Listed below are terms and acronyms that are used in the marketing industry.
A method of folding paper in thirds. Usually done to 8.5 x 11" paper, folded so that the recipient's name would appear through a window envelope, also know as "Z Fold". An accordion fold is not the prefered fold for an item to be machine inserted. Also see "Standard Fold."
Applying something onto something else. Usually refers to the process in which a label or postage stamp is affixed to your mail piece.
Used primarily with business data. Not limiting the mailing list to one per office. An example would be a law firm. Do you want to market each individual lawyer, or just the firm? "All per" would be each lawyer and "One per" would be the firm only.
The artwork for a printing project submitted for client approval. The art proof can be submitted as a PDF (usually after pre-flighted) or hi-res proof.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A format for storing data on disks or magnetic tapes which can then be read by different types of computers and software packages. It is the most common way to send data to someone with different software or operating systems.
ASCII Comma Delimited
See ASCII for a general definition. A specific way of saving database records. It records the data with separators (delimiters). Each field starts with and ends with a quote mark and may have a comma in between. Each line is a new record. Other forms of delimited databases include Tab, or other unique characters. Some software packages call this a CSV file.
ASCII Fixed Length
See ASCII for a general definition. A specific way of saving database records. It records the data based on position. (Ex. Line 1 is the first record, 2 the second, etc. The fields are then based on position.)
Business to Business. B2B advertising is directed to other businesses instead of consumers.
Bag, Tag & Prep
Refers to the process of submitting mail to the Postal Service for postage rate discounts. All mail must be bagged, trayed, in tubs or on pallets, tagged properly and prepared to USPS rules. Usually refers to bulk mail, but can include all classes of mail which includes discounts.
A series of vertical bars that represent the zip code information on a mail piece. The barcode facilitates automated processing. If pre-printed on your mail, you can receive lower postal rates, also known as Delivery Point Bar Code.
A printing process, which allows the ink to run off the page. Most printers cannot print to the edge of the page, so a larger sheet is used, printed and then trimmed down to the finish size.
A blog is a type of website maintained by an individual or company with regular entries of commentary, events, articles, etc.
Business Reply Card. BRC service allows specially printed card to be mailed without prepayment of postage by the sender. Used in mail pieces to allow the recipient to reply to your mail piece without them incurring postage.
Business Reply Envelope. BRE service allows specially printed envelopes (usually a # 9 envelope) to be mailed without prepayment of postage by the sender. Used in mail pieces to allow the recipient to reply to your mail piece without them incurring postage.
A company that does not produce your work; either mailing lists, mailing services, or printing, "In-House." The work is sent to and done by another company, usually at wholesale prices.
Business Reply Mail. BRM service allows specially printed cards and envelopes to be mailed without prepayment of postage by the sender. Used in mail pieces to allow the recipient to send back a card to you without them incurring the postage.
Mailed through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) as Standard Mail, formerly called third class mail. When your mail is prepared to bulk mail specifications, the Postal Service discounts your postage rate. Requires a Standard Mail permit renewed annually. If you do not have a Standard Mail permit, ask about using FNBR's permit, saving you the one-time application and annual fees.
The CAN-SPAM Act is the law that sets the rules for commercial email and establishes requirements for commercial messages. CAN-SPAM is enforced by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
Coding Accuracy Support System. CASS'ing improves the mailing list accuracy of five digit zip codes, ZIP+4, "carrier routes" and "DPBC" (delivery point bar codes).
Camera Ready Art
Any artwork which is ready to be printed with no other steps needed. This process varies depending on the printing process, "screens", "halftones" and ink colors used.
A type of paper. This paper is thick enough to be mailed by itself and not get damaged. Although it is a specific type of paper, it is used to represent other specific types that are also thick.
This code allows your mail piece to go one step further than ZIP+4. It represents a specific area within the zip code, saving the Postal Service additional sorting. The postage rate is then discounted. Carrier Route is often abbreviated CR or CR-RT.
Mailing labels printed on 132-column computer paper, continuous feed and without perfs. The "stock" is less expensive than P.S. labels. These must be machine affixed by a mailing house. Cheshire labels are rarely used in direct mail marketing, but are still common on magazines and magazine style mailings.
The abbreviation for the four basic ink colors used in "process" color printing: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Also called 4-color process printing.
Paper that has a slick and smooth finish. Also called glossy stock.
A printing method used when two or more ink colors are needed. Each "Camera Ready" original is printed for each ink color. Each original should include "Registration Marks" and "Crop Marks" and are printed in black. Also see "Composite."
A list gathered from directories, newspapers, public records, etc. identifying people or organizations with common characteristics.
Refers to the mailing list. The company that compiles, maintains and produces your mailing lists. They usually sell the mailing lists retail and wholesale to "Brokers".
An original (usually a proof copy) printed on one sheet. Usually printed in black, with shading representing each color. Used to check the fit of the colors together. Also see "Color Separation".
A mailing list to individuals or families at their home address, not businesses. It can include homes, condominiums, apartments, trailers and mobile homes, also known as "Resident" list.
A report which shows how many mail pieces in several categories. Depending on the mailing discounts required, it may include the number per "carrier route," zip code, "SCF", ADC, AADC, and state, also known as "Zip Tally".
To cut off parts of a picture or image.
Printed lines showing where to trim (cut) a printed sheet.
Comma Separated Values - Same as an ASCII Comma Delimited file, but the extension is ".csv".
The process of taking a database file and eliminating duplicate records. Options include identical record deletion (name and address), or multiple addresses deletions (two records at same address, but different names). Also see Merge/Purge.
Measurable characteristics of consumers such as age, gender, race, education, income level, presence of children, often used to target advertising messages. This does not include classification by attitudes or opinions (see psychographics below.)
Direct Impression Printing
The process of printing the mail recipients name or company and address directly on your mail piece. This results in a more professional look than affixing a mailing label. It includes ink jetting, laser, and band printers.
Advertisting and marketing communications delivered directly to a prospect by the U.S. Postal Service or private delivery company.
Do Not Call Registry. This national registry contains the telephone numbers of consumers that have registered with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) not to receive telemarketing calls. Most telemarketers are not allowed to call telephone numbers that appear on this registry.
Marketers coined the term double opt-in in the last 90s to separate it from single opt-in. In the double opt-in method, a new subscriber must respond to the confirmation email in order to be added to the list.
Delivery Point Bar Code. DPBC is series of vertical bars that represent the zip code information on a mail piece. The barcode facilitates automated processing. If pre-printed on your mail, you can receive lower postal rates, also known as "Bar Codes".
Dots Per Inch. DPI is the standard of measurement for the resolution of an image. The more dots per inch, the sharper the image.
Delivery Point Validation. When CASS'ing a database, all addresses are now checked for delivery point validation. This allows users to confirm known USPS addresses as well as identify potential addressing issues that may hinder delivery. Flagging potential addressing issues helps reduce undeliverable as addressed (UAA) pieces. DPV validation checks for primary (street number) and secondary (unit number) data.
Transporting the mail by private carrier to another postal center for additional postage discounts and shortened delivery times.
Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (pronounced eb-sa-dick). Produced by IBM as an eight bit encoding method. It is a common format used on older Mag Tapes.
The person or company who actually uses the product (usually a mailing list), whether or not they are the ones who purchased the product.
Envelope - #9
An envelope size. This is the standard size for reply mail envelopes. It will fit into a #10 envelope.
Envelope - #10
An envelope size. This is the standard size for business or commercial envelopes. It allows several sheets of 8.5 x 11" paper to be folded in thirds and fit into this envelope.
The method for exporting data out of your program. Software packages record their data using their own method. To allow your data to be exported from your software package, they usually support a number of different file formats. Depending on your software, you may need to export or "save as" and choose the appropriate file format.
The size of a printed piece after it is trimmed (cut) and folded. Example - a parent sheet of 12x18" is printed, then the bleeds are trimmed to 11x17", then folded in half and half again (11x17 to 8.5x11 to 5.5x8.5"). The trim size is 11x17" and the final size is 5.5x8.5".
Federal Information Processing Standard. FIPS is a five digit number which represents every state and county in the U.S.A. Ex., 17031 is Cook County, Illinois. The first two digits is the state code, the last three is the county code.
A typeface style, such as Times Roman, Helvetica, etc. Some typefaces have associated families and styles (bold, italic, condensed
Four Color Process
In printing, the primary printing colors (yellow, magenta, cyan and black) are the only colors used. This combination of colors allows every color to be printed. Also called CMYK printing.
Refers to the number of mailing labels printed across the page. There would be four labels across the page printed on continuous form "stock". Very few machines are able to affix or remove the label and four-up is usually removed and affixed by hand.
Federal Trade Commission. The federal agency primarily responsible for regulating national advertising. The FTC also manages the National Do Not Call Registry (DNCR).
Gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatars)
Displays user-provided pictures from a central database, usually tied to someone’s email address. The avatar is added to users comments on blogs and other social comments or posts.
A printing step which photographs a picture with a dot pattern. Allows for a clearer picture when printed, also known as "Screens".
Short for high resolution. For items to be printed, we need a minimum of 300 dpi (dots per inch) but prefer 600 dpi or higher. Any text or image below 300 dpi will appear fuzzy when printed. Most images on websites will be 72 or 96 dpi, and should not be used when in commercial printing.
A list of names and addresses that a company has compiled from inquiries and orders. A house list may consist of the company’s current and former customers and prospects. Companies will often market new products and services to their House List.
Intelligent Mail Barcode. The Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) was formerlly known as the 4-State Customer Barcode. The IMB is the next generation of USPS barcode technology used to sort and track mail. The IMB is the sucessor to POSTNET and Planet barcodes.
The method for bringing data into your program. Software packages record their data using their own method. To allow outside data to be imported into your software package, they support a number of different file formats. "ASCII" is the most common.
The fulfillment of an order by the company itself as opposed to a "broker" who buys the mailing list, mailing services or printing services from someone else.
A payment method for postage. It is pre-printed on your mail piece saving the process of affixing a "Live Stamp" or "Metering" the mail. It is text which states Standard Mail, or First Class Pre-Sorted and the city and permit number to be billed.
Ink Jet Addressing
The process of printing the mail recipients name or company and address directly on your mail piece. It is done with an ink jet printer, not a laser, or band printer.
An item that is inserted into another. Can include a sheet being inserted into a flyer, or sheets inserted into an envelope. Also see nesting.
The amount of spacing between the letters of a word.
A group of letters or numbers (or combination of letters and numbers) usually placed on order forms or reply cards, to help mailers measure the response rates from their marketing.
A Klout Score is the measurement of someone's overall online influence. The score ranges from 1 to 100 (the higher the score, the better). Klout measures True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score to represent ones sphere of influence.
In online marketing, a landing page is also known as a lead capture page. It's the page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement. This page will usually display sales copy that is a logical extension of the advertisement or link.
The amount of spacing between the lines of type. The higher the number, the more amount of "white space" between the lines of text.
Used in printing to represent a "Camera Ready" original which does not require "Halftones" or "Screens". Refers to originals that do not include pictures, but only text and solid graphics.
A payment method for postage. It is an actual stamp affixed to your mailpiece. It can be a first class stamp or "Bulk Rate" stamp. Other methods of payment include "Indicia" and "Metered".
Metropolitan Statistical Area. MSA numbers represents major cities and their outlying area. It may include several counties around that major city.
The process of merging your mailing list (the data) and your mail piece. More professional than a generic letter with an address label only on the envelope. Usually refers to a letter, but can include coupons, checks and other direct mail pieces.
Data which is purchased to market your products or services to others. It can include residents or business. The data can then be provided on labels, manuscript, disks, mag tape, 3 x 5 cards, etc.
This would be the entire literature sent to your mailing list. If you are mailing a letter, business card, brochure and a reply card; which are inserted into an envelope, all the pieces combined are called your mailpiece.
This is a print-out of your data on plain paper, also knows as a "list". This may or may not include the prospects phone number. Usually on plain 8.5 x 11" paper, but sometimes on 132-column (wide) computer paper.
The process of taking several different databases and combining them into one. They may need to be altered in order to make them have the same structure. They can then be purged so that you do not have the same name more than once. See "De-Dupe".
A payment method for postage. It is run through a postage meter with an amount, city and state mailed from and other endorsements (bulk rate, non-profit org., car. rt, pre-sort, etc.) Other methods of payment include "Live Stamp" and "Indicia".
A microsite is also known as a landing page, minisite or weblet, is a web design term referring to an individual web page or group of pages which are meant to supplement a primary website. The microsite's main landing page usually has its own domain name or subdomain. Microsites used for commercial purposes create in-depth information about a particular product or service.
National Change of Address. NCOA processing checks if a person, family or business has filed a Change of Address (COA) with the U.S. Postal Service, and if so, provides the new address. NCOA processing can look for change of addresses for up to 48-months.
Nesting is inserting one item into another prior to the outside mailing envelope, and is most common on formal invitation mailings. Example - nesting an RSVP card under the flap of an RSVP envelope, or nesting the RSVP card inside the invitation, then inserting the invitation into the mailing envelope. Also see inserting.
Mailing lists that do not have the recipient's name or company name on the label, only the address. It is less expensive than a named list.
Short for offset lithography. A printing method which uses ink and allows the use of more than one ink color, screens, etc. Ink is transferred from a printing plate to a rubber blanket, then to the paper. Offset is used to distinguish between "true printing" and photocopies.
Outside Mailing Envelope. The outer envelope of a mailpiece.
Used primarily with business data. Limiting the mailing list to one per office. An example would be a law firm. Do you want to market each individual lawyer, or just the firm? "One per" would be the firm only and "All per" would be each lawyer.
Refers to the number of mailing labels printed across the page. There would only be one label across the page printed on continuous form "stock." This may be required for some machines capable of removing and affixing the label to your mail piece.
Opt in email is a term used when someone gives their permission to receive bulk email (email sent to many people at the same time). There are several common forms of opt-in email including "Unconfirmed Opt-In" and "Confirmed Opt-In". Confirmed opt-in is also known as "confirmed subscription", "closed-loop opt-in" or "double opt-in".
The number of printed pieces that are produced in excess of the quantity ordered.
Mailing labels that can be peeled off and hand affixed. The backing is a wax-type paper and the label is gummy on the back. "P.S." is known as "Pressure Sensitive Labels" or "Peel and Stick Labels". PS Labels are usually printed on 8.5x11" sheets of label stock, and come in a variety of label sizes, colors and finishes.
Pantone Matching System. PMS numbers represents a specific color of ink used in printing. Similar to a paint number which represents a specific color no matter which store mixes your paint.
Peel & Stick Labels
Mailing labels that can be peeled off and hand affixed. The backing is a wax-type paper and the label is gummy on the back. The "stock" is more expensive than Cheshire labels, also knows as "P.S. Labels" and "Pressure Sensitive Labels".
Per 1,000. Most mailing lists, mailing services and printing services are quoted per 1,000 pieces. The rate is pro-rated based on quantity. Example - a rate of $125.00/M (per M) for 2,500 pieces is $125.00 x 2.5, totaling $312.50.
Adding a person's name, address or other personal information directly onto a mailpiece. Also see mail merge.
Piggy Back Labels
Mailing labels that can be affixed to your mail piece and allow the recipient to peel off the label and place it on something else; usually a piece mailed back to you. Ex. the IRS booklet has a label on it, you peel it off and place it on your return.
A printing process, which takes "camera ready" originals and makes the original needed for "offset" printing. There are three different types of printing plates; paper plates, metal plates and direct-to-plate. There is usually a fee for this step, but the metal plates can be used again provided there are no changes.
Printing on a sheet that has been previously printed. Usually refers to "Mail Merge" letters. A pre-print would include letterhead, which has been printed, then the letter is printed on it. It may also include pre-printing the body of the letter and laser printing the name and address only.
Pressure Sensitive Labels
Mailing labels that can be peeled off and hand affixed. The backing is a wax-type paper and the label is gummy on the back. The "stock" is more expensive than Cheshire labels, also known as "P.S. Labels" and "Peel and Stick Labels".
The 4-color pigments (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) used in process color printing.
A system where a color image is separated into different color values (cyan, magenta, yellow and black or CMYK) by the use of filters and screens and then transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press, reproducing the original color image.
Also known as lifestyle segmentation. Psychological characteristics used to target advertising messages to specific consumers based upon their attitudes, interests and opinions. Psychographics are in addition to standard demographics.
Short for Personalized URLs, PURLs capture the recipient’s attention by including their name in the URL of the webpage you want them to visit. PURLs point them to a microsite or landing page that is tailored to them and their interests.
Quick Response Codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can be "read" by QR scanners, including mobile phones with a camera. The marketing application for QR Codes is that once the code is scanned and read, it automatically opens a web page in the phone's browser. The QR Code could be a company's main webpage, or a microsite, landing page, or even contain a PURLized landing page.
Marks printed on the originals of each "Color Separation". These marks are printed outside of the actual page size and are on each side (top, bottom, left and right). They are a circle with a "+" through it and used to align each color correctly.
A mailing list to individuals at their home address, not businesses. It can include homes, condominiums, apartments, trailers and mobile homes, also known as "Consumer" list.
The remainder or left-over portion of the printed material(s) after completion of a mailing campaign. Example - the printed quantity was 5000 pieces but the mailing was to 4750 prospects, so there are 250 residuals.
For artwork and printing, it refers to the DPI (dots per inch) of the artwork or image. Common image DPI and intended use: webpage @ 72 or 96 dpi; laser printer @ 300 dpi; commercial printing @ 600 dpi (we prefer 720 dpi or higher).
A mailing list comprised of consumers or organizations that have previously responded to a direct marketing offer.
Red Green Blue. RGB stands for the colors Red-Green-Blue used by computer monitors and digital cameras to create all the colors seen on the monitor and saved in files. In contrast, print designers define colors using CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).
Return On Investment. ROI refers to the percentage of profit or revenue generated from a specific activity. For example, you could measure the ROI of a marketing campaign by adding up the total amount spent on the campaign (e.g., $1000) versus the amount generated from it in revenue (e.g., $5,000). The ROI would then be 400%.
Rate Of Return. Also called ROI, ROR is the ratio of money gained or lost on an investment, relative to the amount of money invested. ROI can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a marketing advertising campaign, including direct mail, newspaper advertising, email blasts, and more.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication)
Web format used to publish frequently updated works, such as blog entries, news updates, audio, video, etc. in a standardized format. RSS documents are referred to as "feeds".
Subscription Account Number or Subscription Access Number. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) assigns a SAN number to your company when you register as a seller in compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. If your organization wants to order sales leads with telephone numbers from us and have the telephone numbers screened against the national Do Not Call Registry, we will need your SAN.
Sectional Center Facility. SCF's are a postal facility that serve as the distribution and processing center for post offices. Represents the first three digits of the zip code. Ex. SCF 337 would represent all zip codes from 33701-33799.
Standard Industrial Classification. SIC's are a numbering system first started by the U.S. Government which categorizes what businesses do. It allows you to select a business mailing list specific to your types of customers.
A printing step, which photographs a picture with a dot pattern. Allows for a clearer picture when printed, also known as "Halftones".
To add a unique recipient to a mailing list as a way to check delivery or to uncover any unauthorized list usage. If a business mails letters to a rented list more times than it is allowed to, the list provider will know because the seed names in the list will receive each mailing, and notify the list provider of what is going on.
A direct mailpiece that does not have an envelope or other wrapper. While a postcard is technically a "self mailer", the term usually refers to one sheet that is folded to be its own mailpiece.
In the single opt-in method, a new subscriber signs up to receive emails and is sent a confirmation email telling them they will begin to receive emails if they take no action.
A spot color is a special premixed ink that is used instead of, or (less commonly) in addition to, CMYK process inks, and that requires its own printing plate on a printing press. Spot color printing is used when an exact color match is necessary (such as a company logo). The most common reference system for selecting a spot color is the Pantone Matching System.
Mailed through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) as standard mail, fka third class mail. When your mail is prepared to Standard Mail specifications, the Postal Service discounts your postage rate. Requires a Standard Mail permit renewed annually. If you do not have a bulk mail permit, your mail house's permit can be used.
A method of folding paper in thirds. The last fold is folded back toward the first. On a single sided sheet, no printing would be visible. A "standard fold" is the preferred method for items that will be machine inserted. Also see "Z Fold".
The materials or paper on which something is printed.
Affixing a tab or wafer seal to the opening of self mailer. Depending on the size and orientation of the fold, the U.S. Postal Service can require one, two or three tabs in order to receive additional postage discounts.
A test performed on mailings that use window envelopes to ensure the recipient’s complete address and barcode is visible through the window at all times. With the mail piece inserted in the window envelope, the envelope is tapped to the right, left and bottom. After each tap the address is checked for visibility and postal clearance regulations.
Words, usually placed on the outside of the mailing envelope (front or back) that arouse curiosity and "tease" the recipient into opening the envelope and reading the contents.
The act of calling someone by phone to sell, promote or solicit goods and services.
Third Class Mail
Mailed through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) as bulk mail. When your mail is prepared to bulk mail specifications, the Postal Service discounts your postage rate, also known as "Standard Mail" or "Bulk Mail".
3 x 5 Cards
Mailing lists that are printed on a card measuring 3 x 5". This is usually done for telemarketing. The cards are printed on continuous form "stock" and are perforated or on single sheets.
The size of a printed piece after it is trimmed (cut). Example - a parent sheet of 12x18" is printed, then the bleeds are trimmed to 11x17", then folded in half and half again (11x17 to 8.5x11 to 5.5x8.5"). The trim size is 11x17" and the final size is 5.5x8.5".
When data is purchased on disk or "Mag Tape," it gives you the right to use the data an unlimited number of times within one year. The data should then be re-purchased which will include updated records.
URL shortening is a technique on the web in which a URL can be made substantially shorter in length. The shorter URL contains unique characters that then redirect them to the "real" (longer) web page.
United States Postal Service.
This code allows your mail piece to go one step further then ZIP+4 and "Carrier Route". The mail is in the exact order that the mail carrier walks. No sorting is needed by the Postal Service. This results in the lowest postage under "Bulk Mail". Walk Sequence is often abbreviated as "WS".
A method of folding paper in thirds, usually done to 8.5 x 11" paper, folded so that the recipient's name would appear through a window envelope. Also known as "Accordion Fold". Also see "Standard Fold".
A report which shows how many mail pieces in several categories. Depending on the mailing discounts required, it may include the number per "carrier route," zip code, ADC, AADC, "SCF" and state, also known as "Count Sheet".