Glossary of Terms
C, D, E, F,
G, H, I, K,
L, M, N, O,
P, Q, R, S,
T, W, X, Y
Admail A Royal Mail redirection service where responses can be received at a different address from the one featured in the promotional material or advertising.
Acquisition Program Any marketing activity where the primary intent is to draw response from prospects not currently doing business with a company.
Back – end Fulfilment procedures carried out after the receipt of an order to complete a mail order transaction
Bangtail A style of envelope generally referring to those formed (often as part of one-piece mailer or self mailer format) with an attached perforated ‘tail’ used as an order or response device.
Barcode A symbol on a response device which can be ‘read’ by a computer and is used to speed counting and handling.
Bingo card Otherwise known as a ‘reader service card’. A reply card bound into a publication, which readers complete to request literature, samples or other details from organisations advertising in the publication.
Bounce back A promotional offer sent to a client or customer when fulfilling their order – ‘bouncing back’ another offer to them. An effective technique to increase sales.
BRE Business Reply Envelope. A pre-addressed envelope returned to the mailer. The mailer pays postage on the envelopes returned.
Business Reply Licence Licence issued by the Royal Mail to use Business Reply facilities.
Call centre (inbound)
A physical or virtual operation in which a managed group of people spend their time in a computer environment handling incoming telephone calls, or other electronic enquiries, from people wishing to place orders or get information. Sometimes called a Contact Centre.
Card deck A pack of different reply paid cards, with advertising material on one side, and a reply address on the other, which is mailed to prospects and designed to generate low cost enquiries.
Carelines Incoming telephone lines where consumers can get help with their concerns about products, services or other matters.
Cash buyer A mail order buyer who encloses a cheque or postal order with his order. Also used for credit card purchasers.
Catalogue buyer A person who has bought one or more products from a catalogue.
Charge card buyer A buyer who gives a charge card number, from which the seller receives payment.
Closing out The final (or closing) results of either a mailing or direct response advertisement. E.g. it closed out at 2% response.
Clusters Statistical groupings of consumers with similar lifestyle profiles, based on demographic and socio-economic indicators.
Continuity series A marketing technique where a customer is offered a series of similar products over an extended period.
Conversion pack The material sent out to an enquirer in the expectation of converting the enquiry into an order.
CPE Cost per enquiry. The total cost of a promotion divided by the number of enquiries achieved.
CPO Cost per order. The total cost of a promotion divided by the number of orders achieved.
Cut off date A close date for a promotional offer.
Data capture Response information taken into a computer system.
Database A collection of records retained on a computer, constantly updated and supporting a range of marketing applications. Data is usually added from other response information such as Coupons, questionnaires or telemarketing information.
Delay card A card sent to a mail order buyer stating that the order will be delayed longer than the original specified delivery date.
Delivery point A description of an address or other location of where a delivery will take place.
Dial-in direct connection/Service/terminal Connection
An Internet connection that is accessed by dialling into a computer through a telephone line.
DID Delay in delivery.
Direct mail Any commercial offer mailed to a customer or prospect known at least by name and address.
Direct Marketing Direct marketing is an interactive system of marketing that uses one or ore advertising media to effect a measurable response and/or transaction at any location, with this activity stored on a database.
Direct Response Advertising or selling through any medium inviting the consumer to respond to the advertiser.
Direct response list A list of known responders to direct marketing solicitations.
Dry test A test whereby consumers are asked to order before the product has been manufactured. The manufacture goes ahead only in cases where the response will guarantee a desired profit level. Where this level is not met and the product never manufactured, compensation is given.
DRTV Direct response television, where advertisements carry a web site address or response telephone number which is usually toll free.
Enquirer Person who responds to a direct response advertisement or other reply device.
Enquiry A response to a direct marketing solicitation, also called a Lead.
Enquiry file A file of those people who have requested further information but who have not yet placed an order.
Envelope stuffer Promotional material enclosed in an envelope already containing business letters, invoices or statements.
Expiration date A closing date given in copy to motivate the reader to respond to an offer.
Feedback Information telling the enquirer whether and how the message was received.
FIFO First in. First out. Stock which is issued in the order it is received.
FILO First in. Last out. Stock issued in rotation in which the most recent batch is issued first.
First–time buyer A person who is buying a service or product for the first time.
FOC Free of charge.
Followup A subsequent promotion to prospects or customers, usually those who have not replied to the first offer.
Former buyer A person who has not purchased from a company usually within the past twelve months.
Forward dating A sales method whereby a customer buys goods or services in the off-season, but needs only to pay for them when the season starts.
Free trial A sample of goods or services, either for a limited period or in a limited quantity.
Freefone Toll free telephone response service such as an 0800 number where the advertiser pays for any calls received.
Free-keeper A modest gift, given as an incentive in return for placing an order by mail and that can be kept even though the buyer returns the goods ordered.
Freepost A Royal mail service. A firm offering a Freepost service pays postage on all mail delivered to the Freepost address.
Freepost NAME A Royal Mail service similar to Freepost where the address is shortened into an easy to remember format. E.g. Freepost FORD
Frequency The number of times a person has ordered from a company within a given time period. This word is often used in conjunction with recency and monetary value, in order to forecast future sales potential.
Fulfilment The process of dealing with an order or enquiry, from its receipt to delivery. This includes opening, processing, administration, packing and transport. Also known as response handling.
Fulfilment package Package containing the goods and/or details of the service, or details sent in response to a service.
Gift buyer A person who buys goods or services for another.
Give-away A low cost gift given to a customer or prospect without obligation.
GND Goods not delivered.
GNO Goods not ordered.
Guardbook A book or file that contains copies of all advertisements published for a client with relevant data e.g. response rates to individual media.
Handling house A company, which checks, packs and mails premia.
Help desk A telephone helpline usually directed into a call centre.
History file Historical information allocated to specific customer or other computer records, such as buying patterns etc.
Hot line A rapid telephone order or enquiry service.
Inactive buyer A person who has bought from a company but not within a recent specified period.
Inbound calls Calls which are initiated by the customer or prospect in response to some form of advertising which included a telephone number as a response mechanism.
Incentive A promotional offer such as a free gift, competition, etc. aimed at increasing response rates.
Instalment buyer A person who pays for goods or services in two or more periodic payments.
Key number A code put on a reply device enabling response to be monitored by source.
Lead generation Advertisements or other promotions generating leads for sales follow up.
Leads Enquiries for sales follow-up and conversion to sales.
Lifetime value The total estimated monetary worth of a customer to a business over the course of the relationship.
LIFO Last in, first out.(Stock that is issued as early as possible, regardless of stock that is similarly held.)
LILO Last in, last out. (Stock issued in rotation according to the date it is received.)
List Names and addresses of individuals and/or companies having in common a specific interest, characteristic or activity.
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 Buyer One who orders a mailing list for one-time use only.
List cleaning The process of correcting and/or removing a name and/or address from a mailing list because it is no longer correct. Term is also used in the identification and elimination of house list duplication.
List test Part of a list selected to try to determine the effectiveness of the entire list.
Loyalty marketing A strategic approach to developing programs intended primarily to establish and maintain a lasting, and profitable relationship between a seller and its customers. Often relies on a formalized system of rewards for frequent customers.
LTV Lifetime value. The value of a customer’s purchases over time.
Mail order A buying/selling transaction normally carried out by mail. The term however often refers to orders placed via other media such as the telephone or internet.
Mail order buyer A person who makes a mail order purchase.
Mail order product A product suitable for, or offered by, mail order.
Media schedule A record of space or other bookings planned for a campaign.
Member-get-a-Member Marketing device to encourage customers or members of clubs etc. to introduce a new member by offering a free gift or other incentive to both existing customers and potential new members.
Multi-buyers People who have bought more than once from a mailer or advertiser.
Multiple regression A statistical technique used to measure the relationship between response and lists or list segments
Mystery shopper A bogus buyer designed to test the response capability of the selling organisation.
Name acquisition Technique used to prompt a response in order to generate new names for a mailing list.
Negative option A buying arrangement in which a customer or member accepts a proposition unless they formally notify the seller to cancel, often within the specified time period.
Nixie The direct mail package returned to the mailer as undeliverable.
Offer The terms promoting a specific product or service.
One-time buyer A buyer who has made only one order for a company’s products or services.
On-pack A free sample, gift or offer which is promoted on the product or its packaging.
Order form A form on which a recipient can initiate an order by mail or a web site.
Order processing The handling of an order for goods or services through a clerical and/or computer system, usually to the point of producing a despatch note or invoice.
The process of employing telephone sales representatives to call customers or prospects, with the intention of either selling a product or service or obtaining a lead.
Overlays External data which can be merged with an existing database to create better targeted marketing efforts. Though virtually any external data can be used, typical data overlays include census and taxfiler information, which can serve to create a clearer picture of the individuals on a database.
Package insert A promotional piece which is included in the fulfilment package (i.e. with the shipment of the product or details of the ordered service).
Package test A test, or part, or all of the elements of one mailing piece against another.
PAF Postal Address File. Often used in call centres to speed the address verification of callers thus quickening response times.
Paid cancel Someone who completes a basic buying commitment before cancelling that commitment.
Past buyer A person who has bought from a company before, but not within the previous, say, twelve months.
Individualising direct mail pieces by adding the name or other personal information about the recipient.
PI deals Payment by results e.g. per inquiry. A charge is made by sales or enquiries at an agreed rate.
Picking line An arrangement of picking bins/shelves into a continuous line in a warehouse.
Piggy-back An offer that rides along with another offer. (Synonymous with ride-along).
Premium An item offered to a buyer, usually free or at a nominal price, as an inducement to purchase or to obtain a product or service on trial.
Prepaid A mail order shipment for which there is no charge for postage, packing, shipping or handling. These costs have already been included in the purchase price. Also a response device requiring no postage to be paid by the responder.
Pre-testing Research carried out to test the response to advertising before a campaign is carried out.
Price point The price people will pay for a product or service, or a level at which it becomes sensitive.
Price test A direct mail test to compare the responses to two or more different prices for the same product or service.
Prize draw Where numbers are drawn at random to provide a ‘chance’ winner. This technique is popular in direct mail to boost response.
Product information cards Business reply cards in a booklet, or a deck of loose cards. See also card decks.
Product stuffer A promotional piece which is enclosed with the fulfilment package. It often illustrates other ancillary items which can be bought.
Prospect A person who has expressed an interest in a company or its products, or whose profile suggests they are likely to be potential customers.
Prospect list A list of people considered to be prospects as above.
Prospecting Mailings whose purpose is to generate leads rather than to make direct sales.
Pull The percentage response obtained from an offer.
PYOP Pay your own postage.
Pyramiding A method used to test lists whereby a small quantity of names is tested to start with. If response rates are satisfactory from this initial test, then further tests are carried out on larger quantities of names.
Qualified enquirer A person who has acted in such a way as to indicate that he or she is a serious prospect for goods or services.
Random sampling The process of selecting respondents at random for market research purposes, so that every person has an equal chance of being chosen.
Rate of return curve A graph which records the percentage response from a mailing over time.
Reader enquiry service A service run by a publisher which enables the reader to obtain further details of featured products or services from suppliers/advertisers, usually by return of a postcard.
Recency The time which has elapsed since a customer either bought or entered into another transaction.
Recorded Delivery A Royal Mail service, whereby delivered mail is signed for by the recipient.
Redemption The act of fulfilling a customer’s request or claim.
Re-order lead time A mail order term for the period between when inventory requirements are assessed, and the merchandise arrives ready to fulfil orders.
Re-order period The time period required to sell a commitment for merchandise. This is the sum of the re-order lead time (see above) and the time required to sell the stock held as safety.
Repeat buyer A person who has bought from a company more than once within a specified time limit.
Reply card A card included in a mailing which is usually prepaid and return addressed to facilitate a response from a prospect or customer.
Reply-o-letter A type of direct mail letter format, once popular, which carries its own reply device in a paper pocket behind the top of the letter.
Respondent A person who replies to a direct marketing solicitation.
Responder list A list of people who have responded to direct marketing invitations/offers.
Response curve The graph produced by plotting the daily intake of responses as a result of a direct response advertisement.
Response handling Similar to fulfilment (above), but a more general term where the response activity may not require physical fulfilment. Examples might be: telephone care lines where queries/ complaints are dealt with at point of contact, or competition entry handling.
Response rate The percentage of orders or enquiries received from the total number of people who received the promotion.
Response time The time taken to fulfil a request or order.
Retention rate The percentage of customers who continue to do business with a company over a specified period of time.
Retest The verification of the results of a test campaign using the same materials sent to the same list (not the same people on the list).
Return address The address, usually printed on the outside of the mail carrier, to which ‘undeliverables’ are to be returned.
Return envelope An envelope which is included in a mailing which is self addressed by the mailer.
Returns Goods or items returned by the buyer because they are unsatisfactory for whatever reason.
Roll-out To make offers to the remaining portion of a list after successfully testing a portion of that list.
RPC Reply paid card
RPE Reply paid envelope
Sales lead The name and address or other details volunteered by an individual, in response to a promotion, in order to receive more information about a product or service.
Sampling method The means of obtaining the sample from the total population.
Seasonality The influence on response of the time of the year.
The process of assigning individual customers into profile groups for targeted marketing purposes.
Self-liquidator An incentive or premium whose costs (including handling and postage) are covered by a charge to the customer.
Self-mailer A direct mail piece mailed without an envelope.
Small order Individual sales or orders that are so small as to be unprofitable as to the cost of fulfilling them.
Solo mailing A mailing promoting a single product or a limited group of related products.
Source code A unique identification distinguishing one list or media source from another.
Split run A test where one element of a promotion is tested for response against another under control conditions. These are also known as A/B splits in the press and a ‘head to head’ in direct mail.
Stuffer Advertising material which is placed with other material e.g. an insert placed in with an invoice or statement.
Subscription series The continuity programme in which the buyer agrees to acquire the products in a series at regular intervals.
Teaser A device intended to entice a reader to open an envelope and read its contents.
Tele-answering The process of answering telephone calls.
Telemarketing A wide ranging term which applies to the process of selling or marketing goods and services through use of either outbound and/or inbound telephone calls.
Telephone response The method of responding to a direct marketing solicitation by telephone.
Test A trial of two or more variants (lists, packages, offers, prices etc).
Testimonial A favourable comment made by a customer in an advertisement, in order to generate more response. Used to reassure the reader or to add emphasis or credibility to the product or proposition.
Thank you letter Acknowledgement letter following a response, sale or donation.
Third party letter A letter signed by someone other than the mailer or company employee, endorsing the subject of the promotion and designed to increase response. Frequently used for mailings to the membership or customer list of the third party.
Time limit The date on which an offers expires. Also a closing date.
Traffic builder Direct mail whose purpose is to increase store traffic (in a retail outlet).
Trial buyer A person who buys a short-time supply of a product, or who buys a product with the understanding that it can be examined and be returned or paid for after a given period.
Trial close A technique used in copy in which the writer asks for the order, and points the reader to completing the order form early in the sales copy. The technique is sometimes used on every page of the direct mail letter.
Trial subscription A method of selling magazines or newspapers enabling readers to see a representative number of issues free or at a lower introductory rate before deciding or not to become a regular subscriber.
Turnaround time The time taken to fulfil a request or order.
Two-stage A selling technique which uses two steps to sell a product or service. The first is designed to invite an enquiry. The second is designed to complete the sale.
Warm donors People who have previously supported a charity, and thus are considered to be more likely to respond to future appeals.
‘We miss you’ letter A letter sent to a lapsed customer or subscriber to try to win back their custom, usually with an incentive.
White mail Letters received by mail order firms which result in extra administrative work.
X date For subscriptions: the date a member or subscriber ‘expires’. In direct mail: the date a particular offer will terminate.
Yes/no envelope A device designed to improve response by asking readers to reply regardless of whether they intend to take up the offer or not. The ‘no’ proves that they are responsive and is then used for different approaches in the future.
Yes/no stamp A stamp designed to attached to a card or coupon for a similar purpose to the yes/no envelope above.