Direct Marketing and Printing Glossary
The following glossary prepared by DM Graphics Inc. (www.dmgraphics.ca) is a compilation from several
sources including The Target Marketing Group (www.targetmarketingmag.com)
/M: Per thousand.
/MM: Per million.
AA: Authors alterations, i.e., changes other than corrections made by a client after the proofing process has
AOV (average order value): The average amount of each customer order.
Abandoned Call: When a caller hangs up before his or her call is answered by an agent.
Above the Fold: The part of an e-mail message or Web page that’s visible without scrolling.
Absorbency: The capacity a paper has for accepting liquids, like the inks or water used to run offset
Accordion Fold: Parallel folds that opens like an accordion.
Acid-Free Paper: Paper manufactured on a machine with the wet-end chemistry controlled to a neutral or
slightly alkaline pH.
Affiliate: A marketing partner that promotes your products or services under a payment-on-results
Affinity: A logical connection between a mailer’s offer and the names/data on a list.
Alignment: The degree of agreement, conformance and consistency among organizational purpose, vision
and values; structures, systems, and processes; and individual skills and behaviors.
Alternate Delivery: Methods of delivering direct mail or sample products to households without using
Canada Post or the United States Postal Service.
Application Service Provider (ASP): A company that provides a Web-based service wherein the clients
don’t have to install software on their own computers. All tasks are hosted or performed on the ASP’s
Aqueous Coating: A water-based coating applied after printing to give a gloss, dull or matte finish, and
help prevent the ink from rubbing off.
Authentication: An automated process that verifies an e-mail sender’s identity.
Automatic Call Distributor (ACD): A programmable solution that automatically accepts calls, places those
calls in a queue, distributes the calls to agents, plays “on-hold” announcements and offers reports on these
Automation-Compatible Mail: Mail that can be scanned and processed by automated mail processing
equipment such as a barcode sorter.
BANT: The acronym for typical lead qualification criteria--budget, authority, need and time frame.
Barcode: The nine-digit ZIP code translated into a coding structure of vertical bars and half bars used in
order to speed the sorting of mail and enabling mailers to take a discount on postage. The USPS has asked
mailers to switch to a four-state barcode, which would replace the 30-plus codes used throughout the postal
Base Rate: The cost to rent a list sans any additional selects.
Batching: The gathering and organizing of incoming orders.
Benchmark: A measurement or standard that serves as a point of reference by which process performance
Benchmarking: A structured approach for identifying the best practices from industry and government,
and comparing and adapting them to the organization’s operations. Such an approach is aimed at identifying
more efficient and effective processes for achieving intended results, and suggesting ambitious goals for
program output, product/service quality, and process improvement.
Best Practices: The processes, practices or systems identified in public and private organizations that
performed exceptionally well and are widely recognized as improving an organization’s performance and
efficiency in specific areas.
Blacklist: A list developed by anyone receiving or processing e-mail on its way to a recipient that includes
domains of IP addresses of e-mailers suspected of sending spam.
Bounce: The consistent inability to reach someone at a given e-mail address. Bounces can happen for
myriad reasons including: an incorrect e-mail address, the recipient’s mailbox is full, the server is down, or
the system detects spam or offensive content. Also see Soft Bounce and Hard Bounce.
BRC: Business Reply Card.
BRE: Business Reply Envelope.
Bleed: An image or printed color that runs off the trimmed edge of a page.
Blind Embossing: Stamping raised letters or images into paper using pressure and a die, but without using
foil or ink to add color to the raised areas.
Blueline: A printer’s proof, actually blue on white paper. All AAs and corrections should have been made
prior to seeing a blueline.
Brightness: The reflectivity of pulp, paper or paperboard under test conditions.
Bulk Mail: Mail that is rated for postage partly by weight and partly by the number of pieces in the mailing.
The term is generally used to refer to Addressed Admail or Standard Mail (U.S.).
Business List: Any list of individuals or companies based on a business-related interest, inquiry,
membership, subscription or purchase.
Business-to-Business (B-to-B or B2B): Is the exchange of services, information and/or products from
one business to another.
Caging: The opening and sorting of orders and the handling of checks and cash. So called, as people work
in cages for security purposes.
Calendering: The process of smoothing a sheet of dried paper by pressing it between the highly polished
Caller-Entered Digits: Numbers that callers enter using the keypads on their telephones.
Can-Spam Act: The U.S. law regulating commercial e-mail. The acronym stands for Controlling the Assault
of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003.
Card Deck: A cooperative pack of postcards, usually mailed in a clear poly outer, that is used in both
consumer and business-to-business direct marketing. The postcard, which either orders the product or asks
for more information, can be mailed back to the individual advertiser.
Carrier Route Sort: The U.S. process of arranging a mailing list in the order of a postal carrier’s delivery
route. The USPS gives additional postage discounts for this sorting.
Catalog Bind-ins: Freestanding advertising pieces glued into the seam of a catalog or magazine.
Catalog Blow-ins: Freestanding inserts nested inside catalogs or magazines.
CHAID (Chi-squared Automatic Interaction Detection): A statistical method of determining statistically
meaningful splits in various data fields or variables. It also is sometimes referred to as a tree algorithm.
Challenge-Response System: An anti-spam program that requires a human being on the sender’s end to
respond to an e-mailed challenge message before the message can be delivered to recipients.
Chemical Pulping: Manufacturing pulp by pressure-cooking wood or other raw fibrous material with
solutions of various chemical liquors.
Chromalin: A color proofing system, usually the final color proof before going on the press.
Click-and-Mortar: A store that has an online presence as well as an actual building.
Clickstream: The record of a user’s Internet activity including Web sites visited, length of the visit and what
pages were viewed.
Clickthrough: A clickthrough occurs when a recipient clicks on a link included in an e-mail.
Clickthrough Rate (CTR): The total number of clicks on e-mail links divided by the number of e-mails
CMYK: Abbreviation for the four process color inks: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Also known as four-
color process color.
Coated paper: Paper with an outer layer of coating applied to one of both sides, available in a variety of
finishes, such as gloss, dull and matte.
Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS): Created by the U.S. Postal Service to ensure the accuracy of
software programs used by service bureaus to check addresses and code mailings for delivery.
Colour Proofing: Proofs made from the separate plates in color process work.
Colour separation: Literally separating the areas of a piece to be printed into its component spot and
process ink colors.
Commerce Server: Web software that runs some of the main functions of an online storefront such as
product display, online ordering and inventory management. The software works in conjunction with online
payment systems to process payments.
Commercial Database Management: Professional management of large compiled databases for list
segmentation and rental.
Commercial E-mail: Marketing or sales-oriented e-mail that’s sent in bulk.
Compiled List: Any list created from the compilation of public sources such as phone books, deed
information, directories, newspapers and courthouse records.
Computer Service Bureaus: A company that will maintain lists for list owners. Services may include:
updating the list, merge/purge, data overlays and preparing the list for mailing or rentals.
Consolidator: A consolidator accepts mail for deposit within a particular type of delivery service. By
grouping together mail from more than one company, consolidators are often able to obtain higher volume
discounts than an independent mailer.
Consumer List: Any list of individuals at home addresses who have bought merchandise, subscriptions,
given to a nonprofit, etc.
Contact Centre: A site that houses a telemarketing operation.
Continuation: An order from a mailer who has previously tested or used the list within 12 months and is
using it again.
Continuity Program: An offer of a series of products to be received in timely intervals. Most often used for
books, tapes/CDs and recipe cards.
Continuous tone: An unbroken range of intensities, as found in black and white photographs.
Contrast: The degree of difference between light and dark areas in an image.
Contribution: The amount of money left over to contribute to overhead expenses after deducting for
customer returns, cost of goods sold, direct selling expenses and variable order-processing costs.
Conversion Rate: The rate at which qualified leads convert to sales, calculated by dividing the number of
closed leads by the number of qualified leads delivered to the sales force.
Cookies: Software tools designed to save passwords and other data on someone’s computer. The data can
be called up automatically when the user shops online or visits Web sites on which they’ve surfed before,
thus saving the user time by not having to re-key required data.
Co-op Database: Two or more list owners combine their lists and access each other’s names.
Cooperative Advertising (Co-Op): A grouping of freestanding advertising pieces from several different
mailers—including direct mail, inserts, stuffers and card decks.
Cooperative Broker: A person/company who recommends and takes orders for marketers who want to be
part of a cooperative effort.
Cooperative Manager: A person/company who sells space in the co-op for the cooperative owner.
Cooperative Owner: A company that brings different marketers together into a co-op effort. Services may
include: printing the individual inserts, combining them and mailing them to preselected lists.
Coupons: A promotional device used by marketers to increase sales or store traffic by offering a discount
when the coupon is redeemed.
CPM: Cost per thousand.
CPO: Chief privacy officer.
Currency Exchange: A service that changes money from one currency to another.
Custom Publisher: Any publisher who will, for a fee, create a publication for a direct marketer that is
most-often used for self-promotion or as a premium.
Customer: Groups or individuals who have a business relationship with the organization; those who receive
and use or are directly affected by the products and services of the organization.
Customer Data Integration (CDI): The combination of the technology, software, processes and services
needed to achieve a single, accurate and complete view of the customer across multiple sources of customer
data , databases and business lines.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): A business strategy designed to optimize profitability,
revenue and customer satisfaction by organizing the enterprise around customer segments, fostering
customer-centric behavior and implementing customer-centric processes.
Customer Service Representative (CSR): A contact center agent; the person who handles outgoing or
incoming customer contacts.
Data Entry: The entering of names, addresses and other information into a data storage and retrieval
system. Data can be entered via manual keying, electronic data transfer or by scanning.
Data Hygiene: The process of keeping data up-to-date. Hygiene tactics include the development of
processes to capture all non-delivered mail and update the database accordingly.
Data Mining: The process of identifying previously unknown relationships and patterns in data, in particular
customer databases, to solve a business problem.
Database Modeling: Using statistical techniques to predict future customer behavior.
Data Overlays: The matching of two or more lists that contain the same names or addresses but where
one list adds additional data such as demographics or geographics to the other.
Data Protection Directive: Legislation regulating the collection and dissemination of personal data. The
European Data Protection Directive requires specific measures be met before data are transferred outside
the European Union (EU).
Database: A file that is maintained on a computer comprised of pertinent information such as a company’s
prospects or customers. The file can serve multiple applications and be manipulated for various purposes.
Database Analysis: Interpreting information within the database to gain customer insight and improve
Database Call Handling: An application in which the ACD works in sync with a computer database to
process and route calls to appropriate locations.
Datacard: List information including counts, demographics, pricing, etc.
Debossing: Pressing letters or illustrations into a sheet of paper using a metal or plastic die to create a
depressed (debossed) image.
Decoy: A unique name inserted into a mailing list to track the usage of the list.
Delay Announcements: On-hold messaging
Delivery Sequence File (DSF): A computerized file of more than 125 million records containing all the
addresses the U.S. Postal Service serves throughout the U.S. Each address record features ZIP+4, carrier
route, delivery sequence, delivery type and seasonal delivery information that can help mailers maintain
accurate and complete addresses on the lists they own and rent as well as code their mail for walk sequence
discounts from the postal service.
Demographics: Social and economic information about human populations including age, sex, income,
education, type of residence, ownership of cars, etc.
Die-cutting: Using a formed, metal-edged die to precision cut, or to cut shapes into a piece of paper.
Digital Cash: A system that allows a person to pay for goods or services by transmitting a number from
one computer to another. Like the serial numbers on real dollar bills, the digital cash numbers are unique.
Each one is issued by a bank and represents a specified sum of real money. One of the key features of
digital cash is that, like real cash, it is anonymous and reusable.
Digital Certificate: An attachment to an electronic message used for security purposes. The most common
use of a digital certificate is to verify that a user sending a message is who he or she claims to be, and to
provide the receiver with the means to encode a reply.
Digital Colour Proofing: An off-press color proof produced from digital data without the need for
Digital Printing: A type of printing that requires no film or plates, where digital information is fed directly
onto the imaging units.
Digital Wallet: Encryption software that works like a physical wallet during commerce transactions.
Direct Entry/Injection: Process of entering mail directly into another country’s mail stream. Mail that is
sent direct injection goes directly to the designated country’s post office and receives a local indicia and
Direct Mail: Using mail service to deliver your message. Can be used for consumer and for business-to-
Direct Selling Expenses: All of the marketing expenses, including labor, associated with producing,
printing and mailing a catalog.
DMA TPS: See Telephone Preference Service
Do-Not-Call Lists: Lists of consumers who do not wish to receive telemarketing calls.
Domain Keys: An anti-spam software application in development by Yahoo! which uses a combination of
public and private keys to authenticate the sender’s domain and reduce the chance that a spammer or
hacker will fake the domain sending address.
Dot Gain: Wet ink coming in contact with paper and spreading as it is transfers.
Dot Whack: A sticker, usually round, that’s affixed to a catalog cover or outer envelope (or printed directly
on the outer) that touts a special offer or message to customers.
Double Opt-In: A process that requires new list joiners to take an action, such as clicking on an e-mailed
link to a personal confirmation page, in order to confirm that they want to be on the list.
DPI (dots per inch): The number of dots that fit horizontally and vertically into a one-inch measure.
DRTV: Direct Response Television is one of the liveliest media in that is can show products actually in use.
Unlike brand advertising or general advertising on TV--which is designed to create awareness--DRTV
attempts to change behavior by getting people to call a toll-free number or log onto a Web site.
Dull Coated: Finish that falls between glossy and matte.
Duotone: A two-color halftone image created with two screens, two plates, and two colors.
EBPP: Abbreviation for electronic bill presentment and payment, the process by which companies bill
customers and receive payments electronically over the Internet.
ECOA: Abbreviation for E-mail Change of Address.
Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF): Also known as molecular chlorine free, this is a bleaching process that
doesn’t use chlorine gas.
E-mail Appending: A service that matches e-mail addresses to a database of personal names and postal
E-mail Filter: A software tool that categorizes, sorts or blocks incoming e-mail, based on the sender, the e-
mail header or message content.
Emboss: A process by which a dye is used for raising an area of paper to create letterforms, shapes and
Enhancement: Any additional information that can be appended to a list to increase its value to the mailer.
Euro: The new single currency of 12 of the 15 European Union member states that make up the Economic
and Monetary Union (EMU).
Exchange: When two mailers agree to share their lists via a trade rather than charging the regular fee.
Firewall: A program or programs that keep unauthorized users or messages from accessing a private
Flash: Animation Technology used on the World Wide Web.
Flat Rate: A flat, or fixed, fee to rent an entire list/file.
Flexography: A direct (not offset) printing method that uses relief plates, similar to rubber stamps, which
are made from rubber or photopolymer. The flexible plates are wrapped around a cylinder on the printing
Foil Stamping: To cover paper with a thin, flexible sheet of metal or other material. Stamping separates
the foil from the plastic and makes it adhere to the paper.
Free-Standing Insert (FSI): A promotional piece that is loosely inserted into a newspaper or magazine.
Freemium: A free gift included in the mailing package, intended to increase response.
Fulfillment: All activities related to the processing of information requests and product/service orders that
come in via mail, phone, fax and Internet. Also see Literature Fulfillment, Subscription Fulfillment and
Gatefold: Two or more parallel folds on a sheet of paper with the end flaps folding inward.
Geocoding: The process of appending latitude and longitude coordinates to a database record so it can be
properly placed on a geographical map.
GIF: Abbreviation for Graphics Interchange Format, a graphics file format used on the World Wide Web.
GLB: Signed into law in 1999, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act regulates how financial institutions can disclose
consumers’ personal information to non-affiliated third parties. GLB also requires financial institutions to
provide privacy notices to consumers and customers.
Gloss: The measure of a sheet’s surface reflectivity.
Halftone: A printed picture that uses dots to simulate the tones between light and dark.
Hard Bounce: A message sent to an invalid, closed or nonexistent e-mail account.
Hexachrome: A proprietary color separation process, developed by Pantone, that uses six instead of four
HIPAA: Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, healthcare entities must take specific
steps to protect the privacy and personally identifiable information of their patients, including names and
diagnoses. The Act is enforced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights.
Hotline Names: Most recent buyers on a list.
House File: Commonly referred to as a “customer list,” a housefile is a consolidated database containing
each customer’s name, address and summarized order information.
Householding: The process of identifying individuals on the customer database residing at the same
HTML: Abbreviation for Hyper Text Markup Language, which is the language used for creating documents
on the World Wide Web.
Hyperlink: An element in an electronic document, when clicked on, links to another place in the same
document, or to an entirely different document.
Imposition: Assembling printed matter in a way that results in pages appearing in correct sequence.
Inbound Contacts: Phone calls, e-mails or other types of customer contacts that come into a contact
Indicia: Imprinted designation on mail that denotes postage payment (e.g., permit imprint).
Ink: A combination of pigment, pigment carrier or vehicle, and additives.
Ink Absorption: A paper’s capacity to accept or absorb ink.
Ink Jet Printing: Printing technology that uses jets of ink droplets driven by digital signals to print the
same or variable information directly on paper without a press- or copier-like device.
Insert Media: Any means of reaching consumers via print other than by using solo direct mail and space
advertising, including: cooperative mailings, card decks, package inserts, statement stuffers, blow-ins/bind-
ins and free-standing inserts (FSIs).
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN): International standards for telephone transmission.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR): Recorded or digitized text messages that can be accessed
electronically by using a telephone.
International Priority Airmail (IPA): A volume, lower-cost First-Class Airmail service provided by the
U.S. Postal Service.
International Surface Airlift (ISAL): A bulk service from the U.S. Postal Service for printed matter and
small packets. Mail sent by ISAL travels from the United States to the destination country by air. It is then
entered into the domestic postal stream of that country, from which it travels by surface to its final
Internet: A global network connecting more than 100 countries and millions of computers.
Internet Service Provider (ISP): A company that provides access to the World Wide Web.
IP Addresses: Internet Protocol addresses. A unique number assigned to each device connected to the
ISP: Abbreviation for Internet Service Provider, a company that provides access to the World Wide Web.
JPEG: Abbreviation for Joint Photographic Experts Group, a lossy compression technique used for color
images on the World Wide Web.
Keycode: A set of unique alphabetical/numeric characters recorded on the response device, so that its
return tells the marketer which list produced the response.
Labels: Paper printed with a name and address that is affixed to a mailing piece and serves as the mailing
address vehicle. Different types of labels include: peel-off or pressure-sensitive labels, gummed labels and
paper (or Cheshire) labels.
Laid Finish: A paper with a translucent pattern of lines running both parallel to, and across the grain.
Landing Page: A Web page viewed after clicking on a link within an e-mail.
Laser Printing: Similar to a photocopy machine, the laser printer uses a laser beam, toner and fuser to
“etch” the image onto a photoelectric drum.
Lead (sometimes also referred to as a qualified lead): An inquiry that has met the agreed-upon
qualification criteria, such as having the right budget, decision-making authority, need for the product or
service, and readiness to make the purchase.
Lead Generation: The process of identifying prospective customers and qualifying their likelihood to buy, in
advance of making a sales call.
Lead Nurturing: The process of moving an unqualified inquiry to the point where it comes qualified. This
involves a series of marketing communications intended to build trust and awareness, and maintain a
relationship until the prospect is ready to buy.
Lead Conversion: When a lead becomes a sale.
Letterpress: A relief printing method done using cast metal type or plates on which the image or printing
area is raised above the nonprinting areas. Ink rollers touch only the top surface of the raised areas; the
nonprinting areas are lower and do not receive ink. The inked image is transferred directly to the page,
resulting in type of images that may actually be depressed or debossed into the paper by the pressure of
Lettershop: A company that will assemble and insert the various printed elements of a direct mail piece,
label, sort, tag and deliver the mailings to the post office for mailing. The lettershop will provide the mailer
with written proof of delivery to Canada Post.
Lifecycle: The predictable patterns in customer behavior occurring from the first interaction with a business
through the last.
Lifetime Value: The lifetime value of a customer is the net profit the customer generates over their
Linen Finish: A paper finish that is similar to the texture of linen fabric.
List Broker: A list specialist hired by a mailer to make the necessary arrangements to use other companies’
lists. Brokerage services usually include: research, list selections, recommendations and logistics so that the
rented lists arrive at the proper time. The standard commission to a list broker is 20 percent.
List Cleaning: The process of updating a list in order to remove any undeliverable addresses. Other
cleaning activities could include removing duplicates, bad debts, names on the CMA Do-Not-Mail List, etc.
List Maintenance: The ongoing process of keeping a mailing list up-to-date by adding, editing and deleting
List Manager: Whereas a list broker works for a mailer, the list manager works for the list owner. The
primary function is to promote the list to mailers and list brokers for list rental. List managers can be either
an internal employee of the list owner, or part of an outside list management company paid a commission
by the list owner. Management services usually include: marketing of the list, coordinating and controlling
rental activity and accounting. The standard commission for a list manager is 10 percent.
List Test: The process of sending a sample mailing — under controlled circumstances — recording its
response and projecting it over a list’s entire universe.
Literature Fulfillment: The sorting and qualifying of leads, sending the appropriate information, and, if
outsourced, forwarding leads to the marketer for follow-up.
Lithography: A printing process in which an image to be lithographed is created on the plate with greasy
material that repels water. Water is run over the plate, and the non-image areas absorb it. When the oily
ink hits the plate, it’s attracted to the similarly greasy image, and repelled by the rest of the wet plate.
When paper is pressed onto the plate, it picks up the ink (and a bit of the water).
Machine Coated: Paper that is coated on the papermaking machine.
Machine Finish: A paper texture of finish imparted onto the paper white it’s still on the papermaking
Mail Evaluation and Readability Lookup Instrument (MERLIN): In the U.S., the USPS’ tool for
evaluating letter and flat-rate mail pieces to determine their qualification for discounted automation rates.
One of the tests MERLIN performs is for barcode readability. Pieces that do not meet MERLIN requirements
are not eligible for discounts.
Mail Monitoring: Mailers track their mail in order to verify content within the direct mail package and to
determine the length of delivery time.
Mail Preference Service (DMA MPS): In the U.S., the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) offers a service
for individuals who want their names removed from mailings lists so they will stop receiving direct mail.
Match Colour: A custom-blended ink that matches a specified color exactly.
Match Print: A high quality proofing system proprietary to 3M.
Matte Coated: A non-glossy coating on paper, generally used to refer to papers having little or no gloss.
Media: Any form of communication that reaches the general public and carries advertising. Direct response
media would include: space advertising, direct mail, TV, radio, take-ones, card decks, package inserts,
cooperative efforts, on-line shopping services.
Merge/Purge: The process of combining two or more lists into one while, at the same time, identifying and
removing any duplicates.
Monitoring: Listening to agents’ calls or reading their e-mail contacts with customers. Done in order to
maintain or improve agents’ performance quality.
MSP: Abbreviation for Mail Service Provider, such as Hotmail or Yahoo!
National Change of Address (NCOA): A service provided by Canada Post and the U.S. Postal Service,
through licensed computer service bureaus, that enables mailers to make any necessary address corrections
prior to their mailing being dropped. The mailer provides a magnetic tape that is run against the NCOA bank
and then is returned to the mailer with all the corrections made.
Netcheque: Registered users may write checks to other registered users through e-mail or other network
protocols. When the check is deposited, it authorizes the transfer of funds from the issuer’s account to the
Net Names: The number of names remaining after a merge-purge eliminates all duplicates.
Network: Two or more computer systems that are linked together.
Nixie: A mailing piece returned by the Postal Service because of an inaccurate or undeliverable name and
Nth Name Selection: A fractional unit of selection that is repeated in sampling a mailing list.
Occupancy or Agent Utilization: Percentage of time that an agent handles customer contacts vs. waiting
for contacts to arrive.
Offer: The product or service that is being sold or promoted.
Offset Printing: Commercial printing method in which ink is offset from the printing plate to a second roller
then to paper.
One-time List Rental: The list owner agrees to allow the renter to use the list once in return for a fee.
Opacity: A measure of how opaque a paper is.
Open Rate: The number of HTML message recipients who opened your e-mail.
Opt-In: A direct, pro-active request by an individual e-mail recipient to have his or her e-mail address
added to a specific mailing list.
Opt-Out: A specific request to remove an e-mail address from a specific list.
Outsourcing: Using an outside service rather than performing the work in-house.
Outbound Contacts: Phone calls, e-mails or other types of customer contacts that originate from a contact
P3P: Developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) is a
software tool that turns e-marketers’ privacy policies into machine-readable formats. The tool is designed to
help consumers better protect their online privacy.
Package Insert Program (PIP): Freestanding pieces placed in the package/shipment--loose or collated in
an envelope--with a customer’s order. Offers may be from the same mailer shipping the product or other
vendors who pay to be included.
Personalization: Using/printing personal information, such as a first or last name, in a direct mail
campaign. See Variable Imaging.
Phishing: A form of identity theft in which a scammer uses an authentic-looking e-mail to trick recipients
into giving out sensitive personal information, such as a credit card, bank account of Social Security
PII: Abbreviation for personally identifiable information.
PLANET Code: A barcode that will allow mailers to track a mail piece, or an entire mail campaign,
throughout the U.S.P.S. delivery system.
PMS Colour: Pantone Matching System, a proprietary color system for choosing and matching specific spot
Poly Bag (or Polybag): An outside mailing envelope made of polyethylene instead of paper.
Pop-Under: A window that appears under the browser window.
Pop-Up: A window that pops-up over the browser window.
Postage-Paid Reply Service: A service allowing mailers to use a lettershop’s postage-paid permit and
have the business-reply mail sent there instead of opening their own account with the USPS.
Predictive Dialing: The automatic dialing by a computer of telephone numbers on a preselected list. The
system can, with great accuracy, discern an answering machine from a human voice and will instantly
connect a respondent to a CSR. If there is no answer or a busy signal, the computer will know to redial
Premium: A free gift offered to a prospect to induce a greater response to the main product or service that
is being sold. A premium need not bear any relationship to the product being offered.
Prepress: The various printing related services, performed before ink is actually put on the printing press
(i.e. stripping, scanning, colour separating, etc.)
Presorted Mail: A form of mail preparation, required to bypass certain postal operations, in which the
mailer groups pieces in a mailing by ZIP Code or by carrier route or carrier walk sequence (or other
separation recommended by USPS or Canada Post).
Press Proof: A test printing of a subject prior to the final production run.
Private Branch Exchange (PBX): A phone system at a site that handles both incoming and outgoing calls.
Product Fulfillment: The storage and shipping of samples and merchandise.
Prospect: A list of contacts who have been identified and/or qualified as being a potential customer.
Prospecting: The process of locating potential customers through outside lists.
Prospect List: A list of qualified prospects a company believes is likely to order from them.
Psychographics: The qualities or characteristics of individuals which indicate lifestyle, purchasing habits,
attitudes and personal values.
Recency/Frequency/Monetary Value (RFM): Three measures considered to determine the value of a
customer in terms of the time since the last purchase was made, the number of purchases made during a
period of time and the dollar value of the purchases made.
Recyclable Paper: Paper that is suitable for recycling.
Recycled Content Paper: Product containing some, but less than 100 percent, recovered fiber.
Recycled Paper: Paper consisting of 100 percent recovered fiber.
Registration: Alignment of the different elements in a printing job.
Remail: The process of preparing mail for deposit in the postal system of another country for delivery to its
final destination. With A-B-C remail, mail travels as cargo from “Country A” to “Country B” where it enters
the postal stream for delivery in “Country C.”
Response Booster: Any device, token, premium or sweepstakes that will help raise the response rate.
Response Lists: Individuals who have responded to a direct marketing offer, e.g., magazine subscribers,
mail order buyers (also response-generated).
Response Rate: Amount of responses received as a percentage of total promotions mailed.
Retention: The process of developing a customer, continuing to satisfy him, stimulating him to buy again
and more frequently, and keeping him from defecting to the competition.
Return on Investment (ROI): A figure of merit used to help make capital investment decisions. ROI is
calculated by considering the annual benefit divided by the investment amount.
RFM (Recency, Frequency and Monetary value): A methodology used by marketers to determine
appropriate circulation strategies.
RGB: The colors used by a computer monitor to create color images on the screen; stands for Red, Green
Rich Media: Creative that includes streaming video, animation and/or audio.
Ride-Along: Advertising piece placed in a catalog, circular, etc. mailed from another company.
Risk Analysis: A technique to identify and assess factors that may jeopardize the success of a project or
achieving a goal. This technique also helps define preventive measures to reduce the probability of these
factors from occurring and identify countermeasures to successfully deal with these constraints when they
Safe Harbor: An agreement negotiated by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European
Commission that enables a U.S. company to receive data from Europe by voluntarily submitting to
regulation by a U.S. government office.
“Sample Mailing Required”: A disclaimer on datacards requiring list renters to provide list owners with a
sample of the marketing piece for review. This practice is to screen out potentially inappropriate,
questionable or competitive offers.
Sample Pack: Inserts accompany product sample packages, or “goody bags,” which are then distributed
within specific markets.
Scanning desktop, high-end, mid-range: Electronic process used to make color and tone-corrected
separations of images.
Scoring: Pressing a channel into a sheet of paper to allow it to fold more easily.
Sectional Center Facility (SCF): In the U.S., a postal facility that serves as the processing and
distribution center (P&DC) for post offices in a designated geographic area as defined by the first three digits
of the ZIP Codes of those offices. Some SCFs serve more than one 3-digit ZIP Code range.
Seeding: False or “dummy” names are added to a mailing list as a way to check delivery and to uncover
any unauthorized list usage.
Segmentation: A process of dividing a market into smaller pieces based on demographic, psychographic or
Selects: Demographic data compiled/used to mail into a more specific segment of a list, e.g., specific states
on a national list. A select charge, a fee to pull specific data, typically is applied.
Selective Binding: The process which allows an advertisement to be inserted into only certain select issues
of a magazine, or allows selected pages to be inserted in a catalog.
Sender Policy Framework (SPF): A protocol used to eliminate e-mail forgeries. A line of code called an
SPF record is placed in a sender’s Domain Name Server information, which can then be used by an incoming
mail server to verify a sender before allowing a message through.
Service Bureaus: See Computer Service Bureaus
Sheetfed Press: An offset printer that prints on paper which is fed one sheet at a time. Used primarily for
short runs or higher-quality printing.
Shopping Cart: Software that allows the user to hold merchandise selected for purchase until shopping is
complete and the user is ready to check out.
Single-Piece Rate: The “undiscounted” or “full” postage rate available for individual pieces of Express Mail,
First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, and Package Services.
Skill-Based Routing: The process of routing calls in real-time to particular agents or agent groups trained
to help customers with specific queries.
Soft Bounce: An e-mail that has bounced back to the sender undelivered after it was already accepted by
the recipient’s mail.
Sorting: The computerized process of reorganizing a list from one sequence to another. For example, a file
can be sorted by last name, company name, ZIP code or postal code, high donors, multi-buyers, recent
Source Codes: An identifier that goes with a particular housefile segment or list. The code must be unique
to the particular segment and/or list being coded, so marketing and circulation efforts can be measured.
Space Advertising: Display advertisements in any print publication.
Spam: Widely-used slang term for unsolicited commercial e-mail.
Spoofing: Forged e-mail addresses that hide the origin of a spam or virus message. Intended to make the
recipient believe that the message has come from a legitimate source.
Spot Colour: Single colours applied to printing when process colour is not necessary (i.e., one-, two- and
three-colour printing), or when process colours need to be augmented (i.e., a fluorescent pink headline or a
Spyware: Any application that may track a person’s or organization’s online and/or offline PC activity and is
capable of locally saving or transmitting those findings to third parties, sometimes with but more often
without their knowledge or consent.
Statement Stuffers: Freestanding inserts placed in the monthly billing statements from other reputable
Stochastic: Printing method that uses randomly placed dots. Also called FM screening.
Subscription Fulfillment: A specialized service for periodical publishers. Services include maintaining the
subscriber list, generating invoices and renewals, and recording payments.
Take-Ones: Promotional literature found in racks, often at the grocery store.
Telephone Preference Service (DMA TPS): A service of the Direct Marketing Association for consumers
who want to have their names removed from telemarketing lists.
Telephone Service Representative (TSR): Anyone who sells, or services customers over the phone
either inbound or outbound.
Terminal Dues: The payments between countries to compensate for imbalance in sending/receiving
Test: An order that is placed for a small quantity of names to see how the list performs. If it performs well,
a continuation order for more names is usually placed.
Test Panel: A term used to identify each of the parts in a split test.
Thermal Dye Sublimation: Proof-making process where pigments are vaporized and float to desired
Thermography: A finishing applied after printing that creates the raised effect of engraved printing.
Tokens: An action device; the purpose of which is to involve the prospect in the offer. It can be anything
from a coin, peel-off stamp or a punch-out paper piece that is inserted into the order form.
Trim Size: The final size of a printed piece once it’s been cut to specification.
Universe Count: The total count (number of names) on a list.
UV Coating: A very slick, glossy coating applied to the printed paper surface and dried on press with
ultraviolet (UV) light.
Variable Data Printing: Digital printing in which information, in the form of text or graphics, is merged
from one or more information sources with one or more background pages. One example of variable data
printing is a form letter where the name and address of the recipient changes on each letter but the letter
body remains the same.
Varnish: A coating printed on top of a printed sheet to protect it, add a finish, and/or add a tinge of color.
Varnish applied to specific areas of a sheet is called spot varnish.
Vegetable-Based Ink: Ink using vegetable oil, rather than petroleum solvents, as the vehicle for carrying
Vellum: An uncoated paper finish that is fairly even, but not quite as even as a smooth finish.
Virus: A program or computer code that affects or interferes with a computer’s operating system and can
be spread to other computers either accidentally or on purpose through e-mails, downloads, network
messages or infected CDs.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP): A category of hardware and software that enables people to use
the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls by sending voice data in packets using Internet
Voice Response Unit (VRU): Solutions that respond to caller-entered digits or speech. In this way, callers
can interact directly with a company’s database to check information and complete transactions.
Web Browser: The software used for searching the World Wide Web.
Web Bugs: Software that can be introduced into an e-mail and transmit a Web-log entry and associated
cookie when the e-mail is opened. This enables tracking of the e-mail. Cookie-filtering software does not
stop Web bugs from tracking the recipient’s online activity.
Web Press: A high speed printing press that prints on both sides of a continuous roll of paper rather than
Whitelist: An advance-authorized list of e-mail addresses, held by an ISP, subscriber or other e-mail
service provider, which allows e-mail to be delivered regardless of spam filters.
Winback: The process of persuading a lapsed customer to buy again.
Workforce Management Software: Also known as agent management software, these solutions help
contact center managers devise workforce schedules.
World Wide Web: A system of Internet servers comprised of HTML documents and graphics that can link
to one another. Not all Internet servers are part of the World Wide Web.