Glossary of Direct Mail Terms

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1 Glossary of Direct Mail Terms Affixing: The process of attaching a card to a mailer or letter by applying a strip of glue and laying down the card on top of the glue strip. Blind Match/Match Mail: A mailing package consisting of two or more personalized pieces without a sequence number or with sequence numbers not readily visible. BRC: Business reply card BRE: Business reply envelope Bulk Mail: This term is generally used to describe presorting mail including presorted First-Class Mail and Standard Mail. Bulk Mail Center (BMC): A highly mechanized mail processing plant that distributes Standard Mail in piece and bulk form. Large direct mail campaigns, typically larger than 500,000 pieces would benefit from using BMC centers (See Destination Entry Discount for greater detail). Buckslip: A single sheet of paper inserted into a direct mail piece. Bumped Statement/Verified Statement: Official USPS stamp, applied to the postal statement, verifying date the mail was accepted into the postal stream. Business Reply Mail (BRM): Specially printed cards from the original mailer, cartons, and labels that may be mailed back without postage. Postage is collected when the BRM is delivered to the mailer. Carrier Route/Carrier Route Presort Mail: The streets, addresses, and delivery locations within each zip code are divided into routes that are assigned to each letter carrier. The carrier routes are numbered and, on average, contain between 200 and 500 delivery locations. The mail is sorted into carrier routes to qualify for discount postage. It requires no primary or secondary distribution. CASS Certification: Coding Accuracy Support System USPS mechanism to ensure that addresses are correct and that the finest level of zip+4 is included. CASS certification documentation is required for ALL mail claiming automation discounts. Cheshire Label: These labels look like normal white computer paper, but a special Cheshire machine cuts the paper into label-sized strips and glues them onto mailing pieces. Clean List: A mailing list free of duplication and unwanted names or addresses. Commingle: The process of sorting mail from different mail streams into one combined stream.

2 Compiled List: Names and addresses derived from directories, newspapers, public records, etc., to identify targeted groups of people. Data Dump: A printed representation of the contents of the computer memory, a disk or tape file. The dump is a true and accurate picture of the contents of the object being dumped to provide the mailer confirmation that correct data specs are affirmed prior to production. Delivery Point Barcode: The POSTNET barcodes used on US mail contains information representing the address, zip+4, and actual delivery point on the carrier s route. These barcodes allow the USPS to automate the sorting of the mail to the actual order in which the pieces are delivered on each route. Destination Entry Discount: A postage discount for depositing mail at specific post facilities (e.g. delivery unit or bulk mail center) that is closer to the final destination of the mail. (See Bulk Mail Center for greater detail.) Digitized Signature/Label: Refers to an image that is scanned by a scanning device, and then converted into a computer image. Drop Ship: The practice of moving mail to Bulk Mail Centers (BMC) or Sectional Center Facilities (SCF) via a private carrier rather than USPS. (See Destination Entry Discount and Bulk Mail Center for greater detail.) East-West Split: Computer split within the records are sequenced in a horizontal (East-West) rather than vertical (North-South) direction. Enhanced Carrier Route (ECR): A subclass of Standard. A mail rate achieved when mail meets the density requirements of ten or more pieces going to the same carrier route. Encryption: Scrambling data in such a way that it can only be unscrambled through the application of the correct cryptographic key. Four-Up, Three-Up, Two-Up: Used mostly when referring to forms, it is the number of complete forms printing on the same page. After each is uniquely personalized, the forms are then cut apart for insertion and/or mail preparation. FTP: File Transfer Protocol the protocol used for copying files to and from remote computer systems on a network using TCP/IP such as the internet. House List: Company-owned list compiled from inquiry, buyer action, etc., used to promote products and services. Indicia/Postal Imprint: Postal permit information printed on objects to be mailed, and accepted by the USPS in lieu of stamps or meter marks. In most cases, the permit is preprinted on the carrier.

3 Inkjet: Names and addresses are imprinted direct onto the mail piece. Insert: Any item, such as a brochure, pamphlet, buckslip, or card, placed in a direct mail package. Interstack: A machine-automated process, whereby a 1-up form is center split and two single sheets of paper are stacked one on top of the other and folded into a single package. Invalids: Records that fall out of CASS due to no match on the USPS database. A no match can occur if any part of the address block is not an exact match. Julian Date: Three-digit numerical system for date-stamping a transaction by day. It is used to track each fulfillment production run. The Julian date is used to cycle-bind all leads processed through Kill File: A file of do not mail records that will be passed against the mail file and suppressed out. Kit Key: Refers to a report that verifies a file or procedure for quality control. The report summarizes the number of records in a file according to a key (usually defined by a form code, a product code or whatever the user desires), and a kit, which is also user defined. The resulting report can point out errors or discrepancies early in the production process. Known Office of Publication: The business office of a periodicals publication that the city where the original entry for periodicals mailing privileges is authorized. Labellaire: Machine used to apply pressure-sensitive labels to a business-reply envelope (BRE), envelope, continuous form or other carriers. Laser Personalization: Refers to laser printing personalized data sets, such as name and address, but also often includes data records specific to the targeted recipient such as past purchases, interests and relevant dates. Letter Text Set-Up: Refers to the process used by systems and programming staff to compose a document that merges the static photo ready text with variable information from the customersupplied input file. The by-product of the text preparation is a sign-off. Lettershop/Mail Shop: A business specializing in handling details of mailings. List Segmentation: Characteristics that define smaller groups with a written list. Live Samples: Refers to production-ready customer printed output. Live samples are the first 20 names printed from an actual production run. Live samples are used as the final quality check by systems and programming and can serve as a sign-off when minor text revisions are required prior to submitting a job to print.

4 Live Stamps: Actual postage stamps. (Can be presorted for both First Class and Standard) Line of Travel (LOT): All mail qualifying for carrier route discounts must be sorted to the actual order by which the letter carrier makes deliveries. Mailing Permit: Permission to mail at bulk (presorted) rates. The permit is obtained for the USPS office of mailers. Mail Shop/Lettershop: A business specializing in handling details of mailings Matched Mail: Pairing a personalized letter with the address displayed on the outside of the envelope. Merge/Purge: Computer manipulation of several lists for a mailing whereby the various lists are merged together, and duplicate records are purged (deleted) from the final mail file according to specific priorities. Each list is assigned a key code. The merge/purge can be by individual, family, or residential. Meter: Pre-paid postage applied, via ink imprint, to envelopes, meter tape, and postcards. Merlin: Acronym that stands for Mail Evaluation Readability Lookup Instrument. The USPS uses this technology to confirm address accuracy for mailers seeking postage discounts for automation. MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition): Special font and magnetic toner used to print account information which can be read electronically for automatic document handling, such as the line which appears at the bottom of checks. NCOA: National Change of Address: Comprehensive system whereby households and businesses that have filed change of address information with the USPS are identified. Nonmachinable Surcharge: A surcharge applied by the USPS to mail pieces that cannot be sorted by mail processing equipment because of size, shape, content, or address legibility. Such mail must be processed manually. Nth Select: A selection process whereby random selection of names are assigned to a segment, kit, or key code. Most clients find this data processing function useful when establishing test kits or have specific business rules that govern the segmentation of a mailing. OSE or OE: Outside envelope Oversized Rate: Parcel Post rate for pieces exceeding 108 inches but not more than 130 inches in combined length and girth.

5 Package Services: Formerly Fourth Class Mail. The class of mail for material weighing over 16oz. Postage is charged by a combination of actual weight and destination. PDF (Portable Document Format): PDF is the adobe specification for electronic documents that use the Adobe Acrobat family of servers and readers. PDF documents are operating systems and display independent, and therefore can be viewed and printed from virtually any PC including DOS, Windows, Unix, Macintosh, and Graphics Terminals. Periodicals: This class of mail is generally reserved for the distribution of magazines and newspapers. Special rates apply to both editorial and advertising content. All periodical material must first meet specific USPS criteria before approval to mail in this class. Personalized Laser Letter: A document printed on a laser printer where all pages have some form of personalization. (See Laser Personalization) Photo ready: A text preparation on white paper that contains static text that will be personalized in the production run. A photo ready does not contain any variable information such as name and address. It will, however, show static text, signatures, and the correct wrapping of lines. Photo readies are used often to help expedite the sign-off process. Planet Code: A second barcode placed on a mail piece, which allows tracking through the postal system. Post Cards: The USPS defines a postcard as a single piece of card stock measuring no less than 3.5 x 5.5 and no longer than 4.25 x 6. Cards of that size qualify to be mailed at postcard rates. However, if you mean a card that is going to be mailed, it can be much larger. A direct mail piece on card stock must conform to the same minimum size as a postcard, but it may be as large as 6 1/8 x 11 and still mail at letter rate. Postal Imprint/Indicia: Postal permit information printed on objects to be mailed, and accepted by the USPS in lieu of stamps or meter marks. In most cases, the permit is preprinted on the carrier. Presort: The process by which a mailer prepares mail so that it is sorted to the finest extent required by the standard for the rate claimed. Generally, presort is performed sequentially, for lowest (finest) level to the highest level, to those destinations specified by standard and is completed at each level before the next level is prepared. Not all presort levels are applicable to all mailings. Presorted Mail/Presorted First-Class Mail/Presorted Rates: 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. Mailers can presort their mail into containers based on the ZIP code destinations of the mail in exchange for a lower postal rate. Pressure Sensitive Labels (PSL): PSLs peel off a backing and stick onto a mail piece.

6 Residual Shape Surcharge: A surcharge applied to Standard Mail pieces that are prepared as parcels or that are not letter or flat size. Saturation: Mailings that send one piece to each residential stop a letter carrier makes on each route in the mailing. Sectional Center Facility (SCF): 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 to those offices. Some SCFs serve more than one three-digit Code range. Self-Mailer: A mail piece that does not require an envelope. Sign-Off: Prepared for each unique text and/or form combination and based on a representative selection of the customer file. Sign-offs represent what is to be imaged during the production cycle. The customer is required to verify fonts, alignments, variable information, address placement, and graphics when applicable. Once a sign-off approval has been received, production printing can begin. Sign-Off Revision: Customer changes to a sign-off. Single-Piece Rate: The undiscounted or full postage rate available for individual pieces of Express Mail, First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, and Package Services. Single rates contrast with rates available for presorted mail. Slit and Nest: A lettershop process where a coupon or application is detached from the form, printed and/or personalized and nested inside the letter as a separate insert. Standard Class Mail: The USPS delivery of direct mail promotions weighing less than one pound (formerly classified as Third Class). Throat Clearance: The amount of room remaining in the envelope, left to right, after all the inserts have been included. For proper and swift inserting, throat clearance should always be ½. Walk Sequence Rate: Lowest postal rate associated with saturated mailings. Weighted Fee: The fee charged the sender for Standard Mail pieces endorsed Address Service Requested or Forwarded Service Requested that are returned as undeliverable. The fee equals the single-piece First-Class Mail rate times a factor of 2472, rounded to the next whole cent. Zip File: File compressed using PKZIP utility. Zoned Rate: A rate structure for certain Priority Mail, Periodicals (except non-advertising portion), and Package Services (Parcel Post and Bound Printed Matter) that is based on weight and distance traveled (or zones crossed).

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