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


List manager
One who, as an employee of a list owner or as an outside agency, is responsible for the use, by others, of a specific mailing list(s). The list manager generally services the list owner in several or all of the following capacities: list maintenance (or advise thereon), list promotion and marketing, list clearance and record keeping, collecting for...

Lives
Prior to lasering, live lasers are generated with data applied to the lettercopy to check for accuracy.

Local delivery unit (LDU)
The last three characters of a postal code which denote a very small and easily defined section within an area described by the FSA. These characters can specify one side of a city block, an apartment building, an office building or a large firm or organization which does considerable business with the Post Office. They can also denote service from...

Long copy
A detailed and lengthy approach to describing the product or service, its uses, benefits, features and the like versus those of competitive products. As a general rule, expensive or complex products or unique services require longer copy -- since it is sometimes necessary to 'educate' the prospect.

Magalogue
A mail order catalogue that includes paid advertisements, and in some cases brief editorials, making it similar to a magazine format.

Mail house
See Letter Shop.

Market penetration
The proportion of buyers on a file to the total list or to the total area. For business lists, penetration is usually analyzed by two-digit or four-digit SIC.

Matrix
Model relating marketing strategy to general strategic direction. It maps out what cells will receive what direct mail piece and all the components that are to be included within each piece.

Merge / Purge
The processing of two or more lists and the merging of same into one. At the same time, the 'purge' process eliminates duplicate names.

Meter
A process of affixing postage to an envelope.

Monetary value
Total expenditures by a customer during a specific period of time, generally twelve months.

Multi-media
A selling approach which includes a variety of promotional mediums from among direct mail, telemarketing, space advertising, radio or television commercials, etc.

Multiple buyer
One who has bought two or more times (not one who has bought two or more items, one time only); also a Multi-Buyer or Repeat Buyer.

Multiple dwelling
A housing unit for three or more families at the same address. For adequate delivery to apartment dwellers it is necessary to include the apartment number in the address. Multi-dwelling families can be selected or omitted on major compiled files.

National distribution guide
A guide produced by Canada Post which sets out mail preparation requirements and schematic for publications mail, addressed admail and catalogue mail.

Net name arrangement
An agreement, at the time of ordering or before, whereby the list owner agrees to accept adjusted payment for less than the total names shipped to the list user. Such arrangements can be for a percentage of names shipped or names actually mailed (whichever is greater) or for only those names actually mailed (without a percentage limitation).

Nixie
The return, by post office, of a mailing piece which proves undeliverable because of inaccurate name or address. Most mailers process such returns against records to eliminate invalid or inactive names.

Non-name addressing
The process by which business mailings are directed to a title or function (Controller, Personnel Director) rather than a specific name.

Nth name
A method of testing the pulling power of a list by asking the list source to provide a representative sampling. This could be every 10th name, every 20th name or whatever mathematical selection will provide a valid representation.

Occupant addressing
Use of the word 'Occupant' in place of a specific name. This device is used primarily for consumer-oriented mailings to residential addresses. It may also be used in addition to the customer name if it is likely the customer has moved and the mailing is not targeted to an individual.

Offer
The specific proposition being presented to the reader and encompassing product, price and supporting copy.

One-Time Usage
On a standard list rental, it is agreed that the mailer will use supplied names only once. If subsequent mailings to the same audience are planned, extra payments are required.

Opacity
The extent of 'read-through' possible from an unopened envelope to its contents or from one page of a multi-sheet package to the sheets which follow. The amount of 'read-through' is determined by the type and weight (density) of the paper stock used.

Overlays
The authorized use of a list to add information and data, through match identification, by tagging to another list. The transfer can be demographics, a telephone number, a job function, even psychographic data on buying habits.

Package
The total of all elements (brochure, catalogue or flyer; buck slips; lift letters or similar enclosures; response devices, BRE or BRC, etc.) which, together, make up the promotion mailing.

Pass along
In newspaper or magazine publishing, and in direct mail, this phrase is used to describe the 'secondary' reader beyond the original subscriber or addressee.

PDF
An increasingly popular software by Adobe which allows previewing documents, especially creative layouts, across various computer platforms.

Personalized letter
A standard format letter which can have variable information by inserting the receiver's name, location, prior purchases or other data.

Piggy-back
See Free Ride.

PMS (pantone matching system)
PMS is the acronym given to colour codes associated with a specific ink library. Print shops often refer to a PMS colour.

Poly bag
Transparent polyethylene bag used in place of envelopes for mailing.

Postal Code
A group of six characters used by Canada Post Corporation to designate specific Post Offices, stations, branches, buildings or large companies. In urban areas, the LDU in conjunction with the FSA contain enough information to determine the destination of a letter right down to one side of a city street between intersections, and sometimes even furt...

Postal Code sequence
Arranging names and addresses in a list according to the numeric progression of the Postal Code in each record.

Premium
The addition of a gift to an offer to induce greater response. Usually a buyer who responds may keep the premium, which raises the cost per completed sale, even if the product ordered is subsequently returned or cancelled.

Presort
CPC offers discounts for those who prepare the mail for direct delivery to post offices or to carriers at post offices.

Pressure sensitive label
A label that can be removed from its backing and reaffixed to another surface, such as an order form.

Price testing
Offering the same product or service at two levels of pricing to determine which is most effective in producing revenue and income.

Print-ready
Copy, illustrations or photographs in final, proofed format and requiring no additional processing before being delivered for printing.

Process colours (CMYK)
The four basic colors of ink used in process color printing are cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and black (K). These ink colors are transparent and 'process' with each other when overprinted in predetermined amounts.

Projection
An estimate of expected returns from a particular mailing campaign or a determination of total returns developed from responses during the early days or weeks of offering.

Proof
First print or copy of a mailing piece (as in a blueprint). A photograph prior to re-touching or cropping.

Prospect universe
The total market of potential customers. The 'universe' is developed through determination of buyer profiles, evaluation of prior mailing results or through other marketing studies.

Prospecting
Mailing to get leads for further sales contact rather than to make direct sales.

Psychographics
Any characteristics or qualities used to denote the life style(s) or attitude(s) of customers or prospective customers.

Purge
The process of eliminating duplicates and/or unwanted names and addresses from one or more lists.

Pyramid testing
A process in which increasingly larger portions of a mailing list are tested - until either the full list is so sampled or a determination is made that the list is unproductive.

Qualified leads
Names and addresses of individuals who have taken a positive action to indicate genuine interest in a given type of offer.

Random proof
A film proof of an image outputted in order to approve colours before printing (see Film Proof).

Recency
The latest purchase or other activity recorded for an individual or business on a specific customer list.

Record
A collection of related data or words treated as one unit, e.g., customer name and address could constitute one record.

Record layout
A written, field by field description of the data contained in a record, typically describing each field as to its length, beginning and ending positions, name, editing characteristics and data format (I.e. character, hex, packed, etc.).

Reply card
A sender-addressed card included in a mailing on which the recipient may indicate his response to the offer.(See BRC)

Response device
The coupon, request form or order blank by which the reader replies.

Response rate
A method of quantifying the success ratio of a mailing based on the number of sales or inquiries vs. the number of promotion pieces mailed. Normally stated as a percentage (i.e., total inquiries divided by total mailing quantity).

Retention
Communication with existing customers, based on customer behaviour, directly aimed at building long term loyalty.

Return envelopes
Addressed reply envelopes, either stamped or unstamped - as distinguished from business reply envelopes (BRE) which carry a postage payment guarantee - included with a mailing.

Return on investment (ROI)
Determined by a basic formula, measures how effectively the marketing investment is used to generate net profit from an activity. The higher the ROI, the better.

Return postage guaranteed
An endorsement printed on the address face of envelopes or other mailing pieces if the mailer wishes the postal service to return undeliverable mail.

Reverse type
Copy which is printed in white against a color background (also known as 'drop-out' printing). Can be effective in highlighting part of the message but sometimes difficult to read, it should be used sparingly.

RFM
A formula used to evaluate the sales potential of names on a mailing list.

Roll fold
A method of folding that involves rolling one end of the piece up to the other end, leaving one closed edge.

Roll out
The process of launching a mailing campaign upon completion of promotion development, printing, selection of audiences, testing and acquisition of lists.

ROP
When a direct response advertisement in a newspaper does not have a specified section and can be placed anywhere.

Salutation
How the customer is addressed in the beginning of a letter in a direct mail piece. (I.e. Dear, To, Hello)

Seed list
The inclusion of additional names in a mailing list before it is released for rental or use. These additional names are selected employees of the list owner who are required to monitor how and when the list has been used. This practice allows list owners to evaluate time and quality of delivery and safeguard against unauthorized use. The procedure ...

Segmenting
Division of a mailing list by some internally established criteria - city, province, postal code, company size, prospect titles, etc.

Selection criteria
Definition of characteristics that identify segments or subgroups within a list.

Self-mailer
A promotion piece designed so that it can be addressed (or labelled) and mailed without an envelope.

Sheet fed press
An offset printer that prints on paper which is fed one sheet at a time. Used primarily for short runs or higher-quality printing.

Short copy
As the phrase implies, a brief presentation of the 'story'. Most effective when the product requires no explanation as to purpose or use. Focus is on benefits, features and price.

Simplex
A laser printing term that indicates one-sided imaging.

Slippage
The discrepancy between test and volume mailings.

Slit & nest
Folding and cutting a single sheet of paper in order to produce two or more personalized direct mail package components.

Solo-mailing
A one-time or single mailing as opposed to a continuing series of communications (also called Standalone mailing).

Source codes (marketing code)
Internally developed codes (letters, numbers or combinations) printed on response forms so returns can be tallied as to sources of promotion material. Used to measure selling effectiveness of differing messages.

Split test
Two or more samples from the same list, selected by the same criteria (such as an A/B split) used for testing different packages, offers, mail dates or any other part of the mailing.

Statement of accuracy (SOA)
A statement of accuracy (SOA) is used to report the percentage of accurate addresses on a mailing list. Both urban and rural addresses are included in the calculation. The Canada Post address accuracy standard is 95%, meaning that 95% of the addresses on the database being evaluated are deliverable. This standard must be achieved, otherwise an adju...

Statement of mailing (SOM)
A receipt from Canada Post, outlining all pieces that were mailed, date and the costs incurred.

Statement stuffer
A small, printed piece designed to be inserted in an envelope carrying a customer's statement of account (See Bill Insert).

Stock
The type of paper that a direct mail piece is printed on (I.e. card stock, glossy, matte coated etc.)

Stuffer
A promotion piece mailed with an unrelated communication. The latter could be an acknowledgement form, shipping notification or invoice.

Subscriber list
In normal use, the list of current purchasers of a publication - newspaper, magazine, trade journal, etc. However, many non-publishing companies also use the term 'subscriber' as a synonym for a customer.

Target market
The ideal audience for a mailing effort. Usually defined in psychographic and demographic terms.

Tear sheet
A printed proof of a page of copy.

Teaser
An intriguing (and sometimes provocative) question or statement designed to catch reader attention and 'pull' them into the copy. Envelope messages are a common use of the teaser.

Test campagin
Introduction of a new product, offer, creative execution or promotion on a small scale to measure/test consumer responsiveness prior to full campaign implementation.

Test panel
A term used to identify each of the parts of samples in a split test.

Testimonial
A statement, letter, comment (or edited version thereof) made by a recent buyer/user which tends to endorse or recommend the product or service being offered. Ideally, the testimonial should identify the individual by name, title, company, affiliation or occupation.

Third party letter
A message over the signature of someone other than the mailer or one of the organization's employees. Such letters may serve as the total message or as simply one element in a direct mail package.

Tip-on
An item glued to a printed page.

Title
A designation before (prefix) or after (suffix) a name to more accurately identify an individual. (Prefixes: Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., Sister etc. Suffixes: M.C., Jr., President, Sales Manager, etc.).

Truncate
To drop characters at the end of a data field because the field being converted or keyed is too long to fix in the record positions in which it must be stored.

Undeliverable
A mailing piece returned to the mailer as undeliverable for reason of incorrect name or address. (see Nixie).

Universe
Total number of individuals that might be included on a mailing list; all of those fitting a single set of specifications.

Upper/Lower conversion
Intelligently converting non-case character data to mixed upper and lower case.

Web Press
A printing press that is fed by a large roll of paper instead of individual sheets, and usually used for long print runs.

Weight
A method of measuring the relative density of paper stock.

White mail
Mail that comes in from customers. It can include complaints, commendations, names of friends, orders, cheques, even cash. A very important part of every direct-mail operation.

White space
As the name implies, that portion of the promotion piece left blank, intentionally, without print or illustration. White space eliminates a cluttered look and makes the piece more inviting to the reader.

WOE
A mailing envelope with a transparent panel for the address.