holding. Imagine it as though it’s a USB memory stick getting filled up when you create and save new documents. Emails these days tend to be quite small so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever reach your inbox limit, but if you do your account will be automatically suspended by our servers once you reach the limit.

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