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Direct Marketing and Mail Order Glossary

Term Meaning
800 service Inbound long-distance service that is free to the caller, and paid for by the recipient.
ABC Audit Bureau of Circulation's.
Accordion fold Two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.
Account qualification matrix Scientific method of measuring each case as it is completed for potential future purchases.
ACORN A Classification of Residential Neighborhoods; a marketing segmentation system that enables consumers to be classified according to the type of area in which they live.
Action devices Items and techniques used in direct mail to encourage positive response, e.g., tokens, scent strips.
Active buyer Customer whose latest purchase was made within the last 12 months. See also Buyer and Actives.
Active member Customer who is fulfilling the original commitment or who has fulfilled that commitment and has made one or more purchases in the last 12 months.
Active subscriber Customer who has committed for regular delivery of magazines, hooks, or goods or services for a period of time still in effect.
Actives Customers who have made purchases within a prescribed time period, usually one year; subscribers whose subscriptions have not expired.
Add-on service Service of the Direct Marketing Association that gives consumers an opportunity to request that their names be added to mailing lists.
Additions New names either of individuals or companies, added to a mailing list.
Address Coding Guide (CG) List of beginning and ending house numbers, ZIP codes, and other geographic codes for all city delivery service and streets served by 31,540 post offices located within 6,601 ZIP codes.
Address Correction Requested An endorsement which, when printed in the upper left-hand corner of the mailing piece (below the return address), authorizes the U.S. Postal Service to provide, for a fee, the known new address of a person no longer at the address on the mailing piece.
Advertisement rate card Printed card issued by the publishers of journals and newspapers detailing advertising cost, advertisement sizes, and the mechanical details of production.
Advertising schedule List of advertisements booked by media showing details of sizes, timing, and costs.
Affinity Group A classification, either demographic or psychographic, which identifies a given record or list source.
Against the grain Folding paper at right angles to the grain of the paper; a sheet of paper will fold easily along the grain but will possibly crack when folded against the grain.
Agency Discount Refers to the discount, or commision, that an advertising agencey receives when placing a camera ready ad. Usually 15%.
AIDA Most popular formula for the preparation of direct mail copy. The letters stand for (get) Attention, (arouse) Interest, (stimulate) Desire, (ask for) Action.
Airbrush Small pressure gun shaped like a pencil that sprays paint by means of compressed air. Used to obtain tone or graduated tonal effects in artwork.
Airtime Jargon term denoting the amount of actual transmission time available for an advertisement on television and radio.
Alterations Changes made in the copy after it has been set in type.
American Standard Code of Information Interchange (ASCII) Widely used code adopted by the American Standards Association for transmission of information.
APO/FPO Military Post Office address used by the government to direct mail to service people.
Art paper Paper coated with a mineral substance to produce a glossy surface.
Artwork Finished layout consisting of drawings, photographs, lettering, and copy.
Aspect Ratio The length of a mailpiece divided by its height. The aspect ratio must be at least 1.3 but no greater than 2.5 to be machinable.
Assigned mailing dates Dates by which the list user has to mail a specific list; no other date is acceptable without approval of the list owner.
Assumptive close Closing technique in which the salesperson offers the product or service with the assumption that the target has made the decision to buy.
Asterisk bills State laws that require telephone companies to advise subscribers that they can have an asterisk placed in front of their names if they do not want to receive telemarketing calls.
Audience Total number of individuals reached by a promotion or advertisement.
Audit Printed report of the counts involved in a particular list or file.
Augmentation To increase the value of a customer file by utilizing an overlay from another source.
Automatic call distributor (ACD) Equipment that automatically manages and controls incoming calls, sends calls to the telephone representative who has been idle the longest, answers and queues calls during busy periods, and plays recorded messages for waiting callers. It automatically sends overflow calls to a second group and provides management reports on the call activity. It can stand alone or be integrated with a PBX. See Also PBX.
Automatic dialing recorded message player (ADRMP) Machine that dials preprogrammed telephone numbers, automatically plays a prerecorded message (normally a sales pitch), then records responses.
Automatic interaction detection (AID) Program for segmenting a list from a heterogeneous to a homogeneous market.
Automatic redial Telephone feature that permits the last number dialed to be automatically dialed again at the push of one button.
Automatic route selection (ARS) Switching system that chooses the least costly path from available owned or leased circuits. See also LCR.
Automation The process of sorting and routing mail very quickly using machines.
Autotyped letters Individually prepared letters produced on a typewriter activated by a prepunched roll of paper similar to that used in a player piano.
Back End The activities necessary to complete a mail order transaction once an order has been received and/or the measurement of a buyer's performance after he has ordered the first item in a series offering.
Backbone Back of a bound book connecting the two covers; also known as spine.
Bag A canvas pouch to put mail in that is supplied by the U. S. Postal Service.
Bag Tag Identifying tag attached to mail sack/bag. Shows original mailer, type of mail, destination city, and ZIP Code. Also level/group, bag number, and carrier route when applicable.
Bangtail Promotional envelope with a second flap which is perforated and designed for use as an order blank.
Banker Envelope Envelope with the flap on the long edge.
Bar Code A coding structure printed on a mailing piece which is used for sortation by the USPS.
Barcode Sorter (BCS) A mail processing machine which reads barcodes on mail and automatically sorts the pieces.
Batch Grouping of data or orders.
Batch processing Technique of executing a set of orders/selections in batches as opposed to executing each order/selection as it is received; batches can be created by computer programming or manually by date.
Benefits Features of a product or service. Benefits are what sells the product or services.
Bill enclosure Promotional piece or notice enclosed with a bill, invoice, or statement.
Bindery Place where final trimming, stitching/stapling, order-form insertion, and any necessary off-press folding is done.
Binding Finishing process that glues, staples, or stitches the pages of a catalog to the cover.
Bingo Card A reply card inserted in a publication and used by readers to request literature and samples from companies whose products and services are either advertised or mentioned in editorial columns.
Bleed Extension of the printed image to the trim edge of a sheet or page.
Block Metal, rubber, or plastic plate engraved, cast, or molded for printing.
Blocked calls Calls that receive busy signals.
Blocking out Operation of eliminating undesirable backgrounds and portions of a photographic negative by opaquing the image.
Blueprint Sometimes called blues or blue-lines, a prior-to-printing proof made from a photographic negative or positive, used for checking type/photo position.
BMC (1) The Postal Service has divided the United States into 21 regions. Each region has a main mailing center located within it for the distribution of bulk mail. There are two types of Bulk Mail Centers, a gateway BMC and a servicing BMC. Each and every mailer has a gateway BMC. Mail moving from the mailer goes to the gateway which will distribute the mail to the remaining 20 BMCs. The remaining BMCs are called servicing BMCs because they directly serve the delivery office. (2) Bulk Mail Center. A highly mechanized mail-processing plant for the distribution of: Standard mail in bulk form and non-preference Second-Class mail in bulk form.
Body type Types used for the main body of the text as distinct from its headings.
Boiler room/bucket shop Term to describe outbound phone rooms where facilities are less than ideal for the telephone sales representative and sometimes for the activity itself. High turnover uf representatives and low overhead for the owners are trademarks of this kind of operation.
Boldface type Type that is heavier than standard text type, often used for headlines and paragraph lead-ins, and to emphasize letters, word, or sentences.
Boom In broadcasting, a semirigid tube-like apparatus that extends from the headset and positions the microphone close to the user's mouth.
Bounce Back A subsequent offer by a mail order operator sent to the most recent buyers in the same package with merchandise just ordered. Catalog operators often supply another copy of the catalog which created the order as the bounce back. (Outside offers are package inserts not bounce backs.)
BRC The acronym for business reply card.
BRE The acronym for business reply envelope.
Bringing up the color Color correcting; intensifying color on press or in separations.
BRMAS (Pronounced 'bramas') is the acronym for Business Reply Mail Accounting System, which allows for automated accounting of business reply envelopes and cards.
Broadcast media Direct response source that includes radio, television, and cable television.
Broadside A single sheet of paper, printed on one side or two and folded for mailing or direct distribution that opens into a single, large advertisement.
Brochure Strictly defined, a high-quality pamphlet, with specially planned layout, typography, and illustrations; also used loosely to describe any promotional pamphlet or booklet.
Broker Agent authorized to buy or sell for an organization or another individual.
Bromide Photographic print made from a negative, or a positive used as a proof.
Bulk Thickness of paper.
Bulk Rate Mail A category of Standard mail involving a large quantity of identical pieces but addressed to different names which are specially processed for mailing before delivery to the post office.
Bulk rebate Category of postage that allows rebate for second-class presorted mailing; delivery will normally be made within seven working days. Amount of rebate depends on the volume of mail.
Burnout Exhaustion and lack of motivation often experienced by telephone sales representatives working long shifts without proper training or compensation.
Burst To separate continuous-form paper into discrete sheets.
Business list Any compilation of individuals or companies based on a business-associated interest, inquiry, membership, subscription, or purchase.
Business reply envelope/card A return envelope or card in which return postage is paid for by the advertiser. A special service through the USPS allows the mailer to do this.
Business Reply Mail (BRM) A service which enables mailers to receive First-Class Mail back from customers by paying postage only on the mail which is actually returned to them from their customers. See Business Reply Envelope/Card
Business-to-business telemarketing Telemarketing to industry and other businesses.
Buyer One who orders merchandise, books, records, information, or services.
C/A Change of address.
Call In telemarketing, this term encompasses uncompleted and completed connections, busys, temporarily disconnected, disconnected-no referral, disconnected but referred, and no-answers; does not include status of results such as sale/ no-sale/follow-up.
Call card Record of details on prospects or customers; often arranged chronologically.
Call forcing Call distribution feature that automatically directs a waiting call to an available agent. The agent receives an audible tone burst that signals the call coming through. A button need not be pressed to receive this call.
Call guide Informal roster of points to be covered during a telephone sales presentation that allows for personalization.
Call management Process of selecting and managing the optimum mix of equipment, network services, and labor to achieve maximum productivity from a telemarketing center.
Call management system Equipment that gives detailed information on telephone activity and cost.
Call objective Clear reason for the call; the best calls are those that tend to have only one objective.
Call objective guideline Worksheet that allows preparation for the specific objective; often used in training aod for new-product introductions.
Call queuing Placing incoming calls in a waiting line for access to an operator station.
Call restriction Procedure designed to limit the range of calling power given to employees, as when only selected 
personnel are able to make long-distance calls.
Call-back Any contact required to follow up an activity.
Carrier Route A geographical area consisting of 350 households as walked by an individual mail carrier. There are 160,000 carrier routes listed by the USPS, and an additional 240,000 psychodrama routes provided by major compilers of consumer lists.
Carrier Route Code A code that designates the appropriate delivery route for a particular address. Carrier-route coding schemes are established by the U.S. Postal Service; each scheme is ZIP-specific.
Carrier Route Presort Mail that is sorted into a bundle for delivery to a specific delivery route. The actual carrier performing delivery breaks down the bundle at the delivery office. For example, all books going to Rural Route #2, Pontiac, Illinois, will go directly to the mail carrier for that particular route in one bundle.
Carriers Transportation facilities suppliers.
Case Complete and measurable telephone sales cycle from beginning to end; e.g., 100 names on a list equals 100 cases.
Cash buyer Buyer who encloses payment with order.
Cash on delivery (COD) expression meaning that a customer pays for an order when it is received.
Cash rider Also called cash up or cash option, an addition to an order form offering the option of full cash payment with the order, at some saving over the installment-payment price as an incentive.
CASS The acronym for Coding Accuracy Support System, a program through which the USPS approves sofware vendors and other information service providers to provide certified ZIP+4 and address corrections services to the public. To be eligible for automation discounts, and mailing list must have been verified and corrected using CASS certified software.
Catalog buyer Person who has bought products or services from a catalog.
Catalog request Order for the catalog itself. The catalog maybe free; there maybe a nominal charge for postage and handling, or there may be a more substantial charge that is often refunded or credited on the first order.
Cell size Smallest unit or segment quantity of an individual variant within a test program.
Census Tract Small geographical area established by local committees and approved by the Census Bureau, which contains a population segment with relatively uniform economic and social characteristics and clearly identifiable boundaries averaging approximately 1,200 households.
CHAD/CHADD A shorthand term for change of address. The USPS has prepared a CHAD list for the entire country as a service to mailers.
Change of Address The process of changing a business or residential address upon having made a physical move. Also referred to as CHADD and COA.
Charge buyer Person who has charged merchandise ordered by mail; or a person who has paid for merchandise only after it has been delivered.
Cheshire Label (1) Specially prepared paper (rolls, fanfold or accordion fold) used to reproduce names and addresses to be mechanically affixed, one at a time, to a mailing piece. (2) An ungummed, machine-affixable label prepared on a computer or word processor.
Chromalins One method of proofing a color separation. Four separate, extremely thin plastic sheets (one for each color) are overlaid, producing a color reproduction of the separations.
Chromes Often misused term actually referring to color transparencies; also used as nickname for chromalins.
Circulars General term for printed advertising in any form, including printed matter sent out by direct mail.
Circulars General term for printed advertising in any form, including printed matter sent out by direct mall.
City Directories Only major source for individuals by occupation at home addresses. They Include apartment numbers and phone numbers. Over 1,500 cities are canvassed, house to house, on a scheduled basis, to provide individualized data on householders including occupation.
Cleaning The process of correcting and/or removing a name and address from a mailing list because it is no longer correct or because the listing is to be shifted from one category to another.
Clip Art Ready to use art sold for use by a number of advertisers. Also known as Stock Art
Closed case Any case that has completed the sales cycle and has ended in a sale no sale, or no potential.
Cluster Selection A selection routine based upon taking a group of names in series, skipping a group, taking another group, and so on. For instance, you may select 10 out of every 100 or the first 125 out of 175. A cluster selection using limited ZIP Codes might be the first 200 names in each of the specified ZIP Codes.
Clustering Grouping names on a telemarketing list according to geographic, demographic, or psychographic characteristics.
Co-op Mailing A mailing of two or more offers included in the same envelope or other carrier, with each participating mailer sharing mailing costs according to some predetermined formula.
COAM Customer owned and maintained equipment.
COD A buyer who agrees to pay for what he has ordered (plus a collection charge) upon delivery.
Code Line A line on an address imprint utilized to identify basic data about the addressee, such as length of service, dollar volume of purchases, recency of purchase, and so on. Also called keyline.
Coding (1) Identifying items used on reply devices to identify the mailing list or other source from which the address was obtained. (2) A structure of letters and numbers used to classify characteristics of an address on a list.
Cold calls Sales calls to an audience unfamiliar to the caller.
Cold lists Lists that have no actual or arranged affinity with the advertiser, i.e., they have not bought from, belonged to, or inquired of the advertiser itself or of any particular affinity group.
Collate (1) To assemble individual elements of a mailing in sequence for inserting into a mailing envelope; (2) program that combines two or more ordered files to produce a single ordered file; also the act of combining such files. See also Merge-purge.
Collation Orderly assembly of sheets or signatures during the bindery process.
Column Inch Refers to advertising space one in high by one column wide. The cost of space ads in newspapers and magazines is computed by this measurment. By the column inch.
Commercial envelope Oblong envelope with a top flap.
Commingling Combining mail of different characteristics (many times from multiple companies) into a single bulk mailing in the effort to reduce mailing costs for all.
Communicator call report (CCR) List identifying for each telephone sales representative what calls were handled during a shift, the date, the contact name, and all information pertaining to the details of each call made.
Compiled List Names and addresses derived from directories, newspapers, public records, retail sales slips, trade show registrations, and so on, to identify groups of people with something in common.
Compiler Organization that develops lists of names and addresses from directories, newspapers, public records, registrations, and other sources, identifying groups of people, companies, or institutions with something in common.
Comprehensive Complete and detailed layout for a printed piece; also called comp or compare.
Computer letter Computer-printed message providing personalized, fill-in information from a source file in predesignated positions; full-printed letter with personalized insertions.
Computer Personalization Printing of letters or other promotional pieces by a computer using names, addresses, special phrases, or other information based on data appearing in one or more computer records; the objective is to use the information in the computer record to tailor the promotional message to a specific individual.
Computer record All of the information about an individual, a company, or a transaction stored on a specific magnetic tape or disk.
Computer service bureau Facility providing general or specific data-processing.
Confidence Level Statistically valid measure of how often, in one hundred attempts, test results can be expected to be within given limits. Confidence level is based not on the number of pieces mailed, but on the number of responses received.
Consultative selling Personalized method of sales that first identifies a customer's needs and then sells a product or service to meet those needs.
Consumer list List of names (usually with home address) compiled or resulting from a common inquiry or buying activity indicating a general buying interest.
Consumer location system Market identification system containing information derived from Target Group Index and ACORN.
Contact Any conversation with a decision maker or any communication that advances a case toward completion.
Contact-to-closed-case ratio Number of completed contacts required to complete a case; e.g., contact mail-contact would be a two-Contact-to-closed-Case ratio.
Continuity Program Products or services bought as a series of small purchases. An offer consisting of a starter item or set, followed at timely intervals with a series of allied products, particularly books or music.
Contributor list Names and addresses of persons who have given to a specific fund-raising effort. See also Donor list.
Control Last successful mailing package without any changes that allows a true measurement of the performance of each of the variants on test; generally used to test against new variants.
Controlled circulation Distribution at no charge of a publication to individuals or companies on the basis of their titles or occupations; typically, recipients are asked from time to time to verify the information that qualifies them to receive the publication.
Controlled Duplication A method by which names and addresses from two or more lists are matched (usually by computer) in order to eliminate or limit extra mailings to the same name and address.
Conversion (1) Process of changing from one method of data processing to another, or from one data processing system to another. Synonymous with Reformatting. (2) To secure specific action such as a purchase or contribution from a name on a mailing list or as a result of an inquiry.
Conversion Percentage (CP) A value calculated to assess the degree of success in turning interested prospects into actual customers.
Conversion rate Percentage of potential customers who, through a direct mail solicitation, become buyers.
Copy Written material intended for inclusion in the various components of a mailing package or advertisement.
Copy date Date by which advertising material ready for printing must reach a publishing house for inclusion in a particular issue.
Cost per inquiry (CPI) Simple arithmetical formula derived by dividing the total cost of a mailing or an advertisement by the number of inquiries received.
Cost per order (CPO) Similar to cost per inquiry but based on actual orders rather than inquiries.
Cost per thousand (CPM) The rate for list rentals when the fee is based on every 1,000 names. Charges for special selections would also be based per thousand.
Counts Quantities of records necessary to verify the accuracy of a job .
Coupon Part of an advertising promotion piece intended to be filled in by the inquirer or customer and returned to the advertiser; it often entitles the bearer to a discount on an item at time of purchase.
Coupon clipper Person who has given evidence of responding to free or nominal cost offers out of curiosity, with little or no serious interest or buying intent.
Courtesy Reply Envelope (CRE) Envelope that is preaddressed and bar-coded to be returned to the sender. However, unlike the business reply envelope, postage must be applied by the recipient sending it back.
CPI The abbreviation for cost per inquiry. This usually refers to the first stage of a two-step 9 (or more ) selling operation.
CPM The total cost in the mail of 1,000 pieces. This includes four parts: cost of printing, cost of the list, cost of the postage, and cost of all aspects of fulfillment at the mailing shop. It does not usually include the cost or preparation of the printed pieces.
CPO Cost per order, the amount paid above amortization by order margin of the costs of promotion, divided by the number of orders.
Creative Preprinting aspects of catalog preparation: design, layout, copy writing, and photography; used as a noun in the catalog business.
Cris Tape A USPS coding structure on magnetic tape providing a means to carrier-route code a list for Standard mail presort bulk mailing.
Crop To trim part of a photo or copy.
Cross-Docked Pallets arriving at a mail facility, either a BMC or an SCF, that need no sorting at that facility, are moved from the arriving trailer to a waiting trailer for the next destination. Since this is performed at the facilities dock, the term cross-docked is used to describe the operation.
Cross-Section A statistical selection from a list segment or universe which is accepted as a representative sample. Sampling methods include Nth number, fifth-digit of ZIP, first letter of last name, and randomization.
Data Card A card that gives specific details on a mailing list. Including but not limited to: Total universe of the list, base cost per thousand, demographics, source, average sale, special selections, etc.
Data Entry Means of hand entering and converting hard copy to electronic form through some type of keyboard, or similar means.
Decoy A unique name especially inserted in a mailing list verifying list usage.
Delivery Point Barcode A extended barcode which allows mail to be sorted in the order in which it is delivered by the postal carrier on his/her route. (called a carrier route)
Demographics The study and application of social and economic characteristics and/or data. Those characteristics of a population which are measured by variables such as age, sex, marital status, family size, education, geographic location, and occupation.
Destination SCF Sectional Center Facility (SCF) to which the mail will be sent.
Direct Addressing A means to address directly to the mailing piece with or without coding and commentary.
Direct Marketing Association (DMA) One of the chief trade associations serving the direct response field, with emphasis on direct-mail marketing through all classes of mail. Main focus is on larger corporations.
Direct-Mail (Or Response) Advertising The process of placing ads in printed or electronic media to elicit a direct response. (Direct mail describes mailing an offer to a prospect to elicit a direct response.)
DMA Mail Preference Service Add-On File A file of name and address records provided by the Direct Marketing Association, which consists of records of people who have asked to be included on mailing lists.
DMA Mail Preference Service Delete File A file of name and address records provided by the Direct Marketing Association, which may be omitted from mailings. This file is made up of requests received by the DMA, mostly the result of the DMA space ads also found on most mail order blanks, from people who say they want to be removed from mailing lists.
Dollar Value Per Order (DVO) In direct mail, this sum reflects the average monetary size of purchases for each order received, and it is primarily used to evaluate the performance of specific mailing lists. DVO equals the gross revenue divided by the number of orders.
Doubling Day The day on which one-half of the responses from a specific promotional effort have been received. When mailing First Class, this is usually 4-6 days (excluding Sundays) from the first day of responses. When mailing Standard mail, this is 8-20 days . If a mailer can be certain when double day occurs, it is then possible to make rapid decisions on the continuation of mail efforts. Erratic delivery reduces the usefulness of double day as a prediction device.
Drop Day The day on which a mailing piece is entered into the postal system.
Drop Ship The process where a mail order/catalog firm or other direct marketer advertises and takes orders for products and sends the orders to the manufacturer, the manufacturer then ships the product directly to the customer.
DUP (Duplication) Appearance of identical or nearly identical entities more than once.
DUP Elimination A specific kind of controlled duplication 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.
Duplicate Identification (Merge-Purge) The process of merging together two or more lists available on computer tape. This permits the identification of duplicates which may then be handled separately, that is, purged or mailed again as multi-buyers. See Dupe Elimination.
Dye transfer High-quality, four-color print made from a transparency; most often used when retouching is needed.
Elasticity Comes from 'elasticity of demand' to determine what effect in response a change in price or offer will create. Those markets that show little change are inelastic; those that vary greatly with price are highly elastic.
Enamel Coated paper that has a glossy finish.
End-Of -File Label 1. An internal label indicating the end of a file and possibly containing data for file control. 
2. Synonymous with trailer label. NOTE: An end-of-file label may include control totals for comparison with counts accumulated during processing.
End-Of-Volume (EOV) Label An internal label that indicates the end of the data contained in a volume.
Entity Relationship Data Model A data model that describes the attributes of entities in a database and the relationship among them.
Enumeration Districts The small geographic areas assigned by the U.S. Census Bureau. For these small areas and subblocks (an average of about 140 families), the census publishes a huge volume of demographic data. Only the very largest lists are coded down to subblocks and enumeration districts because there are some 400,000 in the country.
Envelope Stuffer Any advertising or promotional material enclosed in an envelope with business letters, statements, or invoices.
Ergonomics Study of the problems of people adjusting to their environment, especially seeking to adapt work or working conditions to suit the workers.
Exchange Arrangement whereby two mailers exchange equal numbers of mailing list names.
Exhibition list List of people who have registered as attendees at trade or consumer exhibitions.
Expiration Subscription that is not renewed.
Expiration date Date on which a subscription expires.
Expire Former customer who is no longer an active buyer.
External List Any list other than the house files of a mailer.

Faced Mail arranged with the address and postage of each piece facing the same way.
Facing Identification Mark (FIM) A group of vertical lines placed on the top of business reply and courtesy reply mail which enables automated mail processing equipment to identify it and separate it from other mail.
Facing Slip The label on a package of mail which identifies the contents and destination of the package.
Factor Analysis A statistical analytic tool used to determine the selection factors within a list that influence response.
Field (1) On a data medium or a storage device, a specified area used for a particular class of data, for example, a group of character positions used to enter or display wage rates on a screen. (2) A discrete piece of data within a database record, for example, a street name. (3) The smallest identifiable part of a record.
Field Attribute A defined characteristic of a field, such as protected or unprotected, alphanumeric or numeric, detectable or nondetectable, displayable or nondisplayable, or intensity.
File A named set of records stored or processed as a unit.
File maintenance Activity of keeping a file up to date by adding, changing, or deleting data. See also List maintenance and Update.
File Tagging Adding data from one file to another. This can refer to the unauthorized additions to house files of information owned by others.
Fill-in Name, address, or words added to a preprinted letter.
Film positive Photographic print on transparent film taken from artwork for use by the printer.
First-class letter contract Post office service for mailers that consist of at least 5,000 identical items, can sort into towns, and require first-class service; offers discounts ofup to 12 percent.
First-time buyer Person who buys a product or service from a specific company for the first time.
Fixed field Way of laying out, or formatting, list information in a computer file that puts every piece of data in a specific position relative to every other piece of data. If a piece of data is missing from an individual record, or if its assigned space is not completely used. Any piece of data exceeding its assigned space limitation must be abbreviated or contracted.
Fixed lists Cost per sale including all other costs except promotions.
Fixed-Length Record A record having the same length as all other records with which it is logically or physically associated. Contrast with variable-length record.
Flag A computerized means to identify data added to a file or the usage of a list segment by a given mailer.
Flat (1) A piece of mail which exceeds at least one of the dimensions for letter-size mail, but none of the maximum dimensions for flat-size mail. (2) Paper industry's term for unprinted paper adopted by the direct mail industry to refer either to unprinted paper or, more particularly, to printed paper prior to folding.
Flat Charge A fixed total cost of a rental list. This usually applies to small lists.
Flight A given mailing, particularly where multiple drops are to be made on different days to reduce the number arriving at one company at one time.
Folio Page number as it appears on a printed page.
Follow-up contact Any contact required to finalize a previous commitment or to close a transaction.
Follow-up system Part of an automated telemarkering system which keeps track of calls that should be recycled into the outgoing program and rescheduled at a later time; its purpose is to trap information and release it to communicators at the appropriate time.
Foreign mail Lists of householders and businesses outside the United States.
Format Size, style, type page, margins, printing requirements, and the like that are characteristic of a publication.
Former buyer Person who has bought one or more times from a company but has made no purchase in the last 12 months.
Fortune 1000 Thousand largest industrial companies in the United States, as published by Fortune magazine; almost all have sales volumes per year of over $1 billion.
Fortune 300 Fortune magazine's selection of the 50 largest companies in 6 classifications: banking, retailing, wholesaling, insurance, construction, and utilities.
Four-line address Typical individual-name list with at-business addresses requires a minimum of four lines: name of individual, name of company, local address, city, state, and ZIP code.
Four-up, three-up, two-up Number of similar items printed on one sheet of paper; e.g., four-up indicates the sheet will be guillotined to print four finished articles; (also four-to-view, three-to-view, etc.).
Fourth-class mail Parcel post, the U.S. Postal Service delivery of mail parcels weighing over 16 ounces.
Free lancer Independent artist, writer, or photographer who is not on staff but works on a per-project or hourly rare as the need arises.
Free sheet Paper without mechanical wood pulp.
Free-ride See Envelope stuffer and Piggyback.
Free-Standing Insert A promotional piece loosely inserted or nested in a newspaper or magazine.
Frequency The number of times an individual has ordered within a specific period of time. See also Monetary value and Recency.
Friend of a friend Name of someone thought to be interested in a specific advertiser's product or service; submitted by a third party.
Front-end Activities necessary, or the measurement of direct marketing activities, to obtain an order.
Front-End Response The initial responses generated by a direct-response promotion without consideration of returns, credit, payment, and subsequent purchases.
Fulfillment Process of supplying goods after an order has been received.
Fund-raising list List of individuals or companies based on a known contribution to one or more fund-raising appeals.
Galley listing or sheet list Printout of list data on sheets, usually in ZIP or alphabetic order.
Galleys Proofs of typesetting in column width taken before page make-up.
Gathering Assembly of folded signatures into correct sequence.
Genderization Program run to add gender to mailing lists (based on first names where available).
Geographics Any method of subdividing a list based on geographic or political subdivisions, such as ZIP Codes, sectional centers, cities, counties, states, and regions.
Gift buyer One who buys a product or service for another.
Giftees List of individuals sent gifts or magazines by mail, by friends, donors, or business firms. Giftees are not truly mail-order buyers; rather they are mail-order recipients and beneficiaries.
Gimmick Attention-getting device, usually dimensional, attached to a direct mail printed piece.
Gone-aways See Nixie.
Governments Often-overlooked source of lists, e.g.; lists of cars, homes, dogs, bankers, hairdressers, plumbers, veterinarians, buyers, subscribers, inquirers, TV stations, ham operators, and CBs, among others.
Grid test Means of testing more than one variable at the same time; a useful method for testing different offers by different packages overagroup of prospect lists.
Groundwood pulp Paper that contains wood pulp.
Groups Number of individuals having a unifying relationship, e.g., club, association, membership, church, fraternal order, political group, sporting group, collector group, travel group, singing group, etc.
Guarantee Pledge of satisfaction made by the seller to the buyer and specifying the terms by which the seller will make good his pledge.
Gummed label See Label, gummed.
Half Life A formula for estimating the total response to be expected from a direct-response effort shortly after the first responses are received. Makes valid continuation decisions possible based on statistically valid partial data. See doubling day.
Halftone Photograph or other tonal illustration reproduced by lines of small dots.
Handling Charge A fixed charge added per segment for special list requests. Also appears as part of 'shipping and handling' charges for transportation of labels, cards, sheets, or tape.
Hard copy Printout on a sheet list or galley of all data available on a magnetic source such as a tape, hard disk, or floppy disk.
Head Of Family From telephone or car data, the name and sex of the individual on the registration file.
Headline Primary wording utilized to induce a direct marketing recipient to read and react.
Heat transfer Form of label that transfers reverse carbon images on the back of a sheet of mailing pieces by means of heat and pressure.
High school student list Several compilers provide lists of high school juniors and seniors with their home addresses; original data, usually printed phone rosters, are not available for all schools or localities.
High-Potential/Immediate-Need Any case that requires immediate contact by the outside sales force.
High-ticket buyer Buyer who has purchased expensive items by mail.
Hit Name appearing on two or more mailing lists.
Home office For major businesses, the executive or home office location as differentiated from the location of branch offices or plants.
Homogenization The unfortunate and misleading combination of responses from various sources. Often the use of a single average response for a mailing made to customers and prospects alike.
Hot line Most recent buyers on a list that undergoes periodic updating. (Those who have just purchased by mall are the most likely buyers of other products and services by mail.)
Hotline List The most recent names available on a specific list, but no older than three months; use of the term hot line should be modified by weekly, monthly, etc. The concept of 'recency' varies by mailer and ranges from last 30 days to last 6 months.
House list Any list of names owned by a company as a result of compilation, inquiry or buyer action, or acquisition, that is used to promote that company's products or services.
House list duplicate Duplication of name-and-address records between the list user's own lists and any list being mailed by the list user on a one-time use arrangement.
House Lists Duplicate Duplication of name-and-address records between the list user's own lists and an external list, such as a rented list, being mailed on a one-time use arrangement.
Households All lists are delivered to households (homes) or to nonhouseholds. Households are selectable on a demographic basis. Householders (consumers) may be selectable on a psychographic basis.
ICSMA International Customer Service Manager's Association.
Imposition Way in which pages are positioned in order to print and fold correctly on a press.
In-house Related to services or products that can be furnished by the advertiser himself; e.g., in-house lists, in-house print.
In-house Agency A special department that many mail order companies set up in order to receive an angency discount on all advertising they place in magazines.
In-house telemarketing Telemarketing done within a company as a primary or supplementary method of marketing and selling that company's own products.
Inactive Buyers Buyers who have not placed an order or responded during a specified period of time.
Inbound calls Calls that come into a telemarketing center.
Inbound telesales A department within a telemarketing operation devoted to the handling of incoming calls.
Income Perhaps the most important demographic selection factor on consumer files. Major compiled files provide surprisingly accurate individual family incomes up to about $40,000. Incomes can be selected in $1,000 increments; counts are available by income ranges for every ZIP code.
Incoming specialist Trained professional telephone specialist skilled at handling incoming order requests and cross-selling or up-selling to close a sale.
Indexing Creation of a standard, say, 100 percent of recovery of promotion cost, to allow comparison between mailings of different sizes.
Indicia The preprinted marking on each piece of mail in a bulk mailing which shows that postage has been paid for by the sender.
Indicia The required indication in the area usually reserved for the postage stamp designating the type of mailing.
Individual Most mailings are made to individuals, although all occupant or resident mail is, in effect, to an address only. A portion of business mail is addressed to the establishment (by name and address) only, or to a title and not to an individual.
Influentials In business mail order, those executives who have decision-making power on what and when to buy; those who exercise clout in their business classification or community; in consumer mail, those individuals (executive, professionals, educators, clergy, etc.) who make a difference in their localities or workplaces.
Initial source code Code for the source that brought the name to the customer file for the first time.
Ink-jet Computer-generated ink droplets that apply ink through a small orifice to form characters; often used for purposes of personalization.
Input data Original data, usually in hard copy form, to he convened and added to a given file. Also, taped lists made ready for a merge-purge, or for a databank.
Inquiry (1) Request for literature or other information about a product or service; (2) response in the form of an inquiry for more information or for a copy of a catalog.
Insert Leaflet or other printed material inserted loose in a publication or mailing package.
Insertion Order A form that an advertiser fills out giving specific directions on an advertisment being placed in a magazine or newspaper. Including, but not limited to; date(s) the ad should run, key codes, positioning or special placement of ad, size of ad, etc.
Inset Leaflet or other printed material bound in with the pages of a publication rather than inserted loose.
Installment Buyers Mail order buyers who have purchased goods or services on a periodic payment basis.
Insurance lists Lists of people who have inquired about or purchased various forms of insurance; lists of insurance agents, brokers, adjusters, executives.
Intelpost Royal Mail electronic transmission service for copy, artwork, and other urgent documents.
Inter-list Duplicate Duplication of name and address records between two or more lists, other than house lists, being mailed by a list user.
International 800 service Telephone service allowing toll-free calls to another country.
Intralist duplication Duplication of name and address records within a given list.
Italic Sloping version of a typeface, usually used for emphasis.
Item In the selection process for a mail-order list, term denoting the type of goods or service purchased; in input terms, it is a pan of a record to be converted.
Julian dating Three-digit numerical system for date-stamping a transaction by day: January 1 is 001, December 31is 365.
Kerning The process of adjusting the space between individual letters of a word.
Key One or more characters within a data group that can be used to identify it or control its use. This is synonymous with Key Code in the mailing business.
Key code (key) Group of letters and/or numbers, colors, or other markings, used to identify, measure and track the specific effectiveness of media, lists, advertisements, offers, etc., or any parts thereof.
Key verifying For 100 percent accuracy, having two operators at the data-entry stage keypunch the same data.
Keyline Can be any one of many partial or complete descriptions of past buying history codes to include name-and-address information and current status.
Keypunch Means of converting hard copy to machine-readable form by punching holes in either cards or paper tape.
Keystroke Clerical means used to convert hard copy data, one character at a time, to electronic form.
Kill To delete a record from a file.
Kill Bad Name (KBN) Refers to the process of eliminating from a file those addresses which are considered to be undeliverable.
Label Slip of paper containing the name and address of the recipient that is applied to a mailing for delivery.
Label, gummed Perforated label form on paper stock which must be individually separated and moistened before being applied with hand pressure to the mailing piece.
Label, one-up Conventional pressure-sensitive labels for computer addressing are four-across horizontal; one-up labels are in a vertical strip with center holes for machine affixing.
Label, peel off (pressure-sensitive) Self-adhesive label form that can be peeled off its backing form and pressed onto a mailing piece.
Laid paper Paper having parallel lines watermarked at equal distances, giving a ribbed effect.
Laser letters Letters printed by the latest high-speed, computerized imaging method. The new lasers can print two letters side by side, each of 35 or 40 lines, in one second.
Lead generation Mailing used to invite inquiries for sales follow-up.
Lead qualification Determination, by telemarketing, of customer's level of interest in and willingness and ability to buy a product or service.
Length of line The computer, which has the capacity to print 132 characters across a 14'A sheet, has forced discipline in the choice of line length. In four-across cheshiring, the longest line cannot be more than 30 characters; for five-across this limit is 23 characters. Capable data processors, utilizing all 8 lines available on a 1-deep label, can provide two full lines, if need be, for the title line.
Length of residence Major compilers who utilize telephone or car registration data maintain the number of years (up to 16) a given family has been at the same address, thereby providing another selection factor available from these stratified lists.
Letterhead Printing on a letter that identifies the sender.
Lettershop Business organization that handles the mechanical details of mailings such as addressing, imprinting, and collating; most offer some printing facilities and many offer some degree of creative direct mail services.
Lifestyle selectivity Selectivity based on the lifestyle habits of segments of the population as revealed through lists indicating what people need, what they buy, what they own, what they join, and what they support; major lists based on consumer surveys provide data on hobbies, ownership, and interests.
Lifetime value In direct mail, mail order and general marketing, the total profit or loss estimated or realized from a customer over the active life of that customer's record.
Lift letter Separate piece added to conventional solo mailings asking the reader to consider the offer just once 
List (Mailing List) Names and addresses of individuals and/or companies having in common a specific interest, characteristic, or activity.
List acquisition (1) Lease or purchase of lists from external services; (2) use of internal corporate lists.
List Affinity Correlation of a mailing offer to the selected mailing lists previous customers or make up.
List bank Names held in inventory for future use.
List Broker A specialist who makes all necessary arrangements for one company to use the list(s) of another company. A broker's services may include most, or all, of the following: research, selection, recommendation and subsequent evaluation.
List Building The process of collecting and utilizing list data and transaction data for list purposes.
List building offer/promotion Any method used for generating names or new customers in the effort to create a mailing list or data base.
List bulletin Announcement of a new list or of a change in a list previously announced.
List buyer Technically, one who actually buys mailing lists; in practice, one who orders mailing lists for one-time use. See List user and Mailer.
List card Conventional 5,, x 8 card used to provide essential data about a given list.
List catalog Directory of lists with counts prepared and distributed, usually free, by list managers and list 
List cleaning List updating or the process of correcting a mailing list.
List compilation Business of creating lists from printed records.
List Compiler One who develops lists of names and addresses from directories, newspapers, public records, sales slips, trade show registrations and other sources for identifying groups of people or companies with something in common.
List count Number of names and addresses on a given segment of a mailing list; a count provided before printing tapes or labels; the universe of names available by segment or classification.
List Criteria Those factors on a mailing list that differentiate one segment from another. The criteria can be demographic, psychographic, or physical in nature.
List databank See Databank.
List enhancement Addition of data per-mining to each individual record that increases the value of a list.
List Exchange A barter arrangement between two companies for the use of a mailing list(s). This may be: list for list, list for space, or list for comparable value - other than money.
List Franchise Major compilers often provide copies of all or parts of their files on a franchise basis to list wholesalers and mailing shops. The list may be paid for on a fee basis or, particularly on large files, on a royalty basis.
List key See Key code.
List Maintenance Any manual, mechanical or electronic system for keeping name-and-address records (with or without other data) up-to-date at any specific point(s) in time.
List management system Database system that manages customer and prospect lists, used to merge and purge duplicates between in-house lists and those obtained from outside sources and to select names for direct mail promotions and outgoing telemarketing programs.
List manager Person who, as an employee of a list owner or as an outside agent, is responsible for the use, by others, of a specific mailing list(s), and who oversees list maintenance, list promotion and marketing, list clearance and record keeping, and collecting for use of the list by others.
List manager, in-house Independent manager serving multiple lists. Some large list owners opt to manage the list rental activity through full-time in-house employees.
List monitoring See Monitoring.
List owner Person or business who, by promotional activity or compilation, has developed a list of names having something in common; or one who has purchased (as opposed to rented, reproduced, or used on a one-time basis) such a list from the list developer.
List Performance The response logged to a mailed list or list segment.
List Protection Lists are valuable and are, therefore, protected by review of mailing and mailer, insertion of list seeds, and obtaining of a guarantee of one-time use only.
List Ranking In building a 'bank' of lists for future use, each list is ranked in descending order on the basis of logged response and/or logged dollars of sales.
List rental Arrangement whereby a list owner furnishes names to a mailer and receives a royalty from the mailer.
List Rental History A report showing tests and continuations by users of a given list. This usage record, exclusive to each broker or to the list manager, is the key to list recommendations. Historical data can be maintained by list, mailer, product or source of business. Repeat usage by mailers by name is perhaps the most important information desired by a knowledgeable direct marketer.
List Royalty Payment to list owners for the privilege of using their names on a one-time basis.
List Sample A group of names selected from a list in order to evaluate the responsiveness of that list.
List Segmentation See List Selection
List Selection Characteristics used to define smaller groups within a list (essentially, lists within a list). Although very small, select groups may be very desirable and may substantially improve response, increased costs often render them impractical.
List Sequence The order in which names and addresses appear in a list. While most lists today are in ZIP Code sequence, some are alphabetical by name, others are in carrier sequence (postal delivery), and still others may (or may not) use some other order within the ZIP Code. Some lists are still arranged alphabetically by name or chronologically, and in many other variations or combinations.
List Sort Process of putting records in a list in a specific sequence. Can be a alphanumeric sequence on a specific field, or in no sequence.
List source Original source used to generate names on a mailing list.
List test Part of a list selected to try to determine the effectiveness of the entire list. See List sample.
List user Mailer, on company that uses names and addresses on someone else's list as prospects for its product or service.
List, Custom Compiled In prior years, all compiled lists were typed and thus were custom prepared to order. Today, virtually all compiled files with multiple data elements are precompiled on tape for virtually any selection the user wishes.
List, mailing Names and addresses of individuals and-or companies having in common a specific interest, characteristic, or activity.
Load Up Process of offering a buyer the opportunity of buying an entire series at one time after the customer has purchased the first item in that series.
Logotype (logo) Symbol or statement used consistently to identify a company or product.
Long Term Value The total sales or profit that may be gained over a period of time from one customer. Example: If your average customer buys from you four times a year, and each time the average order is $25.00, and your average customer stays a customer for three years, then the long term value of your average customer is $300.00. (4 x $25 x 3 = $300)
Look-up service Service organization that adds telephone numbers to lists.

Machinable Refers to mail which has the proper shape, dimensions and weight to allow it to be processed by automated equipment.
Machine-coated paper Paper coated on one or both sides during manufacture.
Machine-readable data Imprinted alphanumeric data, including name and address that can be read and converted to magnetic form by an optical character reader.
Magalogue A mail order catalog that includes paid advertisements and in some cases, brief editorials that make its format similar to that of a magazine.
Magnetic tape Film for storing electronically recorded data, often in list format to allow computerized matching with other lists for purposes of appending phone numbers or eliminating duplications.
Magnetic tape charge Charge made for the tape reel on which a list is furnished and which usually is not returnable for credit.
Mail Advertising Service Association (MASA) A major trade association of mailing houses responsible for fulfillment in the United States. MASA has some 500 members; there are over 6,000 lettershops and mailing houses in the United States.
Mail count Amount of mail deposited with the Postal Service on a given date as reported on the certification form.
Mail Date Date when a list user, by prior agreement with the list owner, is obligated to mail a specific list. No other date is acceptable without specific approval of the list owner.
Mail Monitoring A means to determine how long individual pieces of mail take to reach their destinations. This is also used to verify content and ascertain any unauthorized use.
Mail order Method of conducting business wherein merchandise or services are promoted directly to the user, orders are received by mail, fax, Internet or telephone, and merchandise is mailed to the purchaser.
Mail Order Action Line (MOAL) A service of the Direct Marketing Association which assists consumers in resolving problems with mail order purchases.
Mail Preference Service (MPS) A service of the Direct Marketing Association for consumers who wish to have their names removed from national commercial mailing lists. The name-removal file is made available to subscribers on a quarterly basis.
Mail-order buyer Person who orders and pays for a product or service through the mail.
Mailer (1) A direct mail advertiser who promotes a product or service using lists of others, house lists, or both. (2) A printed direct mail advertising piece. (3) A folding carton, wrapper or tube used to protect materials in the mail.
Mailer's Technical Advisory Committee A group of representatives from virtually all associations involved in any form of mailing and related services that meets periodically with Postal Service officials to provide advice, technical information, and recommendations on postal policies.
Mailgram A combination telegram-letter, with the telegram transmitted to a postal facility close to the addressee and then delivered as First-Class mail.
Mailing House A direct-mail service establishment which, among other services for the mailer, will affix labels, sort, bag and tie the mail, and deliver it in qualified ZIP Code strings to the USPS for certification. Many mailing houses also provide printing as well as computerized services.
Mailing List/Users and Suppliers Association Association founded in 1983, specifically targeted to mailing list uses and abuses.
Mailing Machine A machine that attaches labels to mailing pieces and otherwise prepares such pieces for deposit in the postal system.
Mailing package The complete direct mail unit as it arrives in the consumer's mailbox.
Make-up Positioning of type and illustrations to conform to a layout; in lithography usually called a paste-up.
Makeready In letterpress, the building up of the press form so that heavy and light areas print with the correct impression.
Management information system (MIS) System, automated or manual, that provides sales support information for both the sales representative to enhance sales activity and management to evaluate sales performance.
Manifest Mailing System A system for entering non-identical pieces in a single bulk mailing to qualify for postage discounts. All pieces must be of the same mail class and processing category.
Manual telephone sales center Completely paper-driven telephone sales center.
Marginal list test Test that almost, but not quite, qualifies for a continuation.
Market In the list world, each list is a market. All potential buyers that can be reached by mail are the market.
Market penetration Proportion of buyers on a list to the total list or to the total area. For business lists, penetration is usually analyzed by two-digit or four-digit Standard Industrial Classification codes.
Marketing mix Various marketing elements and strategies that must be used together to achieve maximum effectiveness.
Markup Details of the size and style of type to be used; also known as type specification.
Marriage mail Form of co-op in which the offers of two or more disparate mailers are combined in one folder or envelope for delivery to the same address.
Master File 1. A file that is used as an authority in a given job and that is relatively permanent, even though its contents may change. 2. A collection of permanent information, such as a customer address file.
Match To cause the typing of addresses, salutations, or inserts into letters to agree with other copy that is already imprinted.
Match Code A code determined either by the creator or the user of a file for matching records contained in another file.
Matched city pairs For testing purposes when individual markets must be utilized, a means to do A in City Y but not B, while doing both A and B in City X with the premise that the two cities are reasonably matched as to size, income spread, and lifestyles.
Matte finish Dull paper finish that has no gloss.
Maximum cost per order Lifetime value of each major cell of customers on a customer file; helps set a limit on the price to pay for a new customer.
Mechanical Finished artwork ready for printing production; generally includes type matter pasted in position.
Mechanical addressing systems System in which small lists are filed on cards or plates and addressing is done by mechanical means.
Media Plural of medium; the means of transmitting information or an advertising message (direct mail package, inserts, magazines, posters, television, etc.).
Media data form Established format for presenting comparative data on publications.
Media insert Insert, either loose or bound, generally in business and consumer publications.
Median Demographic Data All U.S. Census data is based on medians rather than an individualized basis. Thus a census age is the median for a group of householders. It is important to distinguish between stratified median data and individualized data such as length of residence, ownership of a car, and family income.
Medium Channel or system of communication, e.g., a specific magazine, newspaper, TV station, or mailing list.
Member get member A promotion where existing members are offered a gift for enrolling new members. Also known as get-a-friend.
Merge To combine two or more lists into a single list utilizing the same sequential order, and then to sort them together, usually by ZIP code.
Merge/purge To combine two or more lists for list enhancement, suppression, or duplication elimination by a computerized matching process.
Metered Mail Mail whose postage has been paid through the use of a postage meter.
Military lists Lists of persons in military service.
Minicatalog New prospecting device consisting of a fanfolded set of minipages 3' x 5 used as cardvertisers, billing stuffers, and package inserts; also utilized by some mailers as a bounce-back.
Minimum (1) Minimum billing applied to list rentals involving a small number of names; (2) minimum billing for given mailing and/or computerized sources.
Minimum order requirement Stipulation, irrespective of the quantity ordered, that payment of a given number of dollars will be expected.
MOAL See Mail Order Action Line.
Mobility rate Annual rate at which families move or businesses fail, change names, or are absorbed each year.
Modeling A process involving use of spreadsheets via a computer which provides reasonable answers to 'what if' scenarios. This is used primarily by magazines balancing the costs and productivity of multiple means to maintain or build circulation.
Monetary value Total expenditures by a customer during a specific period of time, generally 12 months.
Monitoring Listening in on telephone conversations from extensions, usually for training of telephone sales representatives; also known as a service observing.
Mono In printing, printed in a single color.
Move Update Mail must be updated through an approved USPS move update process at a minimum of 6 months prior to mailing a First Class mail piece. These processes, ACS, ACR, NCOA, and Fast Forward, will identify people who have filed change of address cards and correct their address to reflect their new address. More information can be obtained from the national customer support center and Local business centers.
MPS See Mail Preference Service.
Multi-Buyers The identification through a merge-purge of all records found on two or more lists.
Multifamily See Multiple dwelling.
Multiple buyer Person who has bought two or more times (not one who has bought two or more items at one time only); also known as multibuyer or repeat buyer.
Multiple contact case Situation in which more than one contact with a prospect or customer is needed to complete or close a sale.
Multiple Dwelling A housing unit for three or more families at the same address. For adequate delivery to apartment dwellers it is more and more necessary to include the apartment number in the address. Multidwelling families can be selected or omitted on major compiled files.
Multiple Regression Statistical technique used to measure the relationship between responses to a mailing and census demographics and list characteristics of one or more selected mailing lists. This is used to determine the best types of people/areas to whom to mail. This technique can also be used to analyze customers, subscribers, and so on.
Multiple regression analysis Statistical procedure that studies multiple independent variables simultaneously to identify a pattern or patterns that can lead to an increase in response.
Multiple SICs On major files of large businesses, the augmentation (overlay) of the primary Standard Industrial Classification with up to three more four-digit SICs. Business merge-purges often disclose multiple SIC alignments unavailable on any single list source.
Name Single entry on a mailing list.
Name Acquisition Technique of soliciting a response to obtain names and addresses for a mailing list.
Name Change of Address This is a service for the USPS to provide national data on CHADs (changes of address) that are 'undeliverable as addressed'.
Name drain Loss, mainly by large businesses, of the names and addresses of prospective customers who write to them or visit their stores.
Name-Removal Service Portion of DMA's Mail Preference Service for consumers who wish to have their names removed from mailing lists used by MPS subscribers.
National change of address Service of the U.S. Postal Service that provides national data on changes of address.
National Change of Address (NCOA) A service of the USPS to improve the accuracy of mailing addresses. The NCOA file is compiled from change of address cards (found at all post offices) that are filled out and submitted by movers to have their mail forwarded to their new address. Mailing lists can then be matched against this file of movers to supply the current mailing address. This service is performed by vendors licensed by the postal service.
National Mail Order Association (NMOA) One of the chief trade associations serving the mail order/direct marketing field, with emphasis on serving small to midsize businesses and mail order entrepreneurs.
Negative Photographic image on film in which black values in the original subject are transparent, white values are opaque, light grays are dark, and dark grays are light.
Negative Option A buying plan in which a customer or club member agrees to accept and pay for products or services announced in advance at regular intervals. And unless the individual notifies the company not to ship the merchandise it will be shipped. A book club utilizing negative option provides its customer with the opportunity to return a card and refuse a selection, usually each month. If the card is not returned or not returned in time, the selection is automatically forwarded and billed to the customer.
Nesting Placing one enclosure within another before inserting it into a mailing envelope.
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. They can sometimes provide for a running charge or not.
Net names Actual number of names on a given list mailed after a merge-purge; the concept of paying only for such names.
Net Names The actual number of names of a given list mailed after a merge-purge. Also, the concept of paying only for such names.
Net Unique Name File One of the chief outputs of a merge-purge operation, this is the resultant one-per-record unique unduplicated list.
Net-Net Names An agreement made by a renter with a list owner to pay only for names that survive given screens including income, credit, house list duplicates, prior list suppress names, ZIP suppress programs, and so on. The surviving portion can be quite small.
New case Telephone contact yet to be made.
New connects New names added to the connected lines of telephone, gas and electric utilities.
New households New connects by local phone companies; data on new names from one telephone book to another are over one year old.
Newspaper lists List data on engagements, births, deaths, and newsmaking items and changes published in newspapers.
Nine-Digit ZIP Code A USPS system designed to provide an automated means to utilize an extended ZIP Code to sort mail down to small contiguous areas within a carrier route.
Nixie A bad address. A mailing piece returned to a mailer (under proper authorization) by the Postal Service because of an incorrect, or undeliverable, name and address. In direct mail, nixies will precede any responses.
No-pay Person who has not paid for goods or services ordered, Also known as an a uncollectable, a deadbeat, or a delinquent.
Nonprofit rate Preferential Postal Service rate extended to organizations that are not maintained for profit.
North/South labels Mailing labels that read from top to bottom that can be affixed with Cheshire equipment.
Novelty Format An attention-getting direct mail format.
Nth Name or Interval A statistical means to take a given number of names that are equally selected over the full universe of the list segment being sampled. The Nth number interval is derived by dividing the total names in the list by the sample number desired.
Nth Name Selection A fractional unit that is repeated in sampling a mailing list. For example, in an 'every tenth' sample, you would select records that are the 1st, 11th, 21st, 32nd, and so on, or those that are the 2nd, 12th, 22nd, 32nd, and so on.
Objective case Each telemarketing project has a specific objective for each case, e.g., make a sale, reactivate an account, arrange for an appointment.
Occupant (Resident) Lists Lists compiled from households which consist of addresses only. These are the chief lists used for chain grocery and department store flyers. They include apartment numbers and are the only list sources covering all 87 million households. Occupant lists are maintained not only in carrier-route order, but in carrier-walk order by carrier route.
OCR (Optical Character Reader) Electronic scanning device for identification of printed characters through use of light-sensitive devices.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) Software Software that can convert a scanned image of text and convert it into electronic data that is readable and editable by word processors.
Offer The sales terms outlining a specific product or service.
Offices Compilations of businesses with telephones providing offices of professionals and of multiple professionals per office, where desired, brought together by their common telephone number.
Offset litho Method of transferring the printing image from flat plate to paper via a covered cylinder.
On-line availability Linkup system in which an operator at a remote terminal can obtain list information from a data bank or database at another location.
One-off See One-time use of a list.
One-Shot Mailing An offer designed to make the sale in a single transaction. Same as one-stage mailing.
One-Time Buyer A buyer who has not ordered a second time from a given company.
One-Time Use of a List An intrinsic part of the normal list usage, list reproduction, or list exchange agreement in which it is understood that the mailer will not use the names on the list more than one time without specific prior approval of the list owner.
One-year contract Form of lease in which the renter is granted unlimited use for one year of a given set of compiled records; usually treated as a sale for one year.
Opacity Property of a sheet of paper that minimizes the show-through of printing from the reverse side or from the next sheet.
Open Customer record that at a specific time reflects an unpaid balance for goods and services ordered without delinquency.
Operations review Annual or semiannual review of the entire telephone sales center and strategic plan of a company.
Opportunity seeker Class of mail-order buyer or prospect that seeks a new and different way to make an income; ranges from people who look for ways to work at home, to expensive franchises.
Optical character reader (OCR) Computerized mail processing machine that scans the addresses on mail and prints the corresponding barcode on the piece. The barcoded piece then goes to the barcode sorter for sorting. See also OCR
Optical scanner Input device that optically reads a line of printed characters and converts each character to its electronic equivalent for processing.
Optimum Price The selling price the produces the highest net profit. This price point is found by testing different prices in an offer and using a split-run or A/B split.
Or Current Resident A line added via computer to a three-line consumer list in an attempt to obtain greater deliverability and readership in case of a change in residential personnel.
Order blank envelope Order form printed on one side of a sheet, with a mailing address on the reverse; the recipient simply fills in the order and folds and seals the form like an envelope.
Order Blank Envelopes An order form printed on one side of a sheet, with a mailing address on the reverse. The recipient simply fills in the order, folds and seals like an envelope.
Order card A reply card used to initiate an order by mail.
Order entry procedure Process of capturing the name, address, item, dollars, and key for a transaction, and connecting it to electronic data, which then trigger creation of a picking document, a billing document, and usually the effect of that transaction upon inventory and inventory control.
Order Form A printed form on which a customer can provide information to initiate an order by mail. Usually designed to be mailed in an envelope.
Order margin Sum represented by the difference between all costs (except promotion) and the selling price (after returns).
Origination All the work needed to prepare a promotional package, e.g., copy, design, photography, typesetting, color separation.
Outbound calls Calls that are placed by the telemarketing center. See also Inbound.
Outbound telemarketing Proactive approach to a given market by a planned program to develop leads and/or sales.
Outside list manager See List manager.
Overlay/Overlays In artwork, a transparent or translucent covering over the copy where color breaks, instructions, or corrections are marked. Concerning mailing lists, a technique of overlaying (or adding) data information from one mailing list onto (or melded into) another list. Generally done in the effort to create a highbred mailing list, or to select a special group out of the whole.The transfer can be demographics, or a telephone number, or a job function, even psychographic data on buying habits. Can be utilized for other research purposes.
Overprinting Double printing; printing over an area that already has been printed.
Package A term used to describe all of the assembled enclosures (parts or elements) of a mailing effort.
Package Insert Any promotional piece included in a product shipment. It may be for different products (or refills and replacements) from the same company or for products and services of other companies.
Package Test A test of part or all of the elements of one mailing piece against another.
Page proofs Proofs taken after make-up into pages, prior to printing.
Paid cancel Person who completes a basic buying commitment before canceling that commitment. See also Completed cancel.
Paid circulation Distribution of a publication to individuals or organizations that have paid for a subscription.
Paid during service Method of paying for magazine subscriptions in installments, usually weekly or monthly, and usually collected personally by the original salesperson or a representative of the publisher.
Paletization The preparation of mail in packages and placing those packages on wooden or plastic platforms (pallets) prior to submitting the mailing to the United States Postal Service.
Pandering list List of individuals who have reported receipt of sexually offensive literature to the Postal Service to ensure that the same mailer cannot, except by facing criminal charges, mail to them again.
Panel Group of people having similar interests that is used for research purposes. See also Focus research.
Para sales force Sales team that works as a supplement to another sales team either on the telephone or in the field.
Pass (1) One run of the paper through the printing press; (2) to clear a page for a subscription.
Pass-along Additional readership acquired as executives forward particularly interesting mail to their associates. Business catalog mailers seek to harness this effect by printing a group of germane titles on the cover as a suggested routing for such pass-along readership.
Passing a File Process of reading a file sequentially by computer to select and/or copy specific data.
Past buyer See Former buyer.
Paste-up Process by which an artist puts together type copy and photographs into final artwork ready for photographic reproduction.
Payment rate Percentage of respondents who buy on credit or takes a trial on credit and who then pay.
Payment, method of Record or tag showing how a customer paid for a purchase (by check or credit card or money order); available as a selection factor on a number of response lists.
Peel-Off Label A self-adhesive label attached to a backing sheet which is attached to a mailing piece. The label is intended to be removed from the mailing piece and attached to an order blank or card.
Peg count Tally of the number of calls made or received over a set period of time.
Pending case Case in which an initial contact has been made and the communicator is waiting for a response or additional information.
Penetration Relationship of the number of individuals or families on a particular list (by state, ZIP Code, SIC, and so on) compared to the total number possible.
Penetration Analysis A study made of the 'share of market' held by a given mailer within various universes by classification or other demographic characteristics. For business mailers, this is the chief means to ascertain which markets by SIC and number of employees are most successfully penetrated in order to prospect more efficiently.
Performance evaluation Weekly or monthly review of a salesperson's performance by first-line supervision.
Periodical Publication issued at specific intervals.
Periodical Class Postal rate system that covers periodicals.
Peripheral listing Creation of a variant kind of audience from that specified, e.g., addressing to the parents of College Student or High School Student X, titling to Mrs. X from a list of doctors by name and address at home, addressing a child by name to attract the eye of the parent, or inviting the new neighbors to view a new car at a given address.
Personalization Adding the name of the recipient to a mailing piece, or the use of a computer to input data that is meaningful to the customer being addressed. In the future it is possible that entire catalogs will be printed and selectively bound to match personal data identification.
Phone List Mailing list compiled from names listed in telephone directories.
Photosetting Production of type matter in positive form on bromide or film by the use of electromechanical equipment that is usually computer-assisted.
Pick-up and delivery charges Charges relating to collection or delivery of outside lists or components involved in the mailing process.
Piece rate Third-class mail breaks into two main rate categories-third-class bulk rate (for discounts) and third-class piece rate. For the price of a first-class stamp, a piece weighing up to 3 1/2 ounces may be placed in the mail stream without any prior sortation, a charge that is currently over 40 percent greater than the unit charge for third-class bulk mail.
Piggy-Back An offer that hitches a free ride with another offer.
Pigment Powdered substance used to give color, body, or opacity to printing inks.
Pilot Trial program designed to test the feasibility of a possible telemarketing program.
Platemaking Process by which artwork is converted into letterpress or offset plates for printing.
Pocket envelope Envelope with the flap on its short side.
Point Measure used to describe type sizes.
Political lists Mailing lists that break into two main categories -voter registration files mailed primarily during political campaigns, and fund-raising files of donors to various political causes.
Poly Bag Transparent polyethylene bag used in place of envelopes for mailing.
Pop-Up A printed piece containing a paper construction pasted inside a fold which, when the fold is opened, 'pops up' to form a three-dimensional illustration.
Positive Photographic image on film that corresponds to the original copy; the reverse of a negative.
Positive option Method of distributing products and services incorporating the same advance notice techniques as a negative option but requiring a specific order each time from the member or subscriber, generally more costly and less predictable than negative option.A book club on positive option mails mainly offers of new selections to its membership and solicits orders as a catalog mailer does. There is no obligation to buy.
Post codes Codes added to the addresses on a mailing list that define sales and distribution areas; a fully post-coded address list earns an additional discount when bulk mailing under the first- and second-class discount schemes.
Post-paid impression (PPI) See Printed postage impression.
Postage Meter A machine that dispenses prepaid postage in the form of meter imprints. The meter imprint is printed in special fluorescent ink and can be used instead of postage stamps on all classes of mail.
Postage refund Sum returned to a mailer by an owner or manager for nondeliverables exceeding a stipulated guarantee.
Postage Statements Forms that are filled out and presented by mailers with each bulk mailing to assist the postal service in verification and acceptance of bulk mailings.
Postal Service Prohibitory Order A communication from the Postal Service to a company indicating that a specific person and/or family considers the company's advertising mail to be pandering. The Order requires the company to remove from its own mailing list and from any other lists used to promote that company's products or services all names listed on the Order. Violation of the Order is subject to fine and imprisonment. Names listed on the Order are to be distinguished from those names removed voluntarily by the list owner at an individual's request.
Postcard Single sheet self-mailer on card stock.
Postcard mailers Booklet containing business reply cards that are individually perforated for selective return to order products or obtain information.
Precall planning Preparation before a sales call to promote maximum effectiveness.
Precanceled Stamp Special stamps which have been canceled before sale to mailers. A bulk mail permit is required to use precanceled stamps.
Preclearance Act of getting clearance on a rental before sending in the order.
Premium Item offered to a potential buyer, free or at a nominal price, as an inducement to purchase or obtain for trial a product or service offered via mail order.
Premium buyer Person who buys a product or service in order to get another product or service (usually free or at a special price), or person who responds to an offer of a special premium on the package or label (or sometimes in the advertising) of another product.
Preprint Advertising insert printed in advance for a newspaper or magazine.
Prerecorded message Taped message, often recorded by a celebrity or authority figure that is played to inbound callers or included in an outbound call.
Presort To prepare mail for direct delivery to post offices or to carriers at post offices. The USPS offers discounts for those who prepare the mail for direct delivery to post offices or to carriers at post offices. Doing so requires the mailer to 'sort' and package the mail prior to putting it into the system.
Press date Date on which a publication goes to print.
Prestructured marketing Marketing using computer software that provides a highly efficient system for annual fund-raising and capital drives, special events, and membership development by providing detailed information on specific target groups.
Price lining Setting of prices by a seller in accordance with certain price points believed to he attractive to buyers.
Printer's error Error in printed copy that is the fault of the typesetter and corrected at the printer's expense.
Printout Copy on a sheet of a list, or of some selected data on a list such as matched pairs indicating duplication from a merge-purge, or an array of largest buyers or donors.
Prior list suppress Utilization of prior data to remove matching data from a new run and thus reduce the payment for the list data as used.
Priority For a continuation, method of arranging the tested lists and list segments in descending order on the basis of number of responses or number of dollars of sales per thousand pieces mailed; for political mail, a special next-day delivery service offered by the Postal Service.
Private mail Mail handled by special arrangement outside the Postal Service.
Proactive Seller-initiated or outbound calling.
Process colors Black and three primary colors - magenta (red), cyan (blue), and yellow-into which full-color artwork is separated before printing.
Product information cards Business reply cards bound in a booklet for selective return to order products or obtain information; also sometimes mailed loose in the form of a pack of cards.
Professional lists Direct marketing lists that break down into some 30 categories, from architects to veterinarians. For example, a new list on the market based on a classified list of doctors (MDs) with phones has verified addresses and phone numbers of over 100,000 of some 190,000 physicians in private practice.
Projected roil-out response Based on tests results, the response anticipated from a large continuation or program.
Prompt Form of sales presentation by a professional telesalesperson that is comprised of predetermined but unscripted steps in the telephone call that will be presented in every closed case.
Proof Impression taken from types, blocks, or plates for checking for errors and making amendments prior to printing.
Prospect The name of a person on a mailing list, who has not previously made a purchase, but is considered to be a potential buyer for a given product or service .
Prospecting Using mailings to get leads for further sales contacts rather than to make direct sales.
Protected Mailing Date A time, usually one or two weeks prior and one or two weeks after the protected mail date for a large quantity of names, in which the list owner guarantees no competitive offer will be given access to the list.
Protected mailing period Period of time, usually one or two weeks prior to and one or two weeks after the mail date for a large quantity of names, in which the list owner guarantees no competitor will be given access to the list.
Protection The amount of time before and after the assigned mailing date when a list owner will not allow the same names to be mailed by anyone other than the mailer cleared for that specific date.
Pseudo carrier The Postal Service Carrier Route (CRIS) tape lists millions of bits of data delineating 160,000 individual carrier routes. Major consumer compilers break up the areas not serviced by individual carriers into 240,000 extra pseudo-carrier routes for marketing penetration selection or omission.
Pseudo SICs Modifications of the U.S. Department of Commerce Standard Industrial Classification codes. By adding a fifth character to the SIC four-digit designations, major compilers now provide 4,600 SIC classifications with greater specificity. When the phone companies provide all of their classified listings, the number of different classifications for selection can total over 8,500. A six-digit SIC system is now under construction by Dun & Bradstreet and Data Base America.
Psychographics Any characteristics or qualities used to denote the lifestyle or attitude of customers and prospective customers.
Publisher's letter Letter enclosed in a mailing package to stress a specific selling point. Also known as a lift letter.
Pull Usually refers to the proportion of response by mail or phone to a given promotional activity.
Purge The process of eliminating duplicates and/or unwanted names and addresses from one or more lists.
Pyramiding A method of testing mailing lists in which one starts with a small quantity and, based on positive indications, follows with increasingly large quantities of the list balance until the entire list is mailed.
Qualification sortation Third-class bulk mail sorted to meet Postal Service qualifications for three different mail streams.
Qualified Leads Names and addresses of individuals who have taken a positive action to indicate genuine interest in a given type of offer.
Quantity pricing Pricing, usually by compilers, offering price breaks for varying list quantities rented over a period of a year.
Questionnaire Printed form presented to a specific audience to solicit answers to specific questions.
Queue Something in a line. In telemarketing, refers to a function of an automatic call distributor that holds all (incoming) calls in the order in which they arrive until the next available agent takes the first in line, moving the next call up in sequence. A printing queue prints documents in the order they are received from the computer.
Quotation Price presented to a prospective mailer before running a list order requiring special processing.

R. F. M. R. Acronym for recency-frequency-monetary value ratio, a formula used to evaluate the sales potential of names on a mailing list.
R.O.P. See Run of paper.
Random access Access mode in which records are obtained from or placed into a mass storage file in a nonsequential manner so that any record can be rapidly accessed.
Rate of response See Response rate.
Rating points Method of measurement of TV or radio audience size.
Reactive telemarketing Customer-initiated buying by telephone (inbound calling).
Readership Number of people who read a publication as opposed to the number of people who receive it.
Rebate Discount technique used mainly by manufacturers to bring down the final price that consumers pay for an item. Only 5% to 10% of eligible rebates are ever redeemed.
Recency Latest purchase or other activity recorded for an individual or company on a specific customer list. See also Frequency and monetary value.
Record Name-and-address entry on a file.
Record layout Description covering the entire record length to denote where on a tape each part (or field) of the record appears, such as name, local address, city, state, ZIP code, and other relevant data.
Record length Number of characters occupied by each record on a file.
Referral name See Friend of a friend.
Referral Program A promotion for list building or lead generation where current customers or members help bring in their friends. A special bonus is usually attached to the offer for helping. See Friend of a friend.
Reformatting Changing a magnetic tape format from one arrangement to another, more usable format; also called conversion.
Refund (1) For a list, return of part of payment due to shortage in count or excessive nondeliverables (over the guarantee); (2) for a product sold by mail, a return of the purchase price if an item is returned in good condition.
Registration list List constructed from state or local political-division registration data.
Regression Analysis A statistical means to improve the predictability of response based on an analysis of multiple, stratified relationships within a file.
Remnant Space/Time Unsold advertising space in a magazine that is sold at the last minute at a discount. Unsold air time is also sometimes available in radio and television.
Renewal Subscription that has been renewed prior to or at expiration time or within six months thereafter.
Rental See List rental.
Repeat Buyer See Multiple Buyer
Repeat mailing Mailing of the same or very similar packages to the addresses on a list for the second time.
Reply Card A sender-addressed card included in a mailing on which the recipient may indicate his or her response to the offer.
Reply-O-Letter One of a number of patented direct mail formats for facilitating replies from prospects, featuring a die-cut opening on the face of the letter and a pocket on the reverse; an addressed reply card is inserted in the pocket and the name and address thereon shows through the die-cut opening.
Reprint Special repeat printing of an individual article or advertisement from a publication.
Repro High-quality reproduction proof, usually intended to be used as artwork for printing.
Reproduction Right Authorization by a list owner for a specific mailer to use that list on a one-time basis.
Request for proposal (RFP) Pro-forma device for outlining specific purchasing requirements that can he responded to in kind by vendors.
Response Incoming contacts generated by media.
Response curve Anticipated incoming contact volume charting its peak and its decline, based on hours, days, weeks, or months.
Response Lists People or institutions who have responded to direct marketing offers (mail, space, or broadcast) - by mail or phone. They are more likely to respond again than people on non-response lists.
Response Rate Percent of returns from a mailing.
Restrictions Limitations on rental use placed on a list by its owner or manager.
Return Card A postage paid business return card (BRC).
Return Envelopes Addressed reply envelopes, either stamped or unstamped, included with the mailing. These are different from business reply envelopes which carry a postage payment guarantee.
Return On Investment (R.O.I.) In direct response, the return on investment is one of the main ways to measure the effectiveness and profitability of any given promotional effort. Since response starts very quickly, dollars from an effort often permit multiple use of a given investment as the charges against that investment are being paid off. This provides particularly attractive 'return' on the original dollars put to risk.
Return postage guaranteed Legend imprinted on the address face of envelopes or other mailing pieces when the mailer wishes the Postal Service to return undeliverable standard (third-class) bulk mail. It will be returned for a fee. See also List cleaning.
Return Requested An indication that a mailer will compensate the Postal Service for return of an undeliverable mailing piece.
Returns Responses to a direct mail program.
Reverse out To change printing areas so that the parts usually black or shaded are reversed and appear white or gray.
RFMR Acronym for Recency-Frequency-Monetary Value Ratio, a formula used to evaluate the sales potential of names on a mailing list.
Ride-Along A form of co-op mailing in which outside offers are accepted to accompany the cold-prospecting mailing the ride-along provides.
Rollout To mail the remaining portion of a mailing list after successfully testing a portion of that list.
Rough Rough sketch or preliminary outline of a leaflet or advertisement; also known as scamp.
Royalty Sum paid per unit mailed or sold for the use of a list, an imprimatur, a patent or the like.
Run of Paper (1) Term applied to color printing on regular paper and presses, as distinct from separate sections printed on special color presses; also called run of press. (2) Term sometimes used to describe an advertisement positioned by publisher's choice-in other than a preferred position- for which a special charge is made.
Run-on price Price from a supplier for continuing to produce (generally print or envelopes) once an initial run is in process; includes only materials and ongoing charges, and not origination or machine prep.
Running Charge The price a list owner charges for names run or passed, but not used by a specific mailer. When such a charge is made, it is usually to cover extra processing costs. However, some list owners set the price without regard to actual cost.
Saddle stitching Stapling a publication from the back to the center.
Sale Formal agreement to buy, make an appointment, or any other definition of a sale as determined by the objective of a specific case.
Sales conversion rate Number of sales in relation to number of calls initiated or received.
Sales message Description of the features and benefits of a product or service.
Sales presentation Structured anatomy of an offer describing how the product or service works.
Salting Deliberate placing of decoy or dummy names in a list for the purpose of tracing list usage and delivery. See also Decoy and Dummy.
Salting via seeds, dummies, or decoys Adding names with special characteristics to a list for protection and identification purposes.
Sample Buyer One who sends for a sample product, usually at a special price or for a small handling charge, but sometimes free.
Sample Package (Mailing Piece) An example of the package that will be mailed by the list user to a particular list. Such a mailing piece is submitted to the list owner for approval prior to commitment for one-time use of that list. Although a sample package may, due to time pressure, differ slightly from the actual package used, the list user agreement usually requires the user to reveal any material differences when submitting the sample package.
Scamp See Rough.
Scented ink Printing ink to which a fragrance has been added.
Score Impressing of an indent or a mark in the paper to make folding easier.
Scratch and sniff See Scented inks.
Screen (1) Use of an outside list (based on credit, income, deliverability, ZIP code selection) to suppress records on a list to be mailed; (2) halftone process in platemaking that reduces the density of color in an illustration.
Screen printing Method of printing from stencils placed on a fine mesh tightly stretched on a frame, through which ink or paint is forced.
Script Prepared text presentation used by sales personnel as a tool to convey a sales message in its entirety.
Seasonality Selection of time of year; the influence of seasonal timing on response rates.
Second class Second-class mail in the postal rate system; covers periodicals.
Sectional Center Facility (SCF or SCF Center) A Postal Service distribution unit comprising different Post Offices whose ZIP Codes start with the same first three digits. Some 900 have been assigned by the USPS.
Seed A dummy or decoy name inserted into a list. See Salting.
Seeding Planting of dummy names in a mailing list to check usage, delivery, or unauthorized reuse.
Segment Portion of a list or file selected on the basis of a special set of characteristics.
Segmentation Process of separating characteristic groups within a list for target marketing.
Selection Process of segregating or selecting specific records from a list according to specific criteria.
Selection charge Fee added to the base cost of a mailing list for a special selection.
Selection criteria One or more characteristics that identify segments or subgroups within a list.
Self-cover Cover of a book or catalog printed on the same paper as the pages.
Self-Mailer A direct mail piece mailed without an envelope.
Self-standing stuffers Promotional printed pieces delivered as part of a daily or Sunday news paper.
Senior citizen lists Lists of older individuals past a specific age, available for over 50-, 55-, 60-, and 65-year-olds.
Separations Color separations either prepared by an artist using separate overlays for each color or achieved photographically by use of filters.
Sequence Arrangement of items according to a specified set of rules or instructions.
Series rate Special rate offered by publications and other media for a series of advertisements as opposed to a single insertion.
Service Bureau A company which specializes in performing direct marketing support services such as mail list management, and other services such as mailing labels, tabbing.
Set-up charge Flat charge assessed on some lists in addition to the cost per thousand.
Shared mailing Mailing that promotes the products of two or more companies, with the participants sharing the mailing list and all other costs.
Sheet fed Relating to a printing technique whereby paper is fed into the printing press in single sheets, as opposed to paper on a roll.
Shipping time Approximate number of days required for production of a list order.
SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) Classification of businesses, as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
SIC count Count of the number of records available by two-, three-, four-, or five-digit Industrial Standard Classification.
Signature In book, magazine, and catalog production. name given to a large printed sheer after it has been folded to the required size; a number of signatures make up a publication.
Significant Difference In mathematical terms, a difference between tests of two or more variables, which is sufficient to indicate that a similar mailing will produce the same or similar differentiation. The significant difference varies with the confidence level desired. Most direct-mail penetration uses a 95-percent confidence level wherein 95 times out of 100 the results found in the test will come close to the results obtained by duplicating on a retest or combination.
Single-Family Household A private home, housing only one household, as distinct from multiple-family residences.
Single-step See One-stage mailing.
Sleeper See Dummy name.
Solo Mailing A mailing promoting a single product or a limited group of related products. Usually it consists of a letter, brochure, and reply device enclosed in an envelope.
Sort/Merge Program A processing program that can be used to sort or merge records in a prescribed sequence.
Sorting (1) Computerized process of changing the given sequence of a list to a different sequence; (2) interfiling two or more lists.
Source Count The number of names and addresses in any given list that were derived from a particular media or list source.
Space ads Mail-order ads in newspapers, magazines, and self-standing stuffers; one of the major media utilized for prospecting for new customers.
Space buyer Media buyer (usually in an advertising agency) who places print mail-order advertising.
Space-sold record Any record on a house file (customers, inquirers, catalog requests) that has been generated through advertising space placed in publications.
Spanish lists Lists based on surname selects available to reach the Hispanic market.
Special position Designated location in a publication ordered by the advertiser for his advertisement, usually at extra cost.
Specific list source Original source material for a compiled file.
Specific order decoy Seed or dummy inserted in the output of a list order for that order only. The specific seed, which identifies the order, is usually in addition to list protection decoys in the same list.
Specifier An elusive list designation, particularly at larger businesses, that indicates the name of the individual who can specify or purchase a product or service. In many cases the specifier is not the individual who enters the order.
Spine See Backbone.
Split Run Printing of two or more variants of a promotional ad run on an Nth or AB split throughout the entire edition. Use of geographical segments of a publication for testing of variants.
Split test Two or more samples from the same list, each considered to be representative of the entire list and used for package tests or to test the homogeneity of the list.
Spot color Use of one additional color in printing.
SRDS Standard Rate & Data Service, which publishes a Rates and Data directory covering basic information on over 20,000 mailing lists. Also publishes a directory on Newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Classification of businesses as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, used to segment telephone calling lists and direct marketing mailing lists.
Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) U.S. Bureau of the Census term for an area consisting of one or more counties around a central urban area.
State Count The number of names and addresses for each state in a given list.
Statement Stuffer A small, printed piece designed to be inserted in an envelope carrying a customer's statement of account.
Step-Up The use of special premiums to get a mail order buyer to increase his or her unit of purchase.
Stock art Ready to use art sold for use by a number of advertisers. Also known as Clip Art
Stock cut Printing engravings kept in stock by the printer or publisher.
Stock Formats Direct mail formats with preprinted illustrations and/or headings to which an advertiser adds his or her own copy.
Stopper Advertising slang for a striking headline or illustration intended to attract immediate attention.
Storage Data-processing term indicating the volume of name-and-address and attached data that can be stored for future use on a given computer system.
Stratification Capacity to offer demographic segmentation on a list; the addition of such demographics to a customer file.
Student lists Lists of college or high school students. For college students, both home and school addresses are available; for high school students, home addresses for junior and seniors are available.
Stuffers Printed advertising enclosures placed in other media, e.g., newspapers, merchandise packages, and mailings for other products.
Subblock Along with enumeration districts, the smallest geographic segment of the country for which the U.S. Census Bureau provides demographic data.
Subscriber Individual who has paid to receive a periodical.
Success model Set of logical steps followed by successful salespeople to sell a product or service and used as a training example for new salespeople.
Suppression Utilization of data on one or more files to remove any duplication of specific names that the mailer wishes to be removed before mailing.
Suppression of previous usage Utilization of the previous usage or match codes of the records used as a suppress file. Unduplication can also be assured through fifth-digit pulls, first-digit-of-name pulls, or actual tagging of each prior record used.
Suppression of subscribers Utilization of the subscriber file to suppress a publication's current readers from rental lists prior to mailing.
Surname selection Ethnic selection based on surnames; a method for selection of such easily identifiable groups as Irish, Italian (and hence Catholic), Jewish, and Spanish. Specialists have extended this type of coding to groups such as German English, Scotch, and Scandinavian.
Suspect (1) Prospect somewhat more likely to order than a cold prospect; (2) in some two-step operations, a name given the initial inquirer when only one in X can he expected to convert.
Swatching Attaching samples of material to a printed piece.
Sweepstakes list (Sweeps) List of responders, the majority of them nonbuyers, to a sweepstakes offer.
Syndicated mailing Mailing prepared for distribution by firms other than the manufacturer or syndicator.
Syndication (1) Selling or distributing mailing lists; (2) offering for sale the findings of a research company.
Syndicator Operation that makes available prepared direct mail promotions for specific products or services to a list owner for mailing to its own list; most syndicators also offer product fulfillment services.
Tabbing The process of placing a small round 'sticker like' fastener over the loose edge of a catalog or mailing piece to hold it closed during the mailing process.
Tabloid Preprinted advertising insert of four or more pages, usually about half the size of a regular newspaper page, designed for insertion into a newspaper.
Tagging (1) Process of adding information to a list; (2) transfer of data or control information for usage and unduplication.
Take-one Leaflet displayed at point of sale or in areas where potential consumers congregate, e.g., credit card recruitment leaflets, display and dispenser units at hotels and restaurants.
Tape Magnetic tape, the principal means of recording, storing, and retrieving data for computerized mailing list operations.
Tape conversion Conversion of hard-copy data to magnetic tape.
Tape format (layout) Location of each field, character by character, of each record on a list on tape.
Tape record All the information about an individual or company contained on a specific magnetic tape.
Tape reel Medium on which data for computer addressing or merge/purge are handled.
Target Person to whom a sales call is directed.
Target Group Index (TGI) Analysis of purchasing habits among consumers covering 4,500 brands/services in over 500 product fields.
Target market Most likely group determined to have the highest potential for buying a product or service.
Tear sheet Printed page cut from a publication; sometimes used in place of a complete voucher copy as evidence of publication. See also Voucher copy.
Teaser An advertisement or promotion planned to excite curiosity about a later advertisement or promotion.
Teaser Copy Writing on the outside of a direct mail envelope that is intended to attract interest in the message inside. To help get the envelope opened.
Telco Telephone-operating company.
Telecommunication Any electrical transmission of voice or data from sender to receiver(s), including telegraphy, telephony, data transmission, and video-telephony.
Telecommuting Practice of employees working in their homes while linked to their office by telephone and, in most cases, a computer.
Telecomputer Nontechnical term for an Automatic Dialing Recorded Message Player (ADRMP), a machine that automatically dials, plays a prerecorded message, and records responses.
Telemarketing The use of the telephone to increase sales to customers, inquiries, and catalog requesters. Phone calls to prospects who already have a relationship to the caller.
Telemarketing service vendor One who sells the service of conducting telemarketing calls; also known telemarketing agency or telemarketing service bureau.
Telemarketing-insensitive medium Any medium used to advertise a product or service that does not properly highlight a telephone number.
Telephone household Household with a listed phone number.
Telephone list List of consumers or establishments compiled with phone numbers from published phone directories.
Telephone list appending Adding of telephone numbers to mailing lists.
Telephone marketing Any activity in direct marketing involving the telephone, e.g., list building or telephone follow-up to a lead-generation program.
Telephone Preference Service (TPS) Program of the Direct Marketing Association that allows consumers who do not want telemarketing calls to have their names removed from a majority of telemarketers' lists with only one request.
Telephone sales Implementation of the telemarketing plan.
Telephone sales representative (TSR) Person who markets and sells by telephone; also known as a telemarketer or agent.
Telephone sales supervisor (TSS) Person who oversees the performance of TSRs.
Telephone sales techniques Formalized methods that structure the entire sales process.
Telephone service center See TSC.
Teleprospecting Cold canvassing of telephone households or telephone non-households by personal phone calls (not to be confused with telemarketing, which pertains to calls made to customers or inquirers).
Teleprospecting list List of prospects with phones used for telephonic (cold calling) prospecting.
Telesales Function dedicated to receiving or making outgoing contact by telephone.
Test Period of time in which a number of cases are completed for analysis and management decisions as to whether or not a particular project or program is viable.
Test market Trial market for a new product or service offer.
Test panel List of the parts or samples in a split test.
Test Quantity A test mailing of a sufficiently large number of names from a list to enable the mailer to evaluate the responsiveness of the list. The test quantity must satisfy three conditions. It must be a reasonably random sample of the universe, it must be large enough to provide break even response for the mailer, and it must provide enough response for statistical validity. Most mailers require fifty to one hundred responses. Note: The size of the test quantity has nothing to do with the size of the list.
Test tape Selection of representative records within a mailing list that enables a list user or service bureau to prepare for reformatting or converting the list to a more efficient form for the user.
Testimonial Words of praise from a satisfied customer, used in advertisments to build credibility in the company or product being sold. Note: Get a signed release form before before using letters from customers.
Testing Preliminary mailing or distribution intended as a preview or pilot before a major campaign. Test mailings are used to determine probable acceptance of a product or service and are usually made to specially selected lists.
Text Body matter of a page or book as distinguished from the headings.
TGI See Target Group Index.
Third-class mail Bulk mail. The U.S. Postal Service delivery of direct-mail promotions weighing less than one pound.
Third-party endorsement In a mailing made for the joint benefit of an outside mailer and a company over the company's customer file, the imprimatur of the company; e.g., Britannica mailing the Farm Journal list with an offer ostensibly from the publication to its subscribers.
Third-Party unit Service bureau that makes calls for hire; also known as a contract unit.
Three-Digit ZIP The first three digits of a five-digit ZIP Code denoting a given SCF (sectional center facility) of the USPS.
Three-line address For consumer mail, a conventional home or household address of an individual; for business mail, the name and address of an establishment without the name of an individual.
Three-up See Four-up.
Throwaway An advertisement or promotional piece intended for widespread free distribution. Generally printed on inexpensive paper stock, it is most often distributed by hand to passersby or from house-to-house.
Tie-In The marketing of a side product or service that is closely related or associated with the main product or service.
Till forbid Order for service that is to continue until specifically canceled by the buyer; also known as TF.
Time zone sequencing Preparation of national telemarketing lists according to time zones so calls can be made at the most productive times.
Tint Light color, usually used for backgrounds.
Tip-On An item glued to a printed piece.
Title A designation before (prefix) or after (suffix) a name to more accurately identify an individual. (Some prefixes are: Mr., Mrs., Dr., and Sister. Some suffixes are: M.D., Jr., President, and Sales Manager.)
Title addressing Utilizing the title or function at a business; adding a title to a business address rather than addressing to a specific person by name.
Token Involvement device, often consisting of a perforated portion of an order card designed to be removed from its original position and placed in another designated area (usually 'yes' or 'no'.) on the order card, to signify a desire to purchase the product or service offered. It is a means to get involvement on the part of the prospect.
Town Markers Asterisks printed on mailing labels at the end of geographical area, usually one for each town, two for each five-digit ZIP Code, and three for each three-digit ZIP Code sectional center facility.
Track record Accounting of what a given list or list segment has done for given mailers in the past.
Trade show registrants (1) Persons who stopped at a given trade show booth and signed up to receive additional information or a sales call; (2) persons assigned by their companies to operate a trade show booth or booths.
Traffic Number of calls made or received per hour, day, or month on a single line or trunk of a telephone system.
Traffic Builder A direct mail piece intended primarily to attract recipients to the mailer's place of business.
Transparency Positive color film such as a slide.
Trial Buyer A person who buys a short-term supply of a product, or buys the product with the understanding that it may be examined, used, or tested for a specified time before deciding whether to pay for it or to return it.
Trial subscriber Person who orders a service or publication on a conditional basis, which may relate to delaying payment, the right to cancel, a shorter than normal term, or a special introductory price.
Trials Individuals who ordered a short-term subscription to a magazine, newsletter, or continuity program. In list rental, trials are not equal to those who convert to customer status.
Truncation Dropping the end of words or names to fit an address line into 30 characters for four-across Cheshire addressing.
TSC Telephone sales center, the department that is responsible for making and receiving telemarketing sales contacts.
Turnover rate Number of times within a year that a list is or can be rented.
Two-stage sell Process that involves two mailings or approaches-the first inviting an inquiry and the second converting the inquiry to a sale.
Type and scan Computerized data entry system that utilizes data typed by typewriter with a special font that is then optically scanned to magnetic tape.
Type specification See Mark-up.
Typeface All printing type of a specific design.
Typesetting Assembly of reading matter by the use of handpicked metal type, by keyboarding, and/or by casting or photo-typesetting.
U.S. Business Universe Database containing the names and addresses of virtually every business, institution, and office of a professional in the United States.
Uncollectible One who hasn't paid for goods and services at the end of a normal series of collection efforts.
Undeliverable Mailing piece returned as not being deliverable; also known as a nixie.
Unique ZIP Code A five-digit ZIP Code assigned by the USPS to a company or organization to expedite delivery of its large volume of incoming letter mail. With the advent of ZIP + 4 Codes, a large number of businesses and institutions have their own unique ZIP Codes.
Unit of Sale Description of the average dollar amount spent by customers on a mailing list.
Universe The total names and addresses in a given list or market segment fitting a single set of specifications.
Up Front Securing payment for a product offered by mail order before the product is sent.
Up-scale list Generic description of a list of affluents; can be mail-responsive or compiled.
Up-selling Promotion of more expensive products or services over the product originally discussed.
Update Addition of recent transactions and current information to the master (main) list to reflect the current status of each record on the list.
UPS United Parcel Service, a major supplier of small-package delivery.
Usage history Record of the utilization of a given list by mailers, managers, or brokers.
User Firm that uses telemarketing in its overall marketing program, whether it is executed in-house or by a telemarketing service vendor.
Utilities One of the major groupings of business lists, public service industries (such as water, power, light), often included with mining, contracting, manufacturing, and transportation as part of the industrial complex.
Validation mailing Second modest mailing to confirm initial test results prior to making a large continuation or rollout.
Variable field Way of laying out list information for formatting that assigns a specific sequence to the data, but not specific positions.
Variable-length record Means of packing characters on a name and address record so as to eliminate blank spaces. For most rental work such lists must then be reformatted to fixed fields in which each field, whether filled or unfilled, occupies the same numerical positions on a tape.
Variables (criteria) Identifiable and selectable characteristics that can be tested for mailing purposes.
Vendor Supplier of any facet of direct response advertising: lists, creative, printing, marketing, computerization, merge/purge, fulfillment.
Verification Process of determining the validity of an order by sending a questionnaire to the customer.
Volume discount Scheduled discount for volume buyers of a given compiled list.
Voters registration list List utilized to add multiple family members as well as age data to compiled consumer files.
Voucher copy Free copy of a publication sent to an advertiser or organization as evidence that an advertisement has been published.
Wallet flap envelope Special business repl~ envelope that utilizes the inside of a large flap to serve as the order form.
Warranty list List of buyers who mail in warranty cards identifying the particular product and its type, with or without additional demographic data.
Weighting (1) For evaluation of customer lists, a means of applying values to the RF$UISM data for each cell. (For larger lists this is better done by a computer regression analysis); (2) for merge/purge, a means of applying a form of mathematical analysis to each component for unduplicating.
White Mail Mail that comes in from customers without a purchase order form or other identification. It can include complaints, commendations, names of friends, orders, checks, even cash. It is a very important part of every direct-mail operation.
Wholesaler (Reseller) Merchandiser of lists compiled or owned by others, usually working with compiled lists mainly covering a local area; differentiated from a broker by type of list and coverage.
Window Envelope An envelope with one or more die-cut openings, usually (but not always) glassine covered, through which the address of a direct-mail piece shows, along with some color or teaser copy if there are two areas. The window envelope is preferred for computer-addressed personalized mail which can be folded to show the address and thus not need a separate addressing on the envelope.
Wing mailer Label-affixing device that uses strips of paper on which addresses have been printed.
With the grain When folding paper, parallel to the grain.
Word processor Typewriter with a memory utilized to produce individualized letters; also useful in updating and expanding smaller mailing lists.
Yield (1) The count anticipated from a computer inquiry. (2) The responses received from a promotional effort. (3) The mailable totals from a merge-purge.
Yuppies Young, upwardly mobile professional people.
ZIP + 4 Designation by the Postal Service for the nine-digit ZIP-coding structure.
ZIP code Registered trademark of the Postal Service; a five- or nine-digit code identifying locations in the United States.
ZIP Code Count The number of names and addresses in a list, within each ZIP Code.
Zip code Omission Loss of a ZIP code on a given mailing list.
ZIP code sequence The arrangement of names and addresses on a list according to the numeric progression of the ZIP code in each record. This form of list formatting is mandatory for mailing at bulk Standard mail rates, based on the Postal Service sorting requirement.
Zip code string Merging of multiple selections into one ZIP code string to avoid minimums.