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Direct Mail Glossary – Common Direct Mail Terms and Jargon

Alternatives To Royal Mail For Letters

Direct Mail Glossary – Common Direct Mail Terms and Jargon

1024 512 Myles Robinson

Are you thinking about sending your first-ever direct mail campaign?

There are a lot of complicated terms used in the mailing industry.

Here at The Direct Mail Company, we thought we would make things easier by putting together a Direct Mail Glossary filled with the common terms and jargon you might hear.

Direct Mail Glossary – Common Direct Mail Terms and Jargon

Here’s our list of the most common direct mail terms and jargon:

Bleed – After trimming the artwork, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges are in the final trimmed document. The bleed is usually 3mm.

BRE (Business Reply Envelope) – Business reply envelopes are often used in marketing campaigns where the recipient needs to return a reply or order form. They are particularly popular with Charity based direct mail campaigns requesting donations.

Bulk Mail – Bulk mail involves sending large volumes to different addresses, mainly for marketing purposes.

CTA (Call to Action) – The part of the message which informs the recipient to respond and provides an easy method to do so.

Carrier Sheet – The sheet with the recipient’s address printed. Often used in polythene mailings.

CMYK – A colour model used to describe the printing process. CMYK refers to the four inks used in some colour printing: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black).

Crop Marks – Also known as trim marks, these refer to the lines printed in the corners of artwork to indicate where to trim the paper.

Cleansing  Data – This involves removing or correcting records from a database.

Conversion Rate – The percentage of enquiries that have resulted in a sale.

Cost Per Piece – The total cost of a mailing divided by the number of items being mailed.

CSV – The excel file type that databases need to be saved as so, the data can be mail merged.

Database – Collection of personal information about customers or prospects.

Direct Mail – A method of marketing which involves sending a physical piece of promotional material through the post to a group of customers or prospects

Direct Marketing – Form of advertising where companies deliver physical marketing materials to a group of customers or targeted prospects about a product or service they are offering.

Digital Print –  This refers to printing from an image sent directly to the printer using digital files, for example, PDFs. Often used for small personalised print runs.

Demographics – Statistical information about groups of people. For example, gender, age, education, income etc.

Duplex  – Printing on both sides of a piece of paper.

DSA – Stands for Downstream Access. Mailing services provided by a competitor to Royal Mail, for example, Whistl, Citipost and UKMail, sort the mail and then hand it back to Royal Mail to deliver.

Enclosing – Inserting printed materials into an envelope.

Fulfilment – The stages required to prepare the direct mail campaign for the collection.

Gummed Envelope – A type of envelope that a machine can process.

Gsm – Stands for Grams per Square Meter. This is a measurement of the paperweight. The higher the gsm number, the heavier the paper.

Indicia – The preprinted mark in the upper right corner of a piece of mail indicates postage has been paid.

Ink-Jet Printing – The process of Mono or Colour Ink being “sprayed” onto a piece of paper. This is commonly used for printing addresses on an envelope.

Litho Printing – A method of printing which uses metal plates. This is the preferred method of printing when producing large print runs.

Lead Generation – Identifying potential customers for future marketing efforts.

Lifetime Value – This predicts how much net profit a customer will likely generate during their relationship with a company.

Mail Mark – A 2D barcode that carries machine-readable information to track and sort the mail.

MailShot – A term used for a direct marketing communication method where businesses contact a large group of customers and prospects through the post.

Mail Merge – Creating personalised address labels, letters or documents with data from a database.

Mailing House – A company that prepares and organises large-scale dispatch of letters, packets and parcels.

Mono – Printing in black.

PDF Proofs – A portable document format that gives the client an idea of what the finished print should look like.

Poly Wrapping – Clear wrap which can be used to enclose a mailing

Postage – How much it costs to send letters or parcels by post?

Retention – The efforts a company makes to keep customers or clients from going to competitors.

Return Address – The address to mail will be delivered if the mail is undelivered to the recipient.

Return Management – This involves what is done with the returned mail. For example, securely destroying items using the confidential waste facility, sending them back to the client or recycling.

ROI – Stands for Return on Investment, this measures the performance of a direct mail campaign. It measures the return on an investment relative to the investment’s cost.

Salutation – Part of the letter addresses the reader, such as “Dear valued customers” or “Dear John.”

Segmentation – Collating customers and prospects into small groups based on demographics or buying patterns, for example.

Seed – The mailshot sent to the address of the purchaser of the direct mail campaign to test the landing data and quality of the marketing campaign.

Simplex – Printed onto a single side of the paper.

The Direct Mail Company

The Direct Mail Company is a professional mailing house offering 5* customer service.

We specialise in direct mail fulfilment for various small and large clients. With our fully integrated printing and mail solutions, we can take care of everything you need for your direct mail campaign.

We offer affordable printing services, mail fulfilment solutions and bulk postage rates guaranteed to be cheaper than stamps, franking and mail mark franking.

The high volume of mail we send each year means we can offer much lower postage costs than standard and franked bulk mail.

We ensure your mail is delivered on time using Whistl, Citipost, UKMail and Royal Mail to deliver the final mile.

Please contact us today at 0808 156 0115 or email with your enquiry.


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