mailing list consumer tips

Direct Mail Terminology


ACTIVE SUBSCRIBER
An individual who is a current subscriber to a particular magazine or any other type of goods and services. Active subscriber lists are a very targeted way of reaching customers.

ASSIGNED MAIL DATES
Usually with subscriber lists the list user has to have prior approval for a particular mail date. This is to avoid overlaps in mailings from other users.

CATALOG BUYER
One who has purchased products from a catalog

CARRIER ROUTE
The mail carrier's delivery area

CARRIER ROUTE SORTING
This process arranges the mailing list in the order of the postal carrier's delivery route. The US Post Office gives additional postage discounts for this sorting.

CHESHIRE LABEL
This type of label is a print out that is usually 4 names and addresses across by 11 names down. A special Cheshire machine must be used to cut, apply the glue and affix the label to the mail piece. Check with your mail house to make sure they can use this format.

COMMISSION
A percentage of the sale of a mailing list paid to the broker or list manager for the usage of the list.

COMPILED LIST
Any list created from the compilation of public sources such as phone books, deed information, directories, newspapers and courthouse records.

COMPILER
A company that puts together various pieces of information to form a list of individuals that has similar characteristics, such as age, income and buying habits.

CO-OP MAILING
A mailing in which multiple offers are included in the same envelope. This can cut costs for all of the mailers.

COUNTS
This is the number of addresses that fit a certain criteria in the target market.

DISKETTES
A 3.5" floppy diskette is one format for which your mailing list can be provided on. The standard format is ASCII Comma Delimited, which is IBM compatible.

DECOY
A unique name inserted into a mailing list to track the usage of the list.

DEMOGRAPHICS
Information concerning socioeconomic characteristics pertaining to a geographic unit.

DIRECT MAIL ASSOCIATION MAIL PREFERENCE SERVICE
A service that enables individuals to have their name and address removed from mailing lists

E-MAIL
An electronic format in which you can receive your mailing list information

EXPIRE
Individuals who have let their subscription to a publication expire

GALLEY LIST
A method of printing mailing list information line by line. Also called a manuscript

HOTLINE
The most recent names added to a mailing list, usually defined in 30 day increments

HOUSE LIST
A list compiled of those who have previously purchased from your own company. This would be your customer base.

INQUIRY
A list of those who have only inquired about your services, but have not actually purchased. This is great prospect information.

KEY CODE
A code, such as letters, numbers or markings that are added to the mailing label to accurately test response rates and list quality.

LIST BROKER
A specialist who makes all the arrangements for one company to rent the mailing list(s) of another company. You usually receive better pricing from a list broker because the list compilers base pricing on the volume of business.

LIST CLEANING
The process of updating a mailing list by correcting and/or removing a name because it is no longer correct.

LIST EXCHANGE
A bartering system by which companies will trade the use of a mailing list for another list, product or service.

LIST MAINTENANCE
The process of keeping mailing lists up to date

LIST MANAGER
This person is the agent responsible for the use of the mailing list by others. This person would update and market the list to others.

LIST OWNER
Someone who has compiled a database of names that have common characteristics.

LIST RENTAL
When a mailer purchases a list of names the list is for 1 time use unless purchased for additional usages.

LIST SELECTION
One can further define a mailing list by targeting by additional selections such as age, income, homeowner etc.

LIST SOURCE
The media that is used to compile the names on a mailing list

MAGNETIC TAPE
A storage device for electronically recording and reproducing defined bits of data

MAIL DATE
The date on which a user has the obligation to mail a specific mail piece from list agreed on by the list owner

MAIL ORDER BUYER
One who orders merchandise or services through the mail

MERGE
Combining two or more lists usually in a predetermined sequence

MERGE-PURGE
Combining two or more lists while simultaneously eliminating duplicate names

MULTIPLE BUYER
One who has bought two or more times from the same company

NTH NAME SELECTION
A fractional unit of selection that is repeated in sampling a mailing list

NET NAME ARRANGEMENT
An agreement between the list owner and the list user in which the list owner agrees to accept adjusted payment less that the total names shipped.

NET-NET NAMES
An agreement between the list owner and the user to pay only for names that survive a given screen

NIXIE
A mailing piece returned by the Postal Service because of an inaccurate or undeliverable name and address

OFFER
The product or service that is being sold or promoted

ONE TIME USE OF THE LIST
List rental agreement in which it is understood that the mailer will not use the names on the list more than one time without prior approval of the list owner

PACKAGE TEST
A test between one mailing piece with another

PREMIUM
An item offered for free to a buyer as an enticement to purchase or obtain for trial a product or service offered via mail order

PREMIUM BUYER
One who buys a product or service to get another product or service that is usually free or offered at a special price, or who responds to an offer of a special product premium on the package or label of another product

PRESSURE SENSITIVE LABEL
A mailing label printed on a peel off sticker that can be affixed to the mail piece

PROSPECT LISTS
These are single-line listings including the name, address and phone number mainly used for telemarketing or follow-ups to a mailing.

PSYCHOGRAPHICS
Any character or quality attributed to the lifestyle or attitude of a customer.

RESPONSE LIST
A list compiled of people who have responded to an offer either by mail, phone or through other means of mass communication.

RUNNING CHARGE
The price charged by a list owner for addresses run or produced but not used by a specific mailer. When such a charge is made it is usually made to cover extra processing costs.

SAMPLE MAIL PIECE
An example of the mailing piece being mailed by the list user that is submitted to the list owner for prior approval before release of the list.

SECTIONAL CENTER FACILITY (SCF)
The first three digits of a zip code area

STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION CODE (SIC)
A numerical classification of businesses as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce

SPLIT TEST
Two or more samples from the same list considered to be representative of the entire list.

TAPE DENSITY
The number of bits of information that can be included in each inch of magnetic tape (1600 BPI, 6250 BPI)

TAPE DUMP
A printout of the data on a magnetic tape used to check for accuracy and readability

TAPE LAYOUT
A map of the data included in each record and its location

TEST PANEL
A term used to identify each of the parts in a split test

TITLE LINE
An additional line of copy added to an address to aid in deliverability.

TRIAL BUYER
One who buys a product for a limited time with the understanding that the item may be returned before paying for the item

TRIAL SUBSCRIBER
One who subscribes to a publication on the basis that the subscription may be canceled, purchased at a lower rate or there could be a delay in payment option.

UNIQUE NAMES
After a merge purge has been done the names that have appeared on one list only, not a duplicate.

ZIP SEQUENCE
All mailing lists are provided numerically by zip code unless otherwise requested.
FURTHER CONSUMER INFORMATION
Mailing Lists   Importance of Mailing Lists
Mailing Lists   Increasing your Business
Mailing Lists   Step-by-Step Guide
Mailing Lists   Planning a Campaign
Mailing Lists   Targeting your Geography
Mailing Lists   SIC Codes
Mailing Lists   Mailing List FAQ
Mailing Lists   Terminology
Mailing Lists   Key Success Tips
Mailing Lists   Large FAQ
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