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CMA - Direct Mail Glossary
Category: General technical and industrial > Mailing
Date & country: 06/10/2008, CAN
Words: 200


Add-on
A related product offer sometimes included in the original promotion, otherwise as a follow-up communication. (Example: accessory items such as head sets or remote control devices for use with applicable audio equipment)

Address accuracy
The level of matches that a database attains when compared to a national address database.

Address block
The format in which the name and address is printed on top of letters and applications.

Address correction requested
An endorsement which authorizes Canada Post Corporation (CPC) to charge a fee to provide a new address (where known) of a person no longer at the address on the mailing piece.

Attrition rate
The percentage of customers who are not likely to renew or complete their commitment.

Back end
The activities necessary to complete a transaction once an order has been received and/or the measurement of a buyer's performance after ordering the first item in a series.

Bangtail Bre
A promotional or payment envelope with a second flap, that is perforated and designed to be used as an additional order form or change of address form.

Bar code
A coding structure printed/lasered on a mailing piece which is used for sortation by CPC or used for internal tracking.

Batch processing
Technique of executing a set of computer programs/selections in batches as opposed to executing each order/selection as it is received. Batches can be created by a computer programme or by manual collection of data into groups.

Benefits
An outline, listing or description of advantages the prospect will realize in using the product. Most benefit statements should be 'you' oriented.

Bill insert
Secondary document, usually of a promotional nature, mailed along with a customer's bill to make optimal use of the mailing. (See Statement Stuffer)

Bind - in
A promotional response device with a reply or order form that is stitched directly into the spine of a magazine.

Bingo card
A response device used routinely by magazines where readers can request one or more pieces of additional information, by circling select numbers on a self-mailer card.

Bleed
In printing, the extension of color to the very edge of a page. The effect is produced by printing on over-sized paper and trimming to final size.

Blow - in
A loose promotional card inserted in a publication during assembly process.

Blueprint (printing proofs, blues)
A printer's copy of direct mail material for review and possible correction before final press run. So called, because it is generally printed in blue ink.

Body copy
The principal portion of the message without headlines or illustrations but including descriptions, benefits and features of the product or service.

Bounce back
An additional offer enclosed within a product shipment made to customers.

BRC
A Business Reply Card included in a mailing to simplify the reader's response. One side is devoted to an order or request form, the other to a return address. Normally, the BRC includes pre-paid postage.

BRE
A Business Reply Envelope, included in a mailing to simplify the reader's response. Normally, the BRE includes pre-paid postage.

Breakeven
Dollars of response, measured by order margin, are equal to the total cost of promotion. (Breakeven for the business means the order margin must equal promotion plus all other costs).

Brochure
A multi-page presentation of the offer which may include product or service descriptions, 'sell' copy, benefits, features, pricing, discounts for quantity purchases, ordering instructions and a call-to-action.

Buckslip
A separate insert, generally in dollar bill size, which provides additional rationale and/or incentives (bonus offer, premiums, etc.) designed to encourage the reader's response.

Bulk mail
A category of Third Class Mail with Canada Post Corporation (CPC) involving a large quantity of identical pieces - specially processed for mailing before delivery to the post office.

Bulk postage rate
A reduced postage rate offered by CPC to mailers who can accept less than first class delivery speed. The bulk rate privilege requires special processing by the mailer - postal code sorting, banding, etc.

Business to business
Marketing efforts directed from one business to another.

Business to consumer
Marketing efforts directed from one business to a consumer.

Call out
Short blocks of copy that direct reader attention to special benefits or features worthy of emphasis.

Call to action
Copy that encourages the reader to respond and provides clear details on how (i.e., by mail, 1-800#, website, fax) and expiry date for response.

Card deck
Generally, a series of postcards (each promoting a separate product or service) in one mailing. Each card will normally include a trackable mechanism for reader's response.

Carrier route
Mail which identifies the carrier walk number for mail delivery by CPC. Mailers who sort down to carrier walk can mail at the carrier walk discount rate.

Catalogue
A multi-page pamphlet or book detailing a variety of products, most frequently with illustrations, and including an order form. Larger and more detailed than either a brochure or flyer.

Cells
In reference to lists, a cell is a statistical unit or units; a group of individuals selected from a file on a common basis and isolated as a group.

Chromalyn
Proofs made using the DuPont system of mixing colored dye powders to approximate PMS colors, putting them into solution and applying them to a carrier sheet.

Circulation
Of a print publication, the total number of copies distributed.

CMA service
This free service enables individuals to reduce the number of marketing offers they receive by mail, telephone and fax. Consumers can register to have their names removed from marketing lists held by members of the Canadian Marketing Association.

Co - op
The inclusion of several different offers (not necessarily related products) in a single mailing.

Combination
A mailing in which more than one product or service is offered.

Control
Standard against which test results are compared. For example, a previously utilized direct-mail package that is compared to test packages that have some variation in copy or that employ new concepts in graphic design.

Controlled circulation
Usually the number of paid subscribers to a publication.

Conversion rate
The ratio of inquiries converted to buyers. This ratio is used to track two-step programs, such as trial offers or lead generation with the percentage of responses converted to customer status.

Copy testing
The use of two (or more) messages mailed to selected individuals in the same audience. By utilizing different codings on response forms, it can be determined which message drew the larger percentage of requests or orders.

Cost per inquiry
A simple arithmetical formula derived by dividing the total cost of a mailing or an advertisement by the number of inquiries received.

Cost per order
Similar to Cost Per Inquiry except based on actual orders rather than inquiries.

Cost per piece
Total cost to produce each individual mail piece divided by the total quantity mailed. Includes all agency, data, production and back-end processing costs.

Cost per thousand (CPM)
A standard way to compare costs. The entire promotional cost of a mailing package is divided by one thousand. May include all operations to get packages into the mail stream: production; rental of outside mailing lists; postage costs; and fulfillment.

Coupon
A promotional piece intended to be filled in by the inquirer or customer and returned to the advertiser.

CPC
Canada Post Corporation

Creative
All elements of a direct mail package, including copy, font style, images, colours, etc.

Criteria
Distinguish one list from another, one segment from another, one selection from another by looking at the attributes of each customer.

Crop marks
Limit lines drawn on a photograph or design area, designed to enhance the illustration by eliminating distracting elements or an extraneous background and establishing where the trim lines for printing will occur.

Cross - section
Statistical selection of a representative sample.

Cross - selling
Encouraging customers to buy products from other departments or categories, beyond the initial offering.

Customer base
Those individuals and companies which you regard as your primary market. In other applications, the phrase is used to identify those who have purchased from you on at least one occasion.

Customer profile
A statistical picture of the typical buyer of your product as drawn from purchasing records and other market research sources. Includes demographic and psychographic descriptions, containing such data as customer's size, location, type of industry, dollar amount of orders, buying habits, etc.

Data card
Information/description of a specific mailing list - source, type of buyers, titles (if appropriate), recency of list, prices, selection options, etc. Available from brokers or list owners.

Database
A collection of tables which often includes forms for entering data, rules for checking and validating data that which has been entered, and the format for creating informative reports.

Demographics
Socio-economic characteristics pertaining to a geographic unit (city, postal codes, group of households, education, ethnicity, income level, etc.)

Digital proof
An off-press color proof produced from digital data without the need for traditional separation films.

Direct response advertising
Advertising, through any medium (such as mail, TV, print) designed to generate a response by any means that is measurable.

Drop rate
The calendar date, generally determined at time of scheduling the campaign, when the direct mail package is due for delivery to CPC.

Dummy
A diagram or representation which indicates how the promotional piece will appear when printed and ready for mailing.

Dump
Printed display of a data file or a portion of that data file for purposes of reviewing data prior to personalization.

Dupes
Two or more identical names and addresses on the same mailing list. To achieve cost efficiencies remove duplicate names (de-dupe) must be performed.

Duplex lasering
A laser printing term that indicates two-sided imaging (front and back of promotional piece)

Duplication elimination
A database cleansing process which provides that no matter how many times a name and address is on a list, and how many lists contain that name and address, it will be accepted for mailing only once by that mailer. Also referred to a 'dupe elimination'. (See also Merge/Purge).

Dylux proof
A dylux proof is a film proofing system used to show content, page layout, folding, and color breaks on one or two-color orders. Images on dylux proofs appear in shades of blue to the viewer.

Expiration date
An imposed deadline for ordering beyond which time either the offer will be withdrawn or product price increased. It is often used to create a sense of urgency in the mind of the receiver.

Feature
A specific advantage built into the product (example: an 'all-weather' tread design in tires).

File
A structured collection of customer records.

Film proof
Proofs made from the separate plates in color process work, showing the sequence of printing and the result after each additional color has been applied.

Flap
An 'extra' section added to standard size paper which is then folded over. Normally used to highlight some aspect of the offer or to act as the response device.

Flyer
An offer detailed on a single sheet of paper as opposed to a brochure or catalogue format.

Focus group
A research approach which gathers a group of present or prospective buyers in one location and through presentations and questioning, by a moderator, seeks opinions on products, services, ad campaigns, offers, etc. Those selected for the focus group should have a profile similar (if not identical to) the intended target audience.

Format
The actual structure of the mailing piece.

Forward sortation area (FSA)
A three character code indicating a Canada Post Corporation distribution area. It is the first three characters of the postal code. In urban areas, it describes an area roughly the size of 25 letter carrier routes.

FPO (for placement only)
A term placed on copy and images during draft creative stage, which is not final and only to be referred to for placement only.

Free ride
A second promotion piece added to an already planned and scheduled mailing - without resulting in additional postal charges.

Free-standing insert (FSI)
A promotional piece loosely inserted or nested in a newspaper or magazine.

Frequency
How often a customer has purchased or responded in a given time period. It also may describe the number of times a promotion piece is mailed to the same target.

Front end
Activities necessary, or the measurement of direct marketing activities, leading to an order or a contribution.

Fulfillment
The process which involves responding to the responder - either by providing additional information, shipping or billing products ordered.

Hot-line list
The most recent names available on a specific list, with names no older than three months.

House list
An internal directory of your own buyers or prospects. May include current and former (but now inactive) purchasers.

Indicia
A printed artwork box in the top right hand corner of an envelope indicating that postage has been paid by the mailer.

Invalid record
Any customer record which is mechanically unacceptable, which does not conform to the list owner's editing rules or which does not meet the list user's specifications.

John Samples
Project samples, with personalization defaulted to 'John Sample', and used for future reference.

Johnson Box
Wording that appears at the top of a letter highlighting the key benefits and offer of a mailing.

Kill file
Deleting customer records from a file for a number of reasons, such as expiration, inactivity, change in demographic status and so forth.

Laser printing
It is common for direct mail forms to be preprinted and then variable copy is 'lasered' for more sophisticated customization. The process is similar to a photocopy machine where the laser printer uses a laser beam, toner and fuser to 'etch' the image onto a photoelectric drum.

Lead-in
Words, phrases or sentences which precede and 'set up' a following headline.

Letter shop
An outside vendor providing a variety of mailing services including any or all of the following: addressing, labelling, folding, collating, assembling, inserting, metering, sorting, etc.

Lettertext set-ups
The portion of a letter that is constant for all recipients prior to personalized text being added. It usually constitutes most of the letter's body copy, with room for several insertions of a recipient's name and address.

Life time value (LTV)
Total profit or loss calculation (more complex than simple profitability measurement) realized over the active life of the customer.

Lift letter
Similar to a buckslip (in that it offers additional reassurance or a further inducement to buy) except that it is presented in letter format over the mailer's signature.

List
Names and addresses of individuals and/or companies having in common specific interest, characteristics or activity.

List broker
An organization offering a variety of lists, from a variety of sources, for rental or outright purchase.

List catalogue
A directory which identifies (and normally provides brief descriptions of) available mailing lists.

List cleaning
A process by which list names are checked for accuracy of address, title, location, etc. Accomplished by letter, postcard or other request form directed to the receiver.

List compiler
An organization, service bureau (or individual) active in 'developing' mailing lists from directories, government records and other public sources.